Baby Steps Aren’t My Style

Apr 30, 2013 by

          I had an amazing weekend! I went to Niagara to celebrate my friend’s 28th birthday with the lovely ladies from work. We tasted wines (ice wine = grape juice = yum!), got completely trashed, and danced the night away to songs we can’t remember. This was a big happiness step for me. One of the things I desperately need to work on is relearning how to be social. The fact that I was even invited to this birthday is a huge-ass leap for Maria-kind. This was the first birthday I’ve been invited to in years!

          Without my happiness experiment, this invite certainly wouldn’t have happened. In an attempt to kickoff happiness, I had made plans with some coworkers to go out Spanish dancing one Wednesday night in mid-March. Initiating plans with new people is not something I would’ve done before my happiness experiment. Sangria led to the best kind of team bonding: 10 pm happy hour, resulting in me being invited to Niagara at the end of April! Pushing myself to be social can yield successful results (see sangria).

          Truth be told, I almost missed the unbelievable weekend I had because I didn’t feel like going out, as usual. I was extremely anxious on Friday night and Saturday morning in anticipation of the birthday plans. I knew I was about to throw myself into a situation that involved a club full of people and an unconceivable amount of socializing. For people who fear people (i.e. me), this requires a significant amount of motivational self-talk (“Maria, you can do this!”) and a shitload of alcohol. Every possible excuse to get out of going was running through my head. Before I could completely scare myself out of it, I grabbed my keys and some Bacardi, and got my ass out the door. I am so glad that I did.

          I discovered that I can successfully socialize without Olivia. In fact, I was much more talkative than I am with people when Olivia is around. I had no one to be my buffer, and the best part is I realized that I don’t need one. I got to be just me; not the other half of a best friend package. Plus, the girls I was with often commented throughout the weekend that I’m funny! Their laughter in response to things that I said was a major confidence boost. I used to love when people told me that I was funny (circa 2008)! It’s been a while. Sad Maria has been far from amusing.

          I also found that bumping into people I used to know can be fun! (Before this past weekend, I’ve dreaded such encounters.) Randomly, while getting ready to go out, I saw two of my cousins in the hotel we were staying at. I haven’t seen them in ten years! It was quite the family reunion. We pre-drank, reminiscing about how the last time we saw each other we were ages 10, 13, and 13, sipping pop and juice at their aunt’s wedding. I told them to say hi to their mom for me, but to leave out the part about me chugging coconut rum.

          Knowing that I needed to survive a night of clubbing, which I stopped enjoying at the age of 18 (there is something about being old enough to legally do something that causes the excitement to fade), I had to prepare myself. Rum, vodka, sangria, and Jager were up for the task. The last time I was legitimately drunk was in Rome at the end August/beginning of September, so I was due for a blurry night hosted by mixed drinks. We had a fabulous time! Even the birthday girl, who hates both dancing and clubs (but wanted to do it up big for her champagne), did not sit down the entire night.

          Aside from killing it on the dance floor with my coworkers-turned-friends, my lips may have repeatedly reunited with an irresistibly cute guy I bumped into after four years. I last saw him during an eventful backseat make out session when I was 19. (Fun fact: I’ve been busted by the cops for making out in a car. Aren’t those peeps supposed to be fighting crime or something?) I literally wrapped my legs around him when I saw him (not my finest drunken moment). My night went from a club to a heated elevator ride pretty quickly. Life is insanely random sometimes. I’m learning to embrace the spontaneity.

          The next morning, I strolled into the hotel room at 6:30 am to find my friends groggily making room for me in the bed. They, along with two guys I was sure I hadn’t met the night before, had struggled to stay awake all night to make sure that I safely returned to the hotel. They waited up for me until somewhere between 5 am and 6 am! Even the two guys I didn’t know were genuinely happy to meet me safe and sound, letting me know that I have really good friends. My heart melted. I really, really do.

Happiness Tip: Let yourself go!

 
Previous: Fear of Loss Next: Life on Sunshine Mode
 

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