‘What do you do in your spare time?’ It’s a bloody dull question, but one that seems to crop up a lot in the process of “getting to know people” (something which I personally, avoid like the plague).
I’ve really got to rack my brains when someone asks me this. I suppose I’d really like to love climbing hills or being out and about in nature (but I don’t even know how to access nature? Like seriously do you just turn up at some random hill…? IDK!). I used to read a lot too, but this has slowly been replaced by the mind numbing cycle of scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. I don’t even have the excuse of having some “nice-guy” boyfriend who I can go on lovely day trips and watch French art house cinema with (which let’s be honest, is 22% pretending to understand and 78% pretention).
Nope I suppose the only thing I can say with absolute certainty that I end up doing every weekend without fail is drinking! That is literally how I spend my free time, and it’s so depressing to think about. I’m a 21st century cliché- a single girl who likes a laugh and 12 million glasses of wine: a real Bridget Jones type!
And I used to love it, I had a lot of fun, I am a fantastic dancer and this is only amplified after having a couple on a Saturday night. But like anything which one finds enjoyment in life, this has inevitably lost its initial, fun appeal. I am bored of waking up the next day with a hangover and eating my body weight in Super Noodles (ok maybe not of Super Noodles because I freaking LOVE THEM!!). But in all seriousness, I feel like I am wasting away my whole life and health and money. Seeing as I am a young adult professional with a whole two days of weekend to fritter away- what can one do that doesn’t involve alcohol?
I remember last year when I attempted the classic Sober October (my Everest). I started off really well- I was loving it. I was bouncing off the walls with my new found health and vitality. I would go to a bar with my friends and order a coffee- very continental! But about half way through the month this weird peer pressure thing started. IDK if it is just Scotland, IDK if my friends are boozebags, IDK if I have the willpower of a tiny ant (probably the latter)- but literally after a while it felt like I was breaking some sort of weird social taboo by not drinking. People would give subtly funny looks, and you kind of start to wonder if maybe you actually aren’t fun without a drink. I mean is alcohol the secret to alcholols ?!!?! (sorry, that was a horrible pun). But in all seriousness it kind of feels like If you’ve set yourself up as someone who drinks and loves a party, then it’s almost impossible to then turn around and suddenly become Maria from the convent. Maybe this is purely psychological on my part, and I am simply a neurotic idiot who can’t say no. As the problem remains that I am a very restless person, and I suffer greatly from FOMO, and also how in the heck else will I ever meet the man of my dreams if I am not totally WREKT at 3am outside a club? I suppose the dreaded answer to these questions is trying to be a fun cool person who is confident all the time. And as someone who is very socially anxious that is a quite terrifying thought. I have a terrible blush reflex and a bad habit of forcing laughter even if I didn’t hear what the person said in the first place. But that is part of growing up and being an adult and learning to live with yourself. And once you get past the student stage it’s probably about learning that life isn’t always some giant party (at least not in the crazy way). Now as a 22-year-old, I feel significantly more mature than I did six months ago all the way back in October. I have morphed from an anxious grasshopper into a slightly larger, anxious grasshopper. And so I would like go ahead and officially proclaim that I am off the sauce, turning my life around, reading books, trying to find cool hobbies, trying to get along with everyone in my life, trying to be amazing at my job, trying not to be an idiot. Wish me luck.