Grow Up

I’ve Got Friends in High Places

I spent my weekend camping under the stars and frolicking in a beautiful area of Northern California called Lake Clementine. It’s two tiny lakes nestled down in a small canyon, just north of Auburn heading toward Foresthill. You can only access your campsite by boat, and the road leading in and out of Clementine is only wide enough for one vehicle at a time. Your first thoughts upon arrival: SKETCHY. But this is immediately overruled by the almost fairy-tale feeling you get when you pull your boat away from the dock.

There is just absolutely no feeling like roughing it for two days and getting (almost) completely away from your daily routine and the annoyances of technology. Two peaceful days couldn’t have been better spent. And the best part of the whole weekend: spending it with recovering addicts – people who can find fun somewhere besides the bottom of a bottle.

So while the boys broke in their new wakeboards, the two girls did what girls do best – gabbed. And got to know each other.

It seems to me that more and more these days we cling to this Peter Pan complex of refusing to grow up. We have so little desire to be monogamous – men like to wait before they’ve been established in their careers before they start wife-hunting. And sometimes then it’s too late – they’re so accustomed to being a bachelor that it’s impossible to ease a woman into daily life. Women are in a phase of feminism and feeling a sense of power in refusing monogamy; being a “slut,” in a sense. Most of us have been planning our dream wedding since we were kids – we want a WEDDING, but it doesn’t really matter who we marry.. “If you’re unhappy, just get a divorce.” And technology – it’s making us crazy! My boyfriend and his ex are friends on Facebook and just started following each other on Instagram – they must still be into each other.. RIGHT?! This constant power struggle is making me want to rip my hair out and scream. As if it’s not exhausting enough that most of us have pets to take care of and a full-time job to get to five days a week, ON TOP OF all the outside drama that the pressures of our daily lives create.

A boyfriend once said to me, “If you’re around nine dull pencils, you will be the tenth. If you’re around nine sharp pencils, you will be the tenth.” This weekend, this quote really resonated with me.

I was raised by a close-knit, morally sound family. My parents and my dad’s parents went to college and got degrees. They are extremely successful and well-off. My sister and I were taught manners and morals from the very beginning. You address your elders as “Mr.” and “Mrs.” You mind your P’s and Q’s. When you eat at friends’ houses you eat everything on your plate regardless of whether or not you like it, and you say “Thank you for dinner,” even if you absolutely despised the entire meal.

Until I went to college, I lived a pretty sheltered life. And not by any doing of my parents, I can assure you of that. I was painfully shy – I played soccer and went to school. I had a couple of neighborhood friends, but mostly I was happy with my nose in a book or hanging out with my parents. Perhaps this is why I gravitate towards people who are wild and dramatic. Everything that happens to them is taken to a level of a four-alarm-fire. All the activities we engage in revolve around alcohol and getting our next fix. This is neither healthy nor progressive. The only difference between where I am now and where I was when I was 23 is my job – I no longer work in a restaurant. Woo hoo. Big friggin deal. I still get up every Saturday and wonder where weekly mimosas with “girlfriends” are taking place.

This past weekend I had a chance to see a different way of life. I spent the weekend with people who realized that the way they were living (basically the way I am now) was getting them no where. They weren’t happy and they made a change. Seeing how happy they are now just simply getting up every single day and living that day to the absolute fullest motivates me to want to be just like that. The tenth sharpest pencil.

This weekend I was happy. I traded the bottom of a beer can for the bottom of a Monster can. I read a book, went fishing, and roasted marshmallows around a campfire instead of going to a bar and blowing money on drinks. I woke up this morning completely sober, and stumbled into the bathroom because turning the overhead light on was blinding, not because my drunk from the weekend hadn’t worn off yet.

This weekend completely solidified my plans for a healthy, happy summer. I hadn’t completely committed myself to it yet, but now I have. I want this summer to be the best one yet – and not because of drinking; but because I fully enjoyed every aspect of my life in every way I possibly could.

To everyone in this world that is holding on to their youth and having a desperate feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) because you’re at work and the idiots who don’t have a 9-5 are out partying – DON’T FEEL THAT WAY. You’re growing up and moving on – time to leave all the partying behind. Time to settle in to your future and to TRULY see what this amazing life has in store for you – because I can assure you, you weren’t put on this earth to get drunk on a boat or at a bar every weekend. It’s time to grab life by the *ahem* balls and strive to be the best, most successful person you could ever hope or want to be.