It’s Saturday night and a snowstorm is brewing outside. I’m in my girlfriend’s apartment. Just chilling and relaxing. She’s outside right now, hanging out with friends at a Lunar New Year’s party.
And I’m indoors writing out this current entry for my blog.
I say this with a sense of peace. A sense of completion. A sense of adequacy. A sense of sufficiency. And a sense of how everything is going to be okay.
It didn’t use to be this way. Saturdays had always been kind of an Achilles’ heel for me.
Back when I was doing my MBA, it always felt like the right way to do things on a Saturday evening would be to go hang out with classmates at the local bar or club.
I appreciated those moments as well. Sometimes they were uncomfortable, but it was still quite an experience.
Sometimes, I would just stare right into my friends’ faces in a crowded bar - pretending like I could hear what they were saying. In reality, I was just dazed and confused. I was there but not really there.
It felt a bit forced. Because I felt like living life was supposed to be this way on Saturdays. The crowds. The parties. The drinking. It is all supposed to be the norm. So as a “quiet” introvert, I tried my best to fit in.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I appreciated those “wild” nights when I did party and drink with my classmates during the MBA years. It led to more than a few times when I went back to my dorm room in complete confusion before throwing up a storm into the toilet.
The kicker was when I was in Harbin with my MBA classmates, and I had just one too many drinks. Literally, the entire day we were drinking from start to finish - beer, wine, everything.
And after a few more glasses of alcohol at the KTV, I slowly felt myself falling away into darkness - as I heard my friend’s laughter booming in the distance. I had essentially passed out.
It wasn’t that scary. It was the first and the only time (thus far) that I’ve blacked out from too much to drink.
Luckily, my MBA classmates didn’t take advantage of my ordeal (too much) beyond spraying some water in my face and taking some compromising photos that were perfectly legal.
I remember my roommate for the Harbin trip bringing me back to the hotel on his shoulders. I remembered being a bad roommate and puking all over the hotel room floor in the middle of that night.
Kind of hard to forget. And I remember the zig zag fashion the hotel hallways seemed to flow back and forth - when they dragged me back to bed. Quite an experience. One that I’m okay with having just one time (lol).
But that was an extreme. During other weekends while I was doing my MBA, sometimes I’d just stay in my room and chill on those Saturday evenings.
During those nights, many of my friends and classmates went out into the streets of Paris and Beijing to party like it was the last day on earth.
During those quiet times in my room, sometimes I couldn’t help but feel a sense of inadequacy. It was like spending a Saturday evening at home or in your room alone - watching YouTube - was kind of a failure. I felt like I was supposed to be partying hard (with the rest of the world) as well.
I’m thankful during those times that I had my parents to talk to over the phone. How I was doing? How was the MBA semester going? I didn’t truly appreciate the closeness I had with my parents during those moments.
But looking bad, those days weren’t too bad. Overall, I still enjoyed my MBA experience abroad in Europe and in Asia. And I look back at those times with fondness. It’s all good.
I’m sure we all have times like those. Those weekends where there is no particular plan to hang out. So, we just spend the night at home reading a book, watching TV, browsing YouTube, streaming Netflix.
Just relax. That’s okay.
So I still sit here in my girlfriend’s apartment, writing this entry in the comfort of her apartment while a snowstorm bristles outside. She’s still at the Lunar New Year banquet with friends. Good for her.
I can quite gently say that I’m sitting here with a sense of contentment (instead of unease). A sense of satisfaction (rather than agitation). A sense of feeling like everything is okay and just the way it should be.
I guess I’ve made some progress from those Saturday evenings 10 years ago when I was overseas doing my MBA. When I’d feel a bit insufficient staying alone in my room on the weekends.
Or maybe it’s because I’m in my mid-30’s now and getting older. Maybe it’s because I have a girlfriend now. Or maybe it’s because it’s snowing quite hard outside.
Either way, I like this feeling of sufficiency. Of not doing too much. Of being able to just relax my mind and body. I appreciate this entire experience.
But don’t be too jealous of me, because I have my moments of frustration and agitation just as much as anybody else.
I’ve learned (the hard way) that Saturdays don’t have to be the day to party hard. It doesn’t have to be the day to drink and get drunk and hit on girls. The day to be “wild”.
If your Saturday evenings are the exact opposite of that, it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. You do you. That’s all you need to do.