Blame it on the…

So, listen. Or read. Obviously I’m not verbalizing any of this and none of you know me, so listening to what’s happening around you is going to distract you from reading. And this is important.

When did our generation decide that all social endeavors would take place around alcohol?

Is it that we’re uncomfortable being ourselves if we’re not a little inebriated? Is it that we can’t be around other people without some kind of liquid courage? Is it that our lives are that hard? I mean, we’re in our 20s. This is not that hard. This is the beginning of adulthood. If we feel we need to numb ourselves now, this early in the game, I think we’re probably doing it wrong.

I’m not being judgmental (well, maybe a little). I spent my early- to mid-20s in an entry level job that I hated, going to as many happy hours as I could fit into the week, and it was mostly because that was the only thing my coworkers and I had in common. Maybe that’s why this is such a prevalent social practice in my age group. We don’t know how to make friends otherwise.

Now, that would all be well and good, and I would continue to participate in it, if I hadn’t decided three years ago that I wanted to be healthier than I was (and skinnier, and in better shape, and… well, you know). I learned too much. I learned the calorie count in a vodka tonic (my favorite drink at the time), not to mention the brutal truth that alcohol is converted to sugar and makes you retain fat. Hot, right? Oh yeah, and it’s poison. Minor detail.

And then I learned, several times, that it’s really easy for me to gain all that weight back and really hard to get it to go away again. That’s been kind of an annoying recurring lesson.

It’s frustrating, because I have a lot of fun when I drink. Barriers are down. I’m a fairly straightforward person ordinarily, but I know when not to say things – it’s fun to let go of that for a little while. It’s fun to dance and not care if I look like an idiot, and it’s fun to flirt with boys and not over-think what I’m saying. But there must be another way to do that. There must be another way to meet new people on neutral ground without having pre-defined common interests. 

I don’t want my life to be about counting calories, and I don’t want to be that girl at the bar with a sparkling water, and I really want to both meet people (in person, not on the interwebs) and fit into my skinny jeans. Is there a solution to this? Have I just been hanging out with the wrong people?

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