Once upon a time, I was the girl who could go out 5 nights a week, get to work/class on time, with nothing other than a bit of a thirst for some water.
After this weekend, I realized I’m not that girl any more (not to be confused with that girl).
I first really began going out when I was 20, studying a semester abroad in Glasgow, Scotland. It was the culture and I was told to do my best to assimilate. So I did. Very well, in fact.
Fast forward a few years, past college, past a few further stints living internationally, and to my 2011 move to my now home in the District of Columbia. What many outsiders don’t know about this non-state is that there is an excellent nightlife and I capitalized (bedumchhh).
Moving from the metropolis that wasn’t central Pennsylvania, taking on an internship at an embassy when I previously was working at a candy factory, and changing my scenery after a terrible break-up, I decided to make my moments count and to savor any and all opportunities that came my way—I wasn’t going to waste another second.
While I did take my potential career seriously and took on many new hobbies, the most starved part of me was the social butterfly. I developed friendships quickly, and one happy hour drink daily usually ended with 10 non happy hour drinks—daily. Like in Glasgow, the social culture relies heavily on a certain percentage of alcohol.
The perception of our nation’s capital is politicians dressed in boxy suits with their dowdy wives, free museums and monuments galore, and a massive white house in the center of it all. Those of us who live here, completely ignore these tidbits. We carry on in the hip (yeah, I used the word hip) H-Street Corridor in Northeast DC, we share drinks and pretentious banter in the high falutent Dupont area, we have a throw-back to partying college frat style in Adams Morgan, and attend mid-week concerts at the infamous 9:30 club in Columbia Heights. The fast growing neighborhoods of DC are full of young professionals with decent incomes, a pension for culture, a thirst to make a difference, and a work-hard-play-hard attitude.
I sustained a fairly ruckus lifestyle the first 18 months living here. I had a lovely time. But it became too much. Rather than going out for me and to be with friends, I was going out to find an answer that wasn’t going to reveal itself after a night about the town. After a dance in the rain, a lost cell phone, and returning home in time to go to work, I realized, this couldn’t keep up.
I picked myself up and stopped misplacing my troubles. This was around July of 2012, which will probably turn out to be one of the most epic turning points in my life.
So, I slapped myself across the face, moved into a new place of my own, started dating the most solid guy I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and kept up a social calendar composed of ballet classes, arts and crafts with friends, blogging more, and a night or two out a week (slightly less drinking by a vodka soda or two).
I don’t know if it’s because I rehabbed my attitude and habits that now I’m out of practice, but a night out destroys me for the next 36 hours. If I know I’m going to go hard, I know that I essentially have to give up a day of my life to sleeping, drinking water, and whining about my head, stomach, and back (from cartwheels on the dance floor).
I’m not 20 anymore and I don’t want to be. As much fun as it was going out all the time, I’m happy to enjoy so many other parts of my life: my job, my dance, my friends, my boy, and the extra money lining my wallet from less overpriced drinks and covers. I never thought I could or would be so mature, but accidents do happen.