One thing that I have really struggled with for the last two years is figuring out how to deal with the idea of alcohol, where I fit in with people who make the choice to drink, and what choice I make for my self in regards to alcohol and what that says about me. Sure, its easy to say that you are going to make the choice to not find self-worth in drinking, or for me, self-worth in the fact you don't drink. However, its harder to look at yourself and say "I am okay" when your peers do it. One could observe that this is the classic peer pressure situation, and I don't deny it. However, for me I find it a little more complex. Is it right to find self-worth in the fact that you don't drink? Or is the choice not to drink simply a side-effect of a much more significant life-style decision about what you value and how you interact with people?
Last night some friends and I went to a halloween bash at the local dance hall. The dance hall was customarily dark and was jam packed with girls in slutty butterfly costumes and guys with beer down their shirts. As one could expect, there was plenty of...how do I say this without sounding like a 12 year old...dirty dancing and "uninhibited sexual interactions" among the party-goers. Haha, I am not ignorant to the fact that this takes place, and this is not the first time I have delved into this realm. After about 10 minutes of dancing with friends, a young man prowling for the opportunity to grind with a random chick was hovering around us. Upon examining this guy further, it was obvious that he was way passed the point of being tipsy. He looked smashed. At one point, this young man made an attempt to grab my hand in pursuit to dance with me. Now, I don't know about you, and this could just be because I wasn't drunk enough to be down with having a slobbering club prowler rub all up on me, but I subtly jerked my hand away from this young mans grasp and boogied my way to a "safe distance" haha. 10 minutes later, my friend thought she lost her iphone 4 on the dance floor, which quite frankly freaked everyone out, and soon after we agreed that we weren't having fun and we left the dance hall.
As we were walking back to my side of campus, I began to feel really stupid and low as my mind formed a bunch of "why" questions in my head. WHY on earth did I not find that fun? WHY did I not want to dance with that guy? Its not like I'll ever see him again, right? Is there something wrong with me that I didn't find that fun? Am I no fun? WHY is it that so many of my friends actively pursue this? Am I over-thinking it too much? Was I supposed to be mindless about it? Whats the big deal about getting a little tipsy so I could have some fun in a situation like that? Am I immature? Am I more mature? Am I...BROKEN somehow? Am I Okay? GAH HOW EXHAUSTING!!!!
After sleeping on it and laying in bed this morning pondering it over, I slowly began to come to some sense as to why I didn't find this so much fun. I think I went through my slutty-girl phase back in my sophomore year in high school. I danced with multiple boys in one night and kissed multiple boys another night without guilt or worry. For the most part, it was mild stuff, but I do recall that my mindset about it was based on the fact that I enjoyed the attention and the process of figuring out what all this stuff was about. Then I met a boy and things changed. For the last two years I had been a part of a significant relationship that was probably beyond my years. For me, it was deeper than anything I saw last night. How do I go from being in a deep and significant relationship to dancing with a complete drunken stranger without feeling weird about it? I don't. Maybe it will take time for me to be in a different mindset where this could happen, but in all honesty, I do not think I will ever find getting drunk and mindlessly dancing with other drunken strangers fun. I have never really gone through life mindlessly doing things, and I honestly think that is just who I am. Progression, not regression.
Also, I do believe that a bar-like situation is a more intense side of the college drinking culture than simply a party. Perhaps I was in over my head. Thats okay, At least I know THAT isn't for me.
But I believe there is an even deeper lesson to be learned through this, and that is to be a peace with where you are in life. I desperately pray for peace in my heart, mind, and soul. In all honesty, if I step back and look at the subject of alcohol in the bigger picture of life, it really is insignificant. I have more fun sitting around watching a movie with a bunch of friends than I do getting tipsy, and I need to be at peace with that and accept that thats just who I am. I am okay. I am not broken, and its not an issue of whether I am more mature or not mature or whatever. I do not need to compare myself to my peers so harshly. I am okay.
Please pray that my mind (which has a tendency to over think such things) finds peace.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”