Life Happens When You Actually Leave Your Apartment
No one met their significant other while home alone on their couch. No one met a new best friend while hiding under the covers and watching The Hills on Netflix Instant. No one got their dream job by doing nothing but watching TV all day. All of the important things happen when you actually leave your apartment, when you shut off the computer, throw away the pad thai, get dressed, and go outside.
People tend to exaggerate when they tell people, “I’m SUCH a hermit. I haven’t left my apartment in days. Well, besides to go that really cool fashion after party. Oh, and I did go to my best friend’s birthday party. That was a crazy night but other than that, I haven’t left my bed.” People tend to think that staying in gives them some sort of cool kid credibility. Like, they could be social but they’re above it somehow. They’re usually lying about laying low though and that makes real hermits like me look bad, or worse, like we’re fakers. Don’t get me wrong. I go out, I do my thing, but lately it’s felt like every activity has required some coaxing from me or my friends. In the past month or two, I haven’t felt pumped about leaving my cave of a room to do real life people things. I know that I’ll end up having fun but it’s been taking some convincing, which I hate. Why don’t I want to leave my apartment?
I’m writing this though as motivation to me and anyone else who has felt disenchanted with going out. We need to do it. For the sanity of our minds, we must suck it up and participate in having a young adult life. After all, you never know who you might meet and what might happen. Life doesn’t happen to you in bed. (Well, at least when you’re alone.) Whenever I go on a hermit binge, I start to snap out of it by thinking about regrets. When I’m older and going to the bars is considered creepy, I don’t want to feel like I didn’t take advantage of my youth. I don’t want to feel like I spent my twenties in my room watching YouTube videos and telling my friends that I’m going to have a solo star night.
But I didn’t always feel this ambivalent. In college I genuinely enjoyed going out and I would actually be upset if plans fell apart and I stayed in on a Saturday night. The weekend seemed full of possibilities and I had a lot of pent up energy from spending the week in the library writing papers. So is this new hermit attitude a direct result of entering the work force and having a full-time job? A few weekends ago, I decided to throw a house party (it meant that I didn’t have to leave my apartment so I was stoked obviously) and for some reason, a freshman from NYU showed up — don’t judge, I think she was someone’s younger sister — but seeing this fresh-faced 18-year-old enter my party and essentially take it by storm made me feel so… old. Here was someone who just moved to New York and had all the energy in the world. Every party she went to had the possibility of being The Best Party and you could tell she was excited by every little thing. I wanted there to be a “Before” and “After” picture of the two of us — an 18-year-old who just moved to NYC contrasted against a 25-year-old who stopped believing in The Best Party.
Incidentally, seeing this NYU freshman is actually what inspired me to stop being a hermit and start leaving my apartment. After meeting her, I realized that I’m too young to be feeling this old. I’m not going to let what could be the best years of my life pass me by in my bedroom. And neither should you. So go outside. Stop reading my articles and go out tonight, for the love of God. I will if you will. Deal?
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
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By John Howell
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.
By Ed Herro