I’m writing this while working through the weekend (again), it’s seven in the morning on a Sunday. I’m staring out the window and it’s a beautiful day. I’m having a moment of reflection and I’m kind of wondering just what in the hell happened to me?
There was a time, and it wasn’t so long ago, that I didn’t know what seven in the morning on a Sunday looked like. I was more likely to see it by staying up all night partying then I was to be showered and two cups of coffee into the day. And to be completely honest, I don’t miss the lifestyle anymore.
I think most us will eventually reach that point, where we would rather have a full eight hours of sleep and miss $2 beer night. For some, it will be a nice gradual step down through their mid-to-late twenties. Manageable and not a little bit soul crushing. And for others, it will be just like flipping a switch… at an unfairly young age. I can pinpoint the exact moment where I stopped, looked around, and decided it wasn’t fun anymore.
I was at the embarrassingly young age of 22 at a Drop Kick Murphy’s concert. I was down on the floor, a few sheets to the wind, my body taking all the abuse one can expect by being in the pit at a punk concert. I had just caught yet another elbow to the face and instead of getting into it like many there were, I was starting to get pissed and beyond annoyed.
“22?!”, you ask. Yes, 22. I told you it was unfair.
To fully understand my plight, I need to explain some of my history to you. I hail from a part of the country, where at least at that time, underage drinking, like very young underage drinking, was not only begrudgingly socially accepted, it was pretty much the cultural norm.
I was 14 when I started drinking. And I don’t mean stealing a couple of beers from the garage fridge. I mean killing a 30 pack of Keystone in a weekend. By 16 or so, I was exhibiting most of the social symptoms of a seasoned alcoholic. By the time I got to college, I had largely given up on beer because it wasn’t as efficient as cheap vodka or whiskey.
I want to be very clear here: I am in no way bragging about this. I am not proud of it. I was ridiculously stupid and my son WILL NOT have the opportunity to be that damned dumb. This is just letting you know that by the time I turned the legal drinking age, I already had seven years of hard partying and drinking under my belt. Combined with having a fake since I was nineteen and a stereotypical fraternity experience, by the time I was twenty-one, going out to tie one on had lost most of its allure. Seven years later, I don’t miss it.
I still stuck it out that fateful night. I didn’t realize what was happening at the time. The massive transition from young adult to (mostly) fully functioning adult. It actually didn’t fully hit me until much later, but rest assured, everything changed in an instant.
These days, if I buy a six-pack, five are most likely to go to waste. I don’t even answer calls after 10 p.m. Don’t judge me, you jackals.
So let’s have it. I know I’m not alone. Tell us your “I can no longer hang” story in the comment section below. This is a safe place (just kidding, I’m gonna get ripped apart for posting this and so will you if you are foolish enough to tell your story). We all want to hear how it happened to you..
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