When Did My Life Stop Being Fun?

Once upon a time, I had a fun life, I swear. I went on adventures, was always down to go out with a big group of my friends and be spontaneous. I didn’t stay home on a weekend night unless I was sick, and even then I would sometimes rally. The possibility of something happening was palpable; I could move my life forward one amazing night out with friends or spring romance at a time. There was always movement, I was always going somewhere with someone, and there seemed to never be an end in sight.

Eventually though, I got blocked. Things slowed down and I started to notice a terrifying pattern of behavior where having “fun” seemed like a genuine struggle. Going out was always met with some resistance and when I actually did manage to get my crap together and go, I would often feel alienated and anxious. I mean, for god’s sake, I’ve stayed home every Saturday night for the past month. The reasons for this vary from “I’m hungover from the night before” to “I need to work tomorrow and get a good night’s sleep.” All of these seem completely valid to me too. I AM hungover. I do need to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. I’m not making it up, but, to a certain extent, it feels unhealthy. I don’t want to miss my mid-twenties because I was in bed, but I don’t really know how to change it either. Because it’s not just me; it’s all of my friends. We’re all trying to figure out how to balance our jobs, friends, and relationships and, quite frankly, we suck at it! We’re the worst! We don’t know what the hell we’re doing. All we know is that something needs to change.

A lot of our ineptitude stems from our own lazinesss and self-absorption. We place our wants and needs over everyone else’s. We need to be comfortable and if we’re not, we bounce. We don’t want to rally for anyone. If I’m tired, I’m going home and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. This behavior creates a vicious cycle though. We bemoan the lack of fun in our lives, the absence of adventure, but when it’s offered to us, we slink away. The other night, my friend said something to me that rung so true. She said, “Friends want constant access to you but NO responsibility.” Meaning that we expect someone to always be reachable but we can discontinue things whenever we want. You need to answer my text but you can’t be mad at me if I flake on our plans. This constant communication has actually caused a complete BREAK in communication. These days, it’s easier than ever to get ahold of my friends but I see them less and less. The more we text, the less we feel obligated to see each other in person. And why don’t we actually want to hang out? When did we all become so fearful of making plans and coming through for people? It’s getting harder and harder to show up for our friends. Technology has rendered us socially inept. I know we’re all feeling a little lonely. What’s blocking us from coming together?

I used to think that maybe I was experiencing some mild depression and that’s why I was becoming such a homebody. Perhaps that was true at some point but it’s definitely not anymore. The mindf-ck of this is that I actually AM happy. It would be so much easier for me to say that I was sad and that’s why I stayed home last Saturday, but it wouldn’t be true. I stayed home because the thought of having to schlep somewhere for drinks and potentially wake up with a hangover the next day turned me off completely. It’s embarrassing to be so delicate. It’s embarrassing to know that you’re standing in your own way. I think I’m finally reaching a breaking point though. I’m too young to be this bored/ boring. I need to allow myself to be uncomfortable. I need to rally because, if I don’t, I’m missing out on so many experiences. By putting my own needs first, I’m actually shooting myself in the foot.

Everyone I know has seen their social life do a 180 recently. Now that college is merely a glimmer in our eye, we’re hustling in da real world and trying to lay the foundation for a career. We come home from work feeling wiped out and just want to watch some TV before passing out. But all of this is making us lose each other little by little. I don’t want to wake up one day to a full DVR but an empty social life. Do you?! TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • http://twitter.com/jemmehlee ~ JAMIE (//∇//)


  • Anonymous

    Being in the mid-twenties is really difficult. It feels like it is more difficult than being a teenager.

  • Raychel

    Actually, if you stayed home watching all your shows, your DVR would be empty too.  A full DVR is a sign of a full social life.  It means no time for TV!

  • http://twitter.com/MisiaGalka Misia Galka

    Ugh ok, thank you for this! Glad to know I’m not alone in trying (and sometimes failing) to balance everything. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenlkessler Jenny Kessler

    it’s the FMO – fear of missing out. With Facebook and Twitter, the pull of cool things to do is endless… and so we don’t commit.

