I was lucky enough to spend all of Friday through Sunday in Chicago – visiting some of my favorite people who also happen to be my closest and best friends from college. It’s bazaar to me that it has been over two years since I had seen most of them… How fast time goes once graduation is celebrated and real jobs and real lives commence. It was an incredible weekend and it made me all the more aware of 1) how much I miss my friends, 2) how low my drinking tolerance is, and 3) how living in Dallas is really like living in a bubble – a bubble I have come to love.
78% of my friends live in Chicago. The other 22% are in New York. To be 100% honest, I had always felt very bitter and resentful that I was the one friend living in a city essentially by myself. Lots of loneliness and whining about how hard it was to have no already established close friends nearby aside from Sally (who is my best friend but sister first). Obviously it was my choice to move to Dallas, and I could have tried to find a job in either of the cities where my friends flocked to after school but I took the easy route and moved to where I had a long-standing job offer and affordable living waiting for me. I don’t want to knock Dallas – it has become my home and I really do love it. What they say about Texans is true, they are friendly to a fault… But it is not easy to make friends when you did not grown up there, did not go to any local schools, work for a company where you are the youngest (by several years), and everyone pretty much has their group established and friendships have been tied up for years. It’s not like I am married with kids and can make friends by the default school connections or what have you. And I feel like I have a right to acknowledge how alone and depressed I felt!
It took me a while to snap out of my bitterness (bitter at myself? The situation? I think it was both). Moving in with Sally a little over a year ago helped tremendously. Starting a new job in a totally different work environment with more people my age made things even better. And getting to know more and more Dallas bloggers and other sweet girls has been the best thing to happen yet. I stopped wallowing and was determined to put an effort into being social in my city and proactive about inviting friends to come and visit me and planning trips to see them. These girlfriends are who I plan to force to be in my bridal party someday… And even if we aren’t able to talk all the time or see each other as much as we’d like, when we are together we just pick up where we left off and it’s easy and ridiculously fun. I can’t even put into words what it’s like being with them and how hard it is living without them.
We are a fun group… And it almost felt like I was re-living my college “glory” days while visiting them. As boring as I am now, I like to think that I was pretty fun for most of the four years I spent in college. I don’t really know how all you readers feel about drinking, but let’s just say that I enjoy having a few and in college I was able to keep up pretty well. Fast forward to where I am now and aside from the one to two glasses of wine I have in a week, I really don’t drink like I used to. So this weekend I guess I thought that my body would perform just like it did in college and knocking back drinks with my friends would be as easy as it seemed… Ugh… Nope. Wrong, so very wrong. You know in Finding Nemo when Nemo is trying to swim out and touch the boat and his dad is yelling, “You think you can do these things but you just can’t!”? Well, that’s what I woke up yelling at myself on Saturday morning. I’ll spare you the details, but basically I think I can consume beverages like I used to while in college and I just can’t. Which is perfectly fine! My brain just has trouble remembering it and I often get myself into trouble. Having a few (or several) drinks can make a good time with friends even more fun – but it’s not fun when you over serve yourself and wake up feeling like a total idiot. Boo. Lessons learned at nearly 25!
So aside from being with my buds and drinking too much, this was sort of like my first time to really, really experience Chicago and the Lincoln Park area that so many of my friends live in…. And I liked Chicago, I really did. It’s charming and there is so much to do and see – so much character. And in response to the pleading of my precious and hysterical friends that live there, yes I do think I could someday end up living in Chicago to be closer to all of them and the Midwest lifestyle I grew up with… But omg I love Dallas. It’s a bubble of a city that is so easy to live in and any time I visit somewhere else I’m reminded of how much I love living here (even with the lack of best friends). It just makes me wonder where I will end up putting down family roots… The next three to five years seem like they will be game-changer years and it will be exciting/terrifying to see how it all plays out! In the meantime, I’ll be organizing more trips to visit my wild besties
(Image via After DRK)