Whether you like it or not, at some point in life you are going to reach the inevitability of being faced with a decision that will change the rest of your life. If could be saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a marriage proposal, it could be deciding what your major should be when you get to university, it could be whether or not to adopt an adorable three-legged dog – it could be anything. Regardless of what the decision may be, sometimes you will have thought long and hard about it, weighing pros against cons, and you will have deeply considered how it will affect you. Other times, you just get drunk. Here’s a list of the times that I opted for the latter:
1. Moving into the old Cheez-Its cracker factory.
That’s right, you read that correctly. I once got drunk and decided to move into the former Cheez-Its factory. I didn’t just decide to do it, I actually did it. For some context, it was no longer being used as a factory and some slum-lord had bought it and started renting out different wings as suites. These ‘suites’ came equipped with such luxuries as creepy secret tunnels, broken windows, the only heating being an industrial heater on the ceiling of one room that nobody ever spent time in, and other such irresistible perks. Now, to be fair, I already knew somebody who lived there who had done a pretty incredible job of turning his space into a magical industrial wonderland. However, the factory was in Oakland, CA in a neighborhood that was as the time dubbed “The Killing Zone” by the local newspaper. And I lived in Canada. None of these things seemed like red flags or significant obstacles to me, probably because I was drunk, so I agreed to take a suite. Now it may sound like it was a terrible idea, but I’ll have you know that I lived there for almost a full month before I got mugged.
2. Quit my career as a well-respected photographer and turn into a sailor.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard quite so many grunts and groans of disapproval as I did the week I announced that I was taking a step back from photography to pursue a career in seafaring. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a fairly impulsive and flighty person, so my friends and colleagues were all concerned/annoyed when I made this spontaneous announcement. I had presented them with a pretty convincing speech about how the economy was crashing and I had to realize that there may not always be a steady income in fine-art photography, so I needed some otherwise applicable life skills. What really happened is that I drank an entire bottle of wine and marathoned Horatio Hornblower on DVD then realized that I should be on boats, like, all the time.
3. Move to St. John’s, Newfoundland for absolutely no reason
Now, you might ask what makes a sane person decide to move to the isolated, Easternmost point of North America when they have never even so much as set foot there before, and I’ll tell you the answer: alcohol. High on the heels of my decision to start pursuing seafaring, when my friend asked if I wanted to go to St. John’s with her, I thought “The Maritimes? Well, I want to be a mariner, so how can this possibly not be a good idea?”. I had this thought while sitting in my beautiful, spacious apartment in a beautiful neighborhood that I had just acquired for a really good price in one of the most expensive cities in North America, and well let me just surmise this whole story by saying that I really miss that apartment.
4. Hitchhike across Eastern Europe with about fifty euros to my name
When my dear friends moved to Berlin years ago, I would say every year how I was going to visit them yet never actually did. Various circumstances would arise, finances wouldn’t permit, life happened. So when I finally actually booked a ticket to Berlin I couldn’t even believe it, it seemed like a grandiose dream come true. When my friend suggested the idea of hitchhiking across Eastern Europe I was still pretty high on excitement, so I didn’t really stop to think about how little money I’d have, how few supplies I’d have, how entirely ill equipped I was for such a thing. Without so much as a second of research, I immediately agreed. Had I not been drinking enough to completely forgo the foresight to actually think about the logistics, I may not have had one of the greatest adventures of my life thus far. I’m actually pretty confident that I was drunk every day of that trip, I could probably have a separate list of “*Best drunk decisions of my Eastern European adventure”. One of the items on that list may or may not result in me getting back to Berlin to catch my flight home with mere hours to spare then going through German airport security while blackout drunk. I can neither confirm nor deny that.