In the name of full disclosure, I should probably tell you that last night I was suffering from a bad case of Neon Kitchen Dance Party.
The side of effects of a Neon Kitchen Dance Party include: laughter, feelings of nolstagia, a sense of euphoria, gratitude, blurred vision and an inability to string a coherent sentence together when you sit down to write your blog at 2am.
When I returned home from a night of dancing in my friend’s neon clad kitchen, the only words I could get out were “I’m so grateful.”
My lack of proficiency in the English language was severely impacted by the amount of wine I’d imbibed and I suppose given the circumstances “I’m so grateful” would have made a sufficient post, but I wanted to explain why.
I’m so grateful that I’m not twenty anymore.
The party last night was in honour of a good friend’s thirtieth birthday. He and his partner had decorated their seventh story apartment in a neon-chic palate and as their home filled up with brightly attired party-goers, I looked around the room and realized just how grateful I am.
The evening was filled with deep and meaningful conversations with friend’s who amaze and inspire me and as the night rolled on, our laughter-filled conversation turned an epic 90’s inspired dance party.
When I was twenty, birthday parties were filled with hook-up drama and taking turns holding the birthday girl’s hair back. I don’t imagine we had much in the way of conversation – it was always too loud in the crowded bar to hear each other.
Which means I now have to confess that in my late teens and early twenties I was what you might call a Bar Star. Yup, I was that girl making out with a random guy in the middle of the dance floor. And yup, if I could go back in time and give my eighteen year old self a serious talking to, I wouldn’t hesitate to at all.
In my late teens and early twenties I gave a pretty serious shit about what everybody thought of me. Ironically, this led to some fairly questionable behaviour. In his stint as a bouncer, I was one of the two people that my boyfriend at the time had to kick out of the bar.
There is no part of me that is proud of my semi-sordid past, but I suppose my days as a disaster have informed the things I like about me now. In those days, as I hustled for acceptance and approval, I thought I had to party and drink as much as my peers. I said yes to every shot that was ordered and welcomed drinks bought for me by gullible men at the bar.
I spent most of those years in a committed relationship, but it didn’t stop me from being a tease. The love of my then- boyfriend just wasn’t enough for me. The depth of my self-hatred was too great for him to fill.
I don’t believe there is a wrong time to love someone, but at twenty years old I didn’t love myself enough to offer him the kind of love that he deserved. I didn’t love myself enough to offer it to anyone.
So my serious talking to wouldn’t be to admonish my twenty year old self for her sometimes pathetic behaviour, I would simply go back to tell her that she was and has always been, enough.
Smart enough. Beautiful enough. Wanted enough. Worthy enough.
Because as I looked around the room last night and caught J’s eye as he rocked out on the dance floor, I realized that somehow in the last few years, I have begun to love myself. And in the loving of myself, I am letting myself love the people in my life the way that they deserve to be loved.
And that’s reason enough to be grateful that we’re getting older.