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?!