    Follow through is the true test of friendship.

  • 26

    You pegged what it feels like to be mid 20s.  I’m there.  My friends are there.  You’re so not alone in this feeling, and thanks for putting it out there into words!

  • Guest

    Go out if you want. Stay home if you don’t. Jesus, this isn’t rocket science.

  • Christopher

    Maybe find a hobby in a neccesity.  Trying taking up cooking and wine?  I mean you gotta eat anyway, right?  Host a dinner party.

  • Christy

    You read my mind girl! For the past year or so, I have experienced the same. Except I’m usually the one who rallies to go out and everyone flakes on me the cheese stands alone kind of thing. I’m trying to expand my social circle to remedy this otherwise I’ll regret my entire twenties!

  • jizz

    FINALLY a wonderfully true, honest post. woo yeah

  • http://karyninny.com/ karyn

    um, hello, i asked you to take me to olive garden on twitter and you just left me hanging. this is why your life is no fun, you’re not eating endless breadsticks with me. 

  • Bre

    This post is exactly how I feel. 

  • maebefunke

    AH. Thank you! I feel like such a homebody but honestly I can’t rally as much anymore. Or ever, if I’m being honest. But the thought of going out, getting wasted, waking up the next morning to droops (drunk poops) and slowly gnawing on a bagel until 5 pm when I feel normal again seems awful. Plus, there’s that whole marathon of my big fat gypsy weddings that I just can’t seem to miss.

  • rush

    I identify with this on so many points, however, all the Americans that I know seem to equate going out and having fun with drinking and getting wasted.

    Maybe try doing something else…just a suggestion!

    • http://summerslowrunner.wordpress.com/ Summer

       This. Seems like every time I determine that I “want to go out and do something,” it just involves going out and getting beer. Which is great and all, but it’s negatively impacting my finances and I really don’t have anything to show for it the next day beyond, “that beer was tasty,” or “that makeout sesh was really confusing.”

      Not sure if worth it…?

  • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

    I saw somewhere… no one remembers the times they had a good night’s sleep. At 25, I have to constantly remind myself of this. Diet pills at 10 pm for energy so I can have a good time…I am all over it. But remove yourself when you need to. Rebooting, alone sometimes, is good for the body AND mind.

  • Clitty McLabia

    Oh, Ryan. You’re so bitter.

  • http://twitter.com/alissajean alissajean

    i love this! articulates some of the same thoughts that have been rollin around my head the past year… similar to some other comments, i think i’m craving adventures that are more than bar-crawls. these alternates tend to involve even more energy and creativity, which, after a long week, translates to fun-procrastination.  

  • internetfemale

    Ryan lets go blow bubbles on a sunday afternoon ok?



  • http://twitter.com/evanisk crystal evanisky

    its ok. i think its just that you are growing up and just in a transition faze from not wanting to go get drunk every saturday night, to but no what do i do on saturday night. i went through it too but once you and  your friends find a new groove, things will pick up again. the times that you do get together with all your friend will be that much more fun because it will have been awhile since you seen each other.
    the part about the texting and not seeing each other is a trap i fall into as well. sometimes, i’ll shoot a text just to say hi and reconnect but that is the last of it. would be so much more valuable to pick up the phone or plan a quick coffee or lunch date. Dont be so hard on yourself, life changes and people s lives change and sometimes not always at the same pace and time, which can make things even more tough to accept.

  • Hannah Levin

    this is the epitome of my life

  • http://twitter.com/shineesherlock Josh (조쉬)

    Have you ever considered co-writing something with Lena Dunham?  You seem to have the same penchant for trying to wring angst out of the bourgeois lives of white 20-somethings.

  • 26yohomebody

    me to a T

  • Guest

    I can relate to this 100%…I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

  • Georgia Olive

    I think you’re just anxious because you feel like you’re supposed to be doing what “everybody else” is doing, going out partying and whatnot. I’ve been through that as well. Just relax, find other ways to spend time with your friends, invite them to your place, watch movies and stuff :)

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