I’m fully aware that what I’m about to say is going to raise a few eyebrows and more likely, seem like a questionable justification for the typical 20-something’s imbibing habits.
However, I truly believe there are certain lessons you can learn when you’ve had a few too many beverages -- things you might not learn as quickly otherwise.
I’m not saying that you must consume alcohol on the weekends to figure things out for yourself, and I’m definitely not promoting it. What I’m saying is, for every margarita-fueled mistake you make, there’s likely some wisdom you can take away from the consequences.
So instead of dwelling on the impulsive tribal tattoo you got, the three you woke up next to, or the string of texts you sent to your ex, try to look on the bright side: Those drunken nights might not have been for nothing.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best.
Asking for the well vodka sounded like a great idea at the time. After all, the house variety is a lot cheaper and you can’t really taste the difference when it’s diluted with soda and smothered with citrus, right?
Well, you will feel the difference tomorrow and you will feel it with every throbbing pulse inside your skull. So just splurge.
That’s the thing about life: Taking the cheaper option is tempting in the moment, but in the long run, it’s just not worth it. This doesn’t just apply to alcohol; it goes for your clothes, your car and even your relationships. Settling is for the undiscerning and the unambitious.
The fact of the matter is, one or two really good drinks are a lot better than five cringe-worthy ones. Aim high when it comes to the liquor you drink, the people you surround yourself with and the career you aspire to.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
There are a number of potential events that can instill panic when you’re drunk.
Your phone charge is at 18 percent? Someone might as well have told you the apocalypse is coming at midnight. Your ex is across the bar with someone new? Feels like you just watched your dog get run over by a car. To top it all off, someone spills Jäger on your new kicks. Cause for manslaughter, right?
If you let every little thing get to you when you’re drunk, there’s absolutely no chance you’re going to have a good night. So take a deep breath, roll with the punches and try to focus on the positives. You’re out with good people and the possibilities are endless.
More importantly, if you take this attitude toward life in general, you can’t lose.
When you don’t care, you have more fun.
Who knew you had those brilliant dance moves? When inhibitions go flying out the window, you may surprise yourself. Yes, sometimes you’ll embarrass yourself. But the thing is, you probably won’t really care.
I once did more pushups than I ever was able to do at the gym on the floor of an Irish bar. I’m not suggesting you follow suit; all I’m saying is kicking off my heels and doing something totally out of character felt really, really good.
Some of my best stories have come from those times when I abandoned my second thoughts and my hesitation and just did something because I felt like it. The more you realize this, the more you’ll continue to loosen up and become comfortable in your own skin -- and hopefully you won’t necessarily need alcohol to get you there.
Your real friends are there in sickness and in health.
If you weren’t really sure who your true friends were before, a drunken night is going to make the distinction pretty clear. When you’re a little broke, who hands you your next beer? (Even if it is a room temp Bud Light he or she was holding as a backup.)
When you’re about to timber and try to order another G&T, who smoothly steps in and tells the bartender to serve you water? When you’re talking to someone you’re into, who’s your wingman or woman despite the fact that his or her friend is far less attractive?
These are the people you want to keep around. They know when it’s necessary to boost your confidence and they also know when to call you out on your crap. They bring out the best in you and rein in the worst of you.
Not to mention, you’re going to need them to help you recall some of those blurry memories tomorrow over a Bloody Mary.
Your fake friends are the ones who split when the road gets rough.
A drunken evening is going to help you weed out a few of those social stragglers you’ve been holding onto. As stated earlier, there are a multitude of unpleasant scenarios that can occur when alcohol is involved, and if the instinct of these people is flight, they’re not worth keeping around.
You know the kind: They ditch you at the first possibility of a hookup, they make an Irish exit when you’re clearly flailing, or worse, they stick around and start a fight with someone in their Red Bull and Vodka-induced rage.
Whether they’re fleeing the scene or making a scene, these are the kind of people who have no place in your life -- in drunkenness or sobriety.
Photo via We Heart It