As I have recently just hit the quarter-life (crisis) mark, I've begun to think about all the things that have brought me joy over the years. However, now they don't seem to bring me as much joy as they once did.
Why is this? Is there a turning point in our lives where the mundane acts of getting drunk every weekend at the bar no longer fill something inside of us? I am your witness that yes, there is a turning point, and it is happening to me right before my eyes.
I was a sorority girl in college, caring little about the philanthropic side and focusing most of my efforts toward spending more money on booze than groceries.
Every week, it was the same thing: Tuesday, we go to Bobby G's; Thursday, we hit Bonvue; the weekend was for socials and the hockey or baseball house; Sunday, we go to Charlie O's.
It was mindless, and that was exactly why I loved it. I even continued to love it through the first two years of my post-grad life.
Now, however, as I round the first quarter century of my life, I am seeking more fulfilling hobbies.
I have never been a girl interested in nature and the outdoors (other than the beach, duh), but with the passing of summer and the start of the fall sunshine, I have wanted nothing more than to be outside.
I started going on two hikes a week, and trying to balance my full-time job with working out at the gym.
I noticed the new activity was exactly what I needed. Spending time in the open, where there is fresh air, no dingy smell of sweat in the club and no smell of cigarettes on my clothes the next day, was truly freeing.
Not only was it what I needed, but it also pushed me to become involved in other fulfilling activities. I started attending a weekly open meditation course at a center in Boston.
This has given me tools I could certainly use at 25 years old, a time in our lives where the pressure is on to be successful at work and in our personal relationships.
All this joy being brought to my life is a direct correlation of my interest in more stimulating activities, and I in no way wish to thwart these efforts.
Today's focus on alcohol consumption and going to the bar is so concentrated, but is it what we, as Millennials, truly find fulfilling? Or is society pigeonholing us to conform to our generation's stereotypes?
I'm sure plenty will agree, "Hell yeah! I love going out, getting absolutely smashed and hooking up with Stacy's ex-boyfriend's brother." For others, you may realize this lifestyle just isn't going to cut it anymore.
Of course, being a 25-year-old girl living in Boston, I still love going to the bar. However, I've found other ways to entertain myself and to grow my mind.
I've found people who have helped shaped me for the better, people I would not have met had I only been spending my time at the bar.
I hope this article makes you question what makes you happy. If what makes you happy is going to the bar, you go to the bar. Sh*t, I will see you there!
If you feel like you might be missing something, however, and you're feeling unfulfilled, don't be afraid to branch out and find exactly what it is that you've been looking for.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It