I know this might be pretty harsh but I have something very IMPORTANT that I need to get off my chest: Your excessive partying is actually making you dumb.
It's making me dumb, too. It's making our entire generation of partiers, drinkers and druggies dumb.
And you know what's scarier than dumb? Being vacant. Partying is making us vacant, too. Look at these dead eyes:
It's not something I thought of until very recently, though.
I was out with my friend Max*. I hadn't seen him in a very long time, but for whatever reason we've kept in touch throughout the years.
PSA: Your excessive partying is actually making you dumb.
Max and I started drinking and doing drugs together in high school, when we really didn't give a shit about anything in the world — especially how well our brains functioned.
We were baby gays, just partying it up in wild West Hollywood. The gay bar was our oyster. And because we were young and teeming with collagen, we could do 10 vodka shots in one night and still wake up looking as flawless as ever.
Eventually, I grew weary of LA, so I packed up my crop tops and fled to a shoebox-sized studio in Manhattan.
Living in Manhattan made me a much more serious version of myself. Something about the inherent pressure of the city, the work ethic and the massive dreams of every person in your radius will do that to a girl.
Plus, I was ~inspired~ in New York in a way that I wasn't when I lived in LA, girl.
In New York, I was surrounded by the theatre, actors, hustlers, creatives, artists and movements.
I began to realize I was interested in things that stretched beyond getting wasted at gay clubs. In fact, I realized I had been getting so drunk because I wasn't all that stimulated in Hollywood.
I never really found my people until I came to New York, so I would drink in an attempt to force connections that were totally unnatural for me.
But while I was in New York City, getting tired of the drug scene, Max was still in Los Angeles, blowing that toxic white powder up his nose three nights per week.
I wasn't all that stimulated in Hollywood.
He didn't have a "drug addiction" per se, but that white powder is so normalized in some scenes, no one thinks twice about it or questions its long-term effects.
Plus, Max is a fully functioning individual who works for a powerhouse mega talent agency. And you don't have a "problem" unless you show up to work late, breathing your boozy breath all over everyone, right?
Well, a few weeks ago Max was in New York City for business. I was excited to be around Max and his amazing, over-the-top, fierce energy.
But after about 45 minutes, a huge sadness fell over me.
I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was like Max and I weren't on the same page anymore.
I would say something, but it wouldn't spark an amazing conversation between us. Instead, it would just fly past him. It felt like he was a million miles away.
After our dinner, I went home feeling really depressed.
"Why am I not connecting with Max anymore? Why can't I have deep conversations with him?" I asked my friend Tyler* over the phone.
Tyler sighed and said, "Well, honey, Max has killed a lot of brain cells."
"What do you mean? He just parties really hard on the weekends."
"You don't think that blacking out every single weekend for years and putting God knows what up your nose has any effect on your brain? Girl, I have some news for you."
"Huh. I never thought of it like that."
"Yeah, you never thought of it like that because you're not so sharp yourself, sometimes," Tyler said in a bitchy but honest way. "Don't think your own partying hasn't affected your intelligence, either. You're not half as witty as you were five years ago."
Suddenly, fear, depression, panic and intrigue washed over my whole body. Max wasn't connecting to me or jiving off my banter at dinner because he had partied himself stupid.
My jokes flew over his head because his brain was no longer sharp enough to retain them. And I felt depressed because hanging out with Max was like looking into a mirror.
And I didn't like what I saw.
I immediately thought back to the days I've gone to work hungover. I literally forgot words in my articles, couldn't spell for shit and my thoughts were totally disjointed.
But when I'm living clean, the words pour out of me so seamlessly.
So this is just a sweet, subtle reminder that our excessive partying can and will make us really dumb, kittens.
Because I'm vain AF and grew up in a looks-obssessed environment, I always feared partying would make me look like shit.
But I didn't think about what partying does to my brain... probably because I damaged too many brain cells to think that deeply about the whole thing.
But I don't want to be dumb, babes. And I think right now, in this fragile moment of American history (given the recent election), we can't afford to be dumb.
Maybe our nation elected Donald Trump because we're all partied-out idiots who couldn't fully wrap our brains around what it meant to have a reality TV star leading our country.
And even though alcohol doesn't technically kill your brain cells like cocaine (which actually causes your brain to eat itself — a super lovely thought), it still slows us down and has been proven to make our communication and focus much worse.
So, kittens, let's lay off the drugs. Drinking in moderation is fine — even getting wasted occasionally is OK in my books, too. But let's try not to black out, and let's say no to drugs forever.
Let's try not to black out, and let's say no to drugs forever.
We're already gorgeous on the outside, but I want us to be fierce and gorgeous on the inside, too. We want to be people of substance, present in the heat of the moment.
So this weekend, if you're tempted to have a serious bender, just imagine me sitting on your Chaise Lounge as you get ready for a night out.
I'm wearing a chic-looking, hot pink, faux-fur jacket. To give you a visual, it looks like this:
(In fact if you want to buy me this jacket and make my dreams a reality, click here. There's only ONE left in my size: XS.)
Anyway, I'm wearing this fierce coat, and I have a facial expression that says I mean business.
I'm saying, "Baby, you're so smart, and you have so much good swirling inside that head of yours. I know when you're feeling smart and complex it feels like the world is too much and getting wasted is a good way to shut it down for a while."
I'm telling you that all that hard partying is eventually going to dull your light. Don't blow it out by blacking out, please.
Be moderate in your drinking and radical in your thinking.
As your lesbian big sister, I'm begging you to be a #girlboss, instead. Go out for three drinks, not 10, so you can wake up tomorrow morning feeling really smug and change the world like you thought you would when you were a kid.
And imagine this: Before I ascend into the air and go up into lesbian big sister heaven, you look me in the eye and say, "You're right, Zara."
You adorn your lips in the brightest red lipstick in the world and strut out the door of your apartment, ready to be moderate in your drinking and radical in your thinking.
And smart AF.
Message me if you're tempted to stay out past the fourth drink, babe. I'm your lesbian big sis always and forever and I will reply right back.
I'll remind you that you're amazing, and you should channel your amazingness into something positive, brilliant and world-changing.
Zara, Your Lesbian Big Sister