A job I recently looked into required writing samples, which meant digging down into my archives to see what I could scrounge up. In doing so, I stumbled upon an old journal I kept during my internship in London, summer of 2005. It was absolutely hilarious to read back on – my perceptions, insights, and ideas. I had almost forgotten what a special summer that was, and I how lucky I was to share it with my old friend B at such a pivotal, transitional time for both of us.
There was one entry that was particularly interesting. Of the two of us, I was the outgoing party girl, while B was the quieter one who wore her insecurities on her sleeve. She had another good friend that I met in Wales, who was probably three times the party girl I was. I documented a conversation B and I had about how intimidated she was when we went out – how she simultaneously envied and felt threatened by our social dominance, and wished she could be more like us, and comfortable with that sort of behavior.
Now, I’ve expended lots of energy and wasted a lot of breath defending my lifestyle and choices over the years – but in that moment with B, I wrote that I told her “You don’t want to be like us. It’s not really a good thing and I’m not particularly proud of it in the scheme of things.”
I was amazed at my insight at that time, especially because it was even before I truly got into clubbing and nightlife at my peak. And while I did need some defending over the years – I never got into drugs and never slept around, contrary to popular belief – I did create an image for myself that I have a certain amount of regret for now.
It appears that even in those days, I knew I was on unstable ground and chasing a path that probably wasn’t great for me. While I never did anything blatantly bad, I walked a very fine line and put myself in many compromising situations. I was emotionally suppressed and often not as in control of the situation as I should have been. In many ways, I probably was not likable to many people – but very desirable to many of the wrong people, for the wrong reasons. I didn’t take life (or myself) too seriously. Ultimately, I was disrespecting myself.
It’s made me wonder – was I right, or was I wrong? I’m naturally a social being. I love to dance, and to dress up, and to meet new people. I’m also (like many people) insecure and in need of acceptance. I like attention. I don’t think it was wrong for me to embrace being a party girl to an extent, but I think I partially did it for the wrong reasons. It sprouted out of a need for belonging and popularity more than I would ever have admitted back then.
I was very self-conscious and did not have many friends in high school – being the smart, focused, good girl didn’t do me many favors. My home life was not stable and I sought solace by escaping with frivolity and fun as soon as I had the opportunity. Looking back on those days and (hazily) remembering some of those nights, it’s really a miracle I didn’t get in over my head. I owe staying above the worst of it to a few really good friends watching out for me, and of course the remnants of a strong upbringing, knowing what is right and wrong.
I still love to party, and I have had sooo many fun nights and crazy memories – as every young person should. I’ve met interesting people and learned so much about myself in the meantime. In more recent years, I’ve just done it more responsibly, and tried to stay above the fray. At the same time, it’s become less important to me. It’s actually way more fun when it’s not a lifestyle, but a treat!
It’s just amusing to look back and see that I realized what I was doing and getting into all along… but I did it anyway. I guess it was my way of living dangerously and rebelling, even though I denied it till I was blue in the face and just assumed critics were jealous. And here I am now…married, boring, and getting significantly more sleep… Bad Kitty, retired… at least somewhat 😉