...when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again... (Throwback jam by Ahmad - anyone?!)
Don't worry; I'm not trying to say 29 is old - I'm saying 29 is NOT 23 and there is a HUGE difference in those 6 short years!
At 23... You're an "adult"; you are done with Undergrad, probably working full-time, living on your own (depending on what part of the country you live in and/or your need for independence), and you've learned to truly appreciate the finer aspect of *finally* being over 21! In other words, you think you know it all, you can still party like a rockstar until well after sunrise and somehow still function at work all day without anyone being the wiser. After all, you have a college-kid's enthusiasm for alcohol but are making more money than you ever have before... Besides "you'll sleep when you're dead"! It is one of the most fun, carefree times of your life!!
At 29... You look back at 23 and just laugh. What WERE you thinking?! How did you ever survive?? ...and, more importantly, what happened that you suddenly need 8 hours of sleep again and start hoping to hear last call so you can go home and take those damn shoes off?! God knows you'll never walk barefoot back to Penn ever again!!
You still ...LOVE a fun girls night with an awesome DJ and a dance floor; ...laugh and roll your eyes at every drunk skeeze ball that tries to dance all up on one of you (sometimes the b!tch comes out when they're over the top); ...go crazy when the DJ mixes in 112, old school Mariah or Madonna... And you smile and enjoy EVERY second of it!!!
Until... The new 23 year olds you're surrounded by are suddenly passed buzzed and into full on D-RUNK! That's when you start to remember the less than finer moments of nights like that. The need to be lifted on to a speaker and join the "hoe train" is about 6 years past desirable. In fact, you freeze on the dance floor and watch the obliterated "adult" and just hope that she demonstrates at least a fraction more of self-respect in daytime hours... And that at least one of her friends is keeping an eye on her - and the scivatz who has also frozen to watch, but for very different reasons.
So you close your tab... And will actually remember doing so the next day.
The strange part is... Yes, there's a part of you that misses the carefree debauchery of your early 20s. But more so, you're relieved to be past those years and truly an adult. My 23 year old self would have laughed in my face if she knew I'd be saying this in just 6 short years! Actually, my friends still make a face when they see I've switched over to water or when I turn down the "opportunity" to rally at an after-hours party.
Don't get me wrong... Hanging out with my girls when there's good music, space to dance and good drinks in hand will ALWAYS be a favorite thing of mine. I will continue to have nights where I am absolutely NOT the driver and where I'll be up until sunrise. The difference is, I've finally learned how to have fun in other ways and I don't make plans to be 23 every weekend, for three-nights in a row. Like I've been saying...
There is clearly no need to be almost 30 and in a club that allows kids under 25 to enter!