Yes, it’s another collaboration post with my blogging buddy Bill! I mentioned this topic to him a bit ago, and he decided he’d like to join in on the fun!
This week, I thought I would share all about how I was when I was young and wild with no worries or inhibitions.
…yes, that is a lie. April fools! If you hang out around here regularly, I’m sure that I didn’t fool you with my clickbait-y title. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t very serious and concerned, worried about everything. I was that kid who always took things too seriously. I never had a time in my life when I was wild and crazy because I was already thinking about college in middle school, and every moment after was spent thinking about my career and life choices.
As a child, I always had a very strong sense of duty. Every time I got into a car, I dutifully put on my seatbelt. I would actually revel in the fact that I understood the importance of seatbelts and that I was following the rules. I felt the same way about taking my multivitamin every day. Just because they were tasty didn’t mean that I should take more than one. I was proud to understand that I couldn’t take more than one a day and restrained myself from doing so. This carried throughout my school years as I received accolade after accolade for my good behavior. At least now I don’t have an intense fear of disappointing authority. Heh heh. Heh. Sigh.
In elementary school, I preferred to avoid participating in recess. Playing outside during the school day just didn’t appeal to me. I preferred to sit inside with the teachers and a few other students to read and chat. I was also obsessed with getting perfect grades. Getting anything less than 100% was disappointing, anything less than 80% was devastating. It will probably come as no surprise that this amount of pressure caused me to be a very stressed child. I had my first breakdown when I was in the eighth grade. I simply felt as though the work kept piling up and that I couldn’t keep up with it. Little did I know that this would continue every day through the rest of my life. Since then, I chronically over-worry about everything and stress about doing everything perfectly. I live in a constant fight-or-flight trying to remind myself that most things are not life or death. Hell, even driving a car was too terrifying for me. I didn’t get my license for several years after I was eligible and then didn’t drive regularly for several more because the idea that I could hurt someone with my car was debilitating.
As a high school senior, we had several rebellious traditions like “senior cut day” where everyone went to the beach to drink and “senior sleepout” where everyone slept at the lake overnight to, well, drink. When I asked a classmate what senior sleepout was all about, I was told that it was a way to “get all of the illegal out of my system before college.” To which I responded, “I don’t have any illegal in my system.”
Senior skip day was spent shopping with a friend. Senior sleepout was spent prepping my valedictorian speech at home. While several of my classmates were sneaking out of their houses or getting drunk and disorderly, my friends and I were playing rousing games of Apples to Apples, sometimes even with my parents (photographic evidence below…yes, we are the coolest)!
A “crazy night” when I was in high school was going out to dinner with my friends to our favorite Chinese restaurant followed by bringing ice cream back to my house and playing video games. A crazy night now is…well, pretty much the same thing. Any time my friends come to my house, that’s usually what the agenda looks like: eating, video games, chatting, TV, and me falling asleep by 9! In fact, I never needed a curfew because my parents knew that, if I did go out, I would be home to go to bed before 10 on any given night. And don’t even try to get me to go out after 8. That’s a non-starter. What can I say, constant stressing over nothing and everything at the same time takes a lot out of you.
As you all know, I was in a sorority in college. Even considering the crazy reputation that college sororities have, I was still the same overly-careful and super boring person. Sure, my sorority’s reputation was that we had the best GPA on campus, but that still counts, right? The only college party I went to was a party with a pajama theme, and I literally wore the clothing that I was planning on wearing to bed later. In fact, before one party, my roommate and I hung out with some friends in an apartment across the hall from ours, then when everyone left for the party, I slipped back into our apartment and went straight to bed. Getting a good night’s sleep will always be the most exciting thing in my book.
Even now, I’m not quite sure I have this whole “party” thing down. I’ve spent much of my recent life relating to people through existential dread and trauma, and at parties, I just can’t shut that part of my brain off. Trauma and depression are just the topics I can find the most common ground on. My favorite activity is TV binging. My favorite drinks are water, tea, and matcha lattes. Whenever I have too much free time, I take on more jobs. I’m just not fun to talk to because I’m not fun. At this point, when someone sarcastically makes the comment, “wow, you must be fun at parties,” I take it as a compliment. Hey, at least I’m self-aware…
In real life and on this blog, I bring up frequently that I mostly hang out at home on the couch. This is not an exaggeration. Nowadays, Dan and I spend nights and weekends curled up on the couch watching TV and decompressing from the week while my parents go out with their friends. Seriously, while my parents have plans every Friday and Saturday night, Dan and I are falling asleep on the couch by 9:30. They go out to dinner or to bars with their friends and are out until 11 pm at the very least. They come home to us asleep on the couch. My parents, who are 30 years older than we are, are far wilder than I’ve ever been or will ever be. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a low bar, but still.
Sometimes, I like to imagine a world where I don’t care about anything. I don’t worry about my job performance or staying hydrated or whether or not I’ll ever be able to function in the “real world.” I imagine how peaceful it would be if I lived my life carefree and did whatever I wanted to do all of the time without worrying about consequences. Just sipping matcha lattes, people watching, writing, or texting. No pressure to do more things and not worry about being a complete failure. Doesn’t that sound great?
In this imaginary world, I sleep a lot better. Then again, if it’s going to be my imaginary world, I’d also be a superhero with the abilities to fly, shapeshift into any animal, and make quesadillas appear out of nowhere with my mind. Also my blog ratings would be through the roof. What? It’s my imaginary world! If I can imagine anything I want, why not some extra views and delicious quesadillas? Oooh, and buffalo chicken pizza…
You can find Bill’s post about his “young, wild days” here!
Photography by my talented fiancé. You can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hope_grows_here/