As modern women and men, we are far more concerned with attaining optimum physical health, reaching sky-high levels of mega success and looking more fierce and fabulous than any generation existing before us.
We are sifting through the epic “Age of Information” -- and the incredible amount of ever-accessible education bestowed upon us by social media/Internet can feel like an avalanche of pressure crushing our fragile, tender bones.
We are the juice cleanse generation.
We pour liquid kale green smoothies down our precious throats because we’re told it’s what we must do in order to thrive in this increasingly competitive world.
We won’t dare allow our forks to penetrate any meat that isn’t farm raised.
We refuse to subject ourselves to the toxins residing in a slender piece of white bread because white bread contains, dare I say, gluten (even if we couldn’t exactly explain to you what “gluten” actually is -- Gwyneth Paltrow says it’s BAD for us and must be avoided at ALL costs).
We spend $100 per month on the gym and subject our bodies to strenuous hour-long sessions of intensive Pilates three times per week.
We wear $150 lululemon leggings to spin class and work our muscles into such utter exhaustion they shake from fatigue.
We hydrate deep into the crux of our souls with expensive coconut water and know which food groups are “correct” to digest post workout, as well as the perfect window of time in which to eat in order to achieve maximum muscle recovery.
Our life goal is to change the history of our chosen industry. We don’t ever want to work for the MAN like our parents did.
It’s the decade of the 24-year-old entrepreneur. It’s not enough to work endlessly hard in our 9-to-5 jobs; we must also be venturing into our very own creative business excursions in our limited free time.
We are expected to be a CEO with a book deal, a fragrance line and QVC spot before 30, and we won't STOP WORKING UNTIL IT HAPPENS.
So WHY, dear WHY, do we eat squeaky clean, sweat out any and all toxins that could ever dare to enter our systems, torture ourselves with vicious workouts in the name of health, vehemently count our spare change, work to launch massive careers and ingest all the liquid vegetables on the farm in order to attain that otherworldly celebrity GLOW -- only to brutally destroy all of it in the tiny window of emptiness that exists from Friday after 5pm to Sunday evening?
It’s no joke our weekends are nothing short of a HOT, HYSTERICAL MESS. We exist in a state of irony.
The generation of $50 sparkly salon blowouts and $50 bar tab blackouts.
Maybe it’s the pressure? Or maybe we can’t handle our booze? Maybe we’re self-destructive and teeming with suppressed issues from childhood that drive us to unconsciously self-sabotage? Or are we too quick to lose ourselves in the thick of the glitter of the party?
Truth be told, I’m not sure WHY we f*ck it all up. Why we work so hard only to self-sabotage in the wasted 48-hour stretch of time we call the weekend.
So what exactly are we destroying?
We sabotage our health
It doesn’t matter that we dutifully cleanse during the throes of the workweek or that we are living a “Paleo” existence Monday through Friday; no amount of “clean eating” could ever possibly counteract the abhorrent ways in which we treat our bodies during the weekend.
Come Friday night, somewhere between 10pm and 2am, the healthiest girl on the block is downing sugary shots with a reckless abandon.
The health nut is smoking a cigarette whilst basking in the beer-stench-fueled patio of the pub. The yoga queen mixed white wine with hard liquor and can't find her way home.
A generation of otherwise vibrant and healthy young people are waking up sick and twisted every weekend.
We sabotage our diets
Drinking is our way of losing our inhibitions, right? It’s part of the great lure of alcohol; it’s a social lubricant that provides us with the wherewithal to talk to the cute boy or girl whom we’re consumed with attraction for.
Unfortunately for dear little us, the social lubricant of booze can quickly turn into a food lubricant.
A week of tight-knit dieting is dismantled in minutes during the weekend.
After five days of kale, we find ourselves eating entire pizzas at 2am.
We find ourselves in the harsh electric glow of the refrigerator inhaling two-day leftover french fries, doing absolutely hideous drunken things: taking chips and dipping them into cream cheese, mixing peanut butter with cereal.
We fill the empty midnight voids with food -- and usually not even good food. Half-frozen bagels consumed whilst intoxicated are hardly worth the calories.
We sabotage our relationships
Hard partying and romantic relationships are a notoriously toxic mix.
Excessive alcohol indulgence is a sure-fire way to fight with your partner.
The wicked part of a drunken argument is you hardly remember what it was all even about.
We sabotage our bank accounts
I used to have a therapist who referred to financial stability as "financial health."
Our generation is as passionate about "financial health" as we are our physical health.
We live on shillings during the week. We are hesitant to spend $2.50 on a subway ride, opting to walk two miles to work instead. Every. Penny. Counts.
Yet during the weekend, we act like multi-millionaire moguls. We buy shots of tequila for the entire contents of the bar.
We recklessly leave our tabs open at a pub across town. We take $50 taxis to parties on the other end of Brooklyn that we subsequently will leave 10 minutes after arrival.
The sick part of our freewheeling sense of spending is this: Come Monday, we have nothing to show for ourselves but massive hangovers and overdrawn bank accounts.
We sabotage the daytime
We stay out until 4am and sleep until 2pm. We lay in our beds until we are practically ridden with bedsores.
The hangovers are harrowing. We spend our weekends without even seeing the precious, bright light of day.
We complain about being cooped up in an office during the week, yet we spend our free time indoors watching a marathon of “Housewives” with the curtains drawn.
We sabotage our pride
We’ve all done it: sent the embarrassing text to an ex-lover, told someone off who didn’t quite deserve it, kissed someone in public we didn’t even like.
Woken up with the shame-shudders and painful flashbacks shooting like shards across the frame of our memory.
We exist with wild integrity akin to the proud lioness during the workweek. Self-respect is at our very core.
Yet with the influx of booze, we ever so easily make outrageous fools of ourselves, wilting in the weight of our own shame for the following three days.
We sabotage our emotional wellbeing
We neglect to realize what binge drinking does to our mental health.
Alcohol has a cruel rebound effect, and while we might feel so blissful when intoxicated, we all know we feel twice as anxious come morning.
After all, what comes up must come down. It's a law of motion.