Friday night then vs. Friday night now

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It wasn’t so long ago that my Friday nights looked very different than they do now. Lil on Coyote Ugly said it best when she said “Jim, Jack, Johnny Red, Johnny Black, and Jose; all my favorite men. You can have it any way you like it, as long as it’s in a shot glass.” Those were the days! Loud music, lots of dancing, men for days, and never an empty glass.

The lead up to Friday night was always fun! Laughter, excitement, the question of who I was going to meet would linger in the air, it was time to pick the right outfit, choose the right make up, style the perfect hair, nails done, shoes on, money and ID in my pocket and off we go. Music blaring, windows down, not a care in the world, I was off with my friends to enjoy the night that would carry over into whatever restaurant was open in the early morning hours to satisfy that drunken stomach begging for some delicious greasy food to soak up all of the alcohol.

Show up, to the bar, scan the crowd, make eye contact with the attractive man across the bar, laugh with friends, dance a little, flirt a little, play around a little. The night would sweep me away and make me feel like there was nothing else in the world except for the moment I was in. I was invincible… until the sun came up. As soon as it was light out appeal of the night was lifted and suddenly I found myself right where I had left myself before getting caught up in the hustle of the game. My house would feel quieter than it had the day before and I had to struggle to remember exactly what was so fun about the night that left me feeling empty. Saturdays were a drag as I would miss the intoxication of the night before.

Sometimes the high would carry on into the week as I chatted with and got to know that person that I had met while I was out. The thrill of the game of getting to know Mr. X was always fun. Flirting, harmless banter, plans to meet up later in the week. It was all fun and games until it wasn’t. No matter which scenario I found myself in, like any drug the high would eventually be gone and I would be off an looking for the next great thing to fill my time and give me the fix that I craved.

Friday nights look so much different for me now, they are filled with reality. Real life relationships. Friendships that don’t provide a temporary high leaving me empty and looking for something better. I don’t wake up Saturday morning feeling like I find myself right back where I left myself. Tonight was filled with more fun than any Friday night the party days offered. I was surrounded by friends, we laughed so hard that we had tears running down our faces, we talked about real things, we played games, ate food and created lasting memories. There are no more temporary boosts to my ego, but life giving moments in my life. Fridays are no longer spend with Jim, Jack, Johnny Red, Johnny Black and Jose, but they are spent with people who will still be in my life and adding value to my life tomorrow. I am no longer feigning for the next fix because the people in my life don’t leave me feeling like I am empty and needing a something stronger.

I have been filled to full for a few years now. Who knew that life could be so much fun without the assistance of the bottle and the game that so many of us have played? If you had told me 4 years ago that my life would look like it does now and that I would enjoy it, I would have laughed all of the way to Scottsdale. I would have still been laughing as I was dancing at the Revolver and working on my buzz. I would have told you that you were high and that you should probably move out of my way. I thought I was having fun.

There is something pretty cool about having friends who are my friends through everything. It is pretty amazing to realize that I have not looked at or even thought of my phone the entire time I am hanging out with my friends. I find myself surprised when hours have gone by and not only did I not realize that it truly has been hours, but that I was having so much fun I didn’t even think about being anywhere else. Probably the most awesome part is that I always leave my time with my friends feeling even more full of joy than before I spent time with them. Even better than that is that the next day feels better than the one before. There is nothing empty about my days. There is no false high or disappointment that follows.

I will choose my Friday nights of now over the Friday nights of then every single time!

Whoever said that church people could not be fun has never met my church people because these people are real and more fun than I could ever have imagined!

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