Party Girl To Professional: What It's Like Having A Heel In Both Worlds

by Zara Barrie

I feel like people always talk about how they’re either blissfully dancing their lives away in the diamond-encrusted, champagne-fueled party girl lifestyle OR that they’re self-identifying EX-party girls whose current lives consist of nothing more than a comforting myriad of house plants, husbands and flat, sensible shoes (I might have thrown up a little in my mouth regarding the latter).

But what, dear WHAT about those of us girls who are amidst the awkward and painful transition out of the party girl lifestyle?

It’s like being stuck in acne-adorned adolescence all over again: “Not a girl, but not yet a woman.”

GAG me with a spoon gently, please.

I feel there is a surplus of Generation-Y girls who have been sorely misrepresented, widely ignored and entirely left out of the party girl conversation.

What about the girls who have one platform boot in the nightclub and one pointed kitten heel in the office?

The girls leading two dramatically different double lives, neither of which we’re ready to let go of.

It’s akin to the fiercely loyal woman who is torn between two lovers, both of whom she loves with the whole of her heart:

One is the stable partner, the person who roots her to the earth and makes her feel wonderfully safe and deeply secure, and the other is a fiery electrifying force of nature, the partner who fearlessly rides a motorcycle through the Hollywood Hills with no helmet, providing her with long nights of insatiable sex -- yet disappears for weeks at a time.

It’s the battle of sequins vs. pearls, disco balls vs. doormen, blackouts vs. blowouts.

We are in a place of our lives where we want both. We want to have our f*cking cake and gloriously eat it too -- only our endless cake-consuming is becoming increasingly hazardous to our health.

We are the girls who are teeming with an irrepressible desire to dance the night away in fishnet stockings and lipstick -- yet when we do get to the club, we seem to be more focused on checking our work emails than guzzling heaps of champagne and inhaling endless cigarettes with our fellow false-lashed, mini-dress sporting party girls.

We are finding ourselves increasingly pissed -- no one explained it to us properly. Society told us one fine day we would magically wake up with zero desire to party.

Our smug grown-up friends acted as if the transition from being a party girl to a thriving, full-throttle adult would be oh so seamless.

We would go to bed one evening and overnight, a switch would get flipped:

We would magically wake up with combed hair and a kitchen stocked with organic produce and a desire to bear children.

No one said it’s a painful transition reminiscent of puberty. For it is vehemently drawn-out and puts us in a bizarre situation, leaving us stewing in a stale cocktail of confusing, mixed-up feelings.

We still find ourselves sleeping in our mascara, but for different reasons.

When we were full-blast party girls, we always slept in our makeup -- namely because we were too hammered to take it off at 4 am.

When you’re a real party girl, you don’t shut your pretty eyes and peacefully fall asleep -- you pass the f*ck out (with a full face of makeup and often in heels, too).

In our partying prime, we felt good about ourselves simply for waking up in a place we knew. Washing our face wasn’t even on our radar.

In hindsight, we actually did look pretty fierce rocking the sultry smoky-eyed look it gave us the following day.

Now we still sleep in our mascara but NOT because we’re too sloshed to find the bathroom sink.

We keep it on whilst lying in the comforts of pillows and clean sheets, just in case of the rare event we receive a midnight text about an amazing party we absolutely MUST attend.

This way, we can hop out of bed and grab a taxi without wasting time getting ready.

It’s strictly for cautionary measures.

We still have no idea how to dress for work.

Regardless of how successful we are at getting in our place of employment (our natural progression is moving at the speed of rapid fire because we all know party girls are more successful in business.), there is still a party girl wildly thrashing within us, and there is no way in HELL she’s going to allow us to go to work in frumpy attire.

We are constantly flummoxed at what to wear to work. We reluctantly put on the necessary blazer but can’t help but pair it with a flashy lipstick and heels not suited for the workplace.

We make the effort to go on dinner dates but suffer from FOMO the whole time.

Oh, to have real, solid, stable LOVE. When we were hardcore, we had zero desire to be in a relationship -- because part of the partying excitement was about the mystique of whom we were going to lock lips with at 3 am in the romantic strobe light of the glamorous nightclub.

Now that we’re transitioning out of the party girl lifestyle, we do absolutely want love.

It’s just every time we find ourselves on a date, a creeping sensation of FOMO overtakes the entirety of our bodies.

We find ourselves unable to focus -- secretly peeking at Instagram to see what fabulous parties our friends are having the time of their lives at.

We fear work events.

Only girls stuck in the shackles of the party girl transition will understand this very specific predicament:

Okay, so we have BIG girl jobs now. We are killing it at work, and our coworkers take us oh so seriously, with zero idea of how scandalous the last three weekends panned out for us.

How could they ever know? Us girls in transition are savvy enough to keep our wild ways off social media -- those days are long behind us.

BUT now, our lovely place of employment has decided to throw the company holiday party at the bar, the same bar we’ve been frequenting since we were 17-year-old party girls in training.

Two worlds that should never, ever meet now will.

It’s inevitable our trusty bartender friend will unknowingly tell the entire staff about how awesome we are at dancing on table tops.

And our corporate cover is instantly blown.

We're always exhausted.

Living one life is acutely exhausting; imagine leading TWO? Do you understand the fatigue of being the first person in the office after being the last person in the club?

Retired party girls, current party girls and transitory party girls all have one thing in common: We commit -- FULL THROTTLE -- to everything we do.

The retired party girl is now the PTA president at her daughter's school.

The current party girl never leaves a glass of champagne empty, regardless of the ungodly hour or how many flutes she's consumed.

The party girl in transition is both. And damn, we are tired, girl. It's hard to be both fabulous and functioning, you know?