I decided to write something different today. Knowing full well this account is connected to people I know, and being unafraid to put myself out there for fear of judgment.
Here it is:
I went to a party on the Fourth of July. I was twenty-nine, two months away from turning the big three-oh. I remember anticipating this party and finding it annoyingly intimidating. These were friends of ours who were all at similar stages in their lives. Successful entrepreneurs, people with enviable career achievements. All in healthy marriages with beautiful babies.
Not enough fuck-ups for my liking.
I went with the goal of looking effortlessly, casually current — using looks to offset achievements. I aimed to be an active listener, impartial to the alarming differences between them and me. Me: a high school graduate, unmarried, with shit self-esteem, and some broker licenses that one could only feel so proud of for so long.
Before we left for this party I made myself a gin & club soda. Heavy on the gin. While present I drank two entire red solo cups worth of the red wine I brought for the couple hosting. I don’t remember if I drank much else, but I do remember talking the ear off someone about how badly Peter Jackson eviscerated The Hobbit. Wondering the entire time how purple my lips were.
On my way home, my boyfriend drove the car I was supposed to drive home. I remember telling him before the party that I’d drive, claiming with all of the purity I could muster: “I’ll probably only have one drink.” I threw the wine up all over my seatbelt, and my “casually current” top, I didn’t even try to aim for anything else.
The funniest part wasn’t the crying in the shower, but the selfie I took in my car before the event where I captioned it something shitty like: “Because it’s still okay to take car selfies, right?”
Something to keep in mind when you’re comparing yourself to people. To friends with a highlight reel of the best shit they’ve ever done. Smiling photos of babies, new homes, pets, and vacations.
Everyone has a before-photo of something else.
No one’s life is made up entirely of a highlight reel.