I hardly ever go out on Friday nights, and I honestly cannot remember leaving a bar at 2 am (or later) sober. Well…tonight, both occurred. I guess there really is a first for everything, even this (unheard of) scenario for this little Chicago-living OU alum. Crazy, right?
In celebration of my friend’s birthday, we ventured out for a Friday night in Chicago and,despite Sarah and I both relaying our tiredness at 11 am, we ended up staying out until the 2 am closing. In fact, they turned the lights on and shooed us out- which is something I cannot remember happening since my college nights at Pigskin… and I most certainly wasn’t sober on those nights.
We had a few bottles of wine between us at dinner before heading to a bar in Lincoln Park. Immediately upon getting there I made sure to getmy (second) Red Bull in me, reasoning that caffeine, and not alcohol, was going to get me through the remainder of the night. I sat in the bar talking with Sarah and engaging in conversations with friends-of-friends, while also taking in the scene of primarily drunk college students: A scene I used to know too well. But that’s the story of my past.
To entertain myself, but this time while sober, I started my typical conversations with couples to find out how they first met. Listening to the stories of “we met in college at a bar” and “we met in college at a party”, I found myself scanning the crowd of boys. To give them all the benefit of the doubt instead of partaking in tool bashing, I’ll say that none of them appealed to me. Which made me think of Nick, the guy I met at the bar in Columbus a few weeks ago. (The one Jim set up to talk to me.) How did I get so lucky to meet and talk with such a great guy? Like I’ve said, he’s proof that good guys are still out there…even at the bar.
Sooooo much to say. But given the fact that I just got home (surprisingly sober) and my alarm is going off in less than 3 hours, I’m going to keep this post very, very short. To be honest, if I had time and energy to write then I’m not really quite sure what I would say. See, tonight was extremely interesting. Besides my friends, tonight was evidence of why I question my place in Chicago. If you only knew the things I saw…
Again, I could so much but then again I’m not even sure where to start. There’s a lot on my weary mind right now…including many questions about many topics…but right now I think it’s best to just hit “Publish”; turn off my light; cuddle up under my covers; and think about how I’m going to see little Hazel and George in 11 hours. They are exactly what I need right now, as well as quality time with Rebecca and Adriana.
Yesterday was a very long day. The alarm went off at 4 am and I think finally shut my bedroom light off around midnight. Those hours may or may not paint a clear-enough picture, but like I said, “It was a very long day.” Both a good day and maybe a bad day (at parts); a fun day and an emotionally-draining day. It was just another day, but it also proved to be much, much more than just another day.
After trekking to the suburbs for a work day at my supervisor’s house, I enjoyed a dinner out with her and her two teenage daughters. While spending time with them I recalled my teenage years and how awful complicated tricky (?) they were, making me want to let them know that I’m happy to be a supportive confidante in their life. Like Alisha, I now feel like an older sister to Laura & Liz, and I want all three of them to always know that they can count on me. They never have to feel alone. I want all of my friends to know this. Sure the teenage years are tricky/complicated/awful but so are the years that follow. None of you are ever alone. I’m always here for you. And yesterday, I realized (again) that I’m not alone either.
(Thank you, Adriana and Stef.)
On the train ride back to Union Station, my tired mind decided to do something that led to finding something out. (Yes, I’m going to be very vague here. Sorry.) Something I’ve claimed I wanted to know for while, but last night proved that instead it was something that I needed to know. It’s okay. I’m okay. But I will definitely say that my already-broked heart shattered into a million pieces in a milisecond, as I sat on the train- alone- feeling absolutely nothing at all. No real sadness nor anger…at least not for awhile. I curled my legs into my core and wrapped my arms around my knees just to feel something. I needed to feel something. Once I finally began to feel something, the sadness, the anger, the foolishness, and the confusion began to set in. While I wanted to be alone with my thoughts and feelings, I knew I’m blessed to have many someones to rely on during moments like this. So instead of allowing myself to be alone, which is typical ‘me’, my fingers texted Adriana. I’m glad they let her be there for me. I’m glad I have her to count on.
After getting off the train and waiting for the bus, I figured it was best to head home and call it an early night. It was (only) 8 pm, but with the upcoming night and next week’s trip to Cinci I thought it was best. So I attempted to cancel my coffee/tea date at Starbucks with Stef, but immediately upon hearing her voice on the other line I realized that it was best for both of us that we still met. She needed me and I needed her. After all, that’s what friends are for. Stef and I indulged in our ‘bucks and always-wonderful conversations about work, life choices, boys, and soul-searching, learning more how comforting it is to have someone else who understands you.
I only wish I learned this sooner, but then again I know that it’s the friends I have now that were the best teachers to help me through this lesson.
I thought I’d be a bit of a wreck after Stef left, thinking too much about what happened earlier in the evening; however, our talk and my tiredness soothed my mind enough to allow me to pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow. But this morning proved to be a different story as I woke up with my lovely ‘friend’ Anxiety on top of head. I kept going back to sleep for increments of 15-30 minutes, before finally waking up at 9 am. With packing & cleaning for my week in Cinci with Rebecca, Hazel, and George ahead of me, I’ve been in a panic all day as I try to get everything done AND deal with Anxiety’s troubling thoughts before heading out for my Halloween night adventures with Sarah, Jenny, and Nicole. Halloween: The perfect day to put on a costume and cover-up all your worries.
How do I feel today? Confused and foolish. But I could make it a lot worse by sitting here with my worries and regrets, wondering ‘what if’, and feeling alone. Do I want to do that? Yes Maybe A little bit. But that really isn’tme and if I’ve learned anything since moving here 2 years ago, it’s that I’m not alone and so I should never let myself feel that way (on purpose). Instead I’ll put on my red shoes and a “sassy” (not-at-all slutty) Elmo costume and have a night out with Cookie Monster, Cupid, and Snookie (Sarah, Jenny, and Nicole respectively) for an unplanned, eventful night in Chi-town. And tomorrow morning, bright-and-early, I will throw my Elmo costume in my suitcase and head out for a Megabus ride to Cinci to see all of my kids- including Hazel & George- reminding me ago that I’m definitely not alone.
Yesterday’s discovery is definitely going to hurt for awhile, but I with tonight’s adventure with the ladies, next week in Cinci with the Littletons and Adriana, and my upcoming trip to Columbus with Stef, my brother, and a bunch of Ohio friends, I know I’m going to be okay. I may feel a bit lost right now, but there’s nothing better being in the company of people that you love and love you back.
Have a great night, everyone. My mom ‘believes’ that I’m going to meet the love of my life tonight, but I digress. Rather me, maybe you will. And if you do, I’ll give you her advice: “Don’t push him away” even if he is wearing a toolish and/or foolish costume. It’s underneath the costume that matters. His heart.
Song of the Moment: I Won’t Let Go by Rascal Flatts (Thanks Stef!)