Last night I was sitting on my couch, mentally preparing to re-enter the real world after the wedding weekend extravaganza and scrolling through the shared photo album one more time to relive the event. I wish I could go into detail here about the entire weekend, how I’ve never seen any of my friends look so happy, and there aren’t even words for the looks on R and H’s faces from the moment they saw each other across the church. But truly it’s their story to tell – not mine – and it took me two days to recover from the emotional high of every minute of their day. But with such wonderful memories comes a few embarrassing ones for me from the rehearsal dinner, to no one’s surprise, and it’s had me thinking a lot about the changes I’ve made since my birthday last year. Because let’s just say, when you’re less than a week from turning 27 and your friends are still starting stories from the night before with “No it’s okay, you only threw up in the Uber a little bit” and “how do you not remember trying to kiss the best man?!”, that’s just a *bit* of an issue.
It’s getting harder to make these PLDs. Not in actually making the decision – I’m quite good at doing dumb things– but in the aftermath. It’s starting to feel like a chore, cleaning up after the things I do when I’m making them. It’s losing important things like a wallet or a phone, or accidentally making out with different strangers because I’m trying to distract myself from who even knows what. There’s a part of me that appreciates I’ve had the chance to be such a crazy person in this city because I have the most incredible support system, but the rest of me is ready to no longer require a friend to reassure me that I didn’t ruin everything while I’m in tears in a cab, frustrated and ashamed at actions that could have been avoided if I’d just listened to myself and slowed down.
When I moved to New York City back in 2010, I was this person who knew one thing really well: that I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I got a job in an industry I didn’t study in college, I took an apartment from Craigslist because it was close to my brother and frankly, there wasn’t even much of a thought process to NYC, only because I’d always told myself if I could live there, I would. And now five years later, I’m looking back on these unbelievable memories and half-memories, people I used to see all the time, places I haven’t been in years. I’ve watched my life evolve in ways I’d never have expected, and yet the one thing that’s stayed constant is making dumb fucking decisions that cause shame flashbacks for days, or sometimes weeks, on end.
Last night as I sat on my couch, I had a silly decision to make. Since the Whole30 in April, I almost never keep wine in the apartment anymore, after years of always having a bottle around “just in case.” Since essentially eliminating occasional glasses of booze on weeknights, I’ve felt like a teenager learning my limits as I’m out drinking with friends, trying to reconcile the reduced tolerance that comes with age and nights dedicated to yoga hours instead of happy hours. I’ve enjoyed not drinking the way that I used to, because I think it’s helped me push through some emotional baggage and physical milestones, and since not drinking on weeknights I’ve found a lot of clarity in things that used to cause anxiety. But last night, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to crack into a bottle my parents gave me ages ago, just to enjoy a glass while relaxing like old times. It’s funny to look at something as simple as having a glass of wine at home on a weeknight as something powerful and nostalgic, but it feels like I haven’t been that person who did that in a long time.
I stared at the bottle for a minute, and had a very distinct thought: I want to be that girl, just once more. Just for something as simple as tonight, at home in pajamas after watching two of my closest friends get married, I wanted to be the girl that danced on bars and remembered every minute with pride, the girl who had an extra glass of wine with a friend on a weeknight because we were young and hangovers seemed worth it. I wanted to be the early twenties LB in the smallest possible way for just a few minutes. Because I’ve realized very quickly in the past month that I’m not the same person I was anymore, I’m just not. And that means a lot of things are about to change. But for a brief moment, alone in my apartment on a Monday night, I wanted to be that same person – just once more.