We’ve all been here before. We’ve all had a great night out that we didn’t want to end so we ignored our instincts and stayed put. We wanted to see if things could get any better, if things could get any more epic. We didn’t want to miss out on anything and weren’t ready to deal with the crash so we kept the night going past 4 a.m.
Big mistake. The biggest.
BECAUSE NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS AFTER 4 A.M. I mean maybe it does when you’re in high school and things don’t have the ability to stick to you quite yet. You can just wash away a long night with a warm shower and feel good as new afterward. And maybe there was even the occasional all-nighter in college that didn’t quite kill you, that left you feeling like bursts of electricity had been running through your body and oh my god you’re so young and THIS is what life is all about: watching the sun rise and coming off all these foreign chemicals with people you love.
But there comes a point when the good becomes bad, when watching the sun rise makes you feel like death and full of anxiety, when the altered state you’re in gives you the kind of hangover that leaves you feeling not quite right for days, when you wish you had listened to your instincts and gone home when things were still going well. Knowing when to go home is an art you perfect over the years. You learn that in almost all situations, it’s better to leave wanting more. Because with every Great Epic Night, there comes a crash. And you can almost guarantee that crash will occur after 4 a.m.
Let me a paint a picture of life after 4 a.m. So you’re having a night that’s going amazingly well. Everyone’s on the same “Let’s go crazy and have fun!” page. The stars have aligned for you to have a truly special night. Then the bar closes at 4 a.m. and you have to make that crucial decision about whether or not to keep it going or to retire and leave things on a good note.
You decide to keep the party going.
So you go back to your friend’s house and the second you enter, you kind of regret it. You know that by entering, you’re committing to watching a sunrise and that could just be too much for your little heart and body to handle. But it’s too late to turn back now so you enter with high hopes and pray your instincts were wrong. Who knows, this could get even more fun… at 5 a.m. You never know! Because it’s just so fun when you just keep drinking! Oh yeah, it’s so fun! That drink at 5 a.m. has the same shine and sparkle as the one you had at midnight! Sure! Why not?
All of a sudden you look around the room and feel the crash start to take place. Everyone’s faces begin to look like puffy marshmallows and the conversations that are happening aren’t exactly stimulating or coherent. Everyone is fading fast. The moment when you’re having THE BEST TIME EVER is often two seconds away from the moment when everyone wants to curl up and die. Blink and it’s switched. Go to the bathroom and come out to find a party full of dead people!
The night quickly takes on a heavy depressing feel and the energy seems to have been completely sucked out of the room. People’s bodies are beginning to deflate on the floor. It’s time for you to go. It was time for you to go at 4 a.m. but now it’s REALLY time for you to get out of dodge.
The pretty becomes ugly. The youthful becomes tired. 4 a.m. became the sun in your wincing eyes.
Next time, just go home. Go home to your warm bed and feel lucky you didn’t go to the after party and feel stuck and anxious. Feel lucky to have missed out on life after 4 a.m.