June 19th 2014
Story originally written and experienced: April 13th 2011
“I’m sorry, but I can’t go.”
I told Charlotte. As I loaded my backpack with half-cRiNkLeD papers and few pens just in case.
“Oh come on, why not?”
“Because. I have a 10 page Spanish paper due tomorrow and margaritas and motor skills don’t exactly go together.”
“…Well…what better way to write a Spanish paper than with a margarita in your hand?”
There we were. 14 minutes later. Occupying both a booth and a menu at the local “El Burrito Loco” with $1.99 margaritas in our desperate and happy hands.
…And fried cheesecake too.
We ate a lot.
Talked a lot.
And I wrote my Spanish paper.
…And by paper I mean paragraph.
And by paragraph I mean 56 words…
…And by 56 words I mean only 33 were coherent.
And by 33 were coherent I mean only 16 were real…
In between typing shit out on my laptop, (mostly expending that energy towards googling cat memes) for us to laugh:
And of course
Charlotte and I drunkenly segued into other topics of conversation, and eventually she told me that she was “really glad I came.”
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m doing research,” I said as I took a big sIP of my marg and called the waiter over for more.
“Way to immerse yourself into the culture,” she replied with a half-smile on her face. And then continued. “You know honestly, when I really think about it, when I look back on this last week of this utopia. College. In general. This is what I want to remember. Getting drunk with you days before finals. Getting our papers done eventually but not forgetting to do this.”
“I’m really good at remembering things, Charlotte. Especially (and ironically) when tequila is involved.”
We both laughed. Cheersed a few more times. And then headed home.
We both got our paper done. Graduated a few weeks later. And then went our separate ways to grad school while the other pursued internships and jobs.
But I never forgot that night.
Because the thing is.
Charlotte was right.
And not necessarily in the “Hey, that was fun.”—kind of way. But in the “That was a good idea.” —kind of way.
And I thought that for a long time. Carried that notion in my back pocket. For years. And eventually it translated into:
The—I’m tired. I’m spent. I’m exhausted. But I’m going to dinner with a good friend anyway—kind of way.
The—I’ve got a lot of work to do. And I’m busy. And I’m stressed. But I’m going to take a lunch break anyway—kind of way.
The—I don’t have much money. I’m trying to save up. I shouldn’t be buying this. But I’ve worked really hard, so maybe just this once—kind of way.
The—I can’t start a blog. I’m too busy. And I’m scared. Fuck it I’ll give it a go—kind of way.
And suddenly I found myself at this intersection of
where I was:
A little more tired
A little bit busier
Sort of stressed out
Panicking about the future
And at that intersection I found sanity. satisfaction. a better mood. pizza. friends.
Believe or not, you really can have both. It’s vital to have both. It’s healthy to have both. It’s fucking great. To have both.
And once you realize that? And you’re okay with that? And you actually decide to pack up and go?
I’ll meet you there.