It’s interesting how your relationship with alcohol evolves as you age. In college, I was a student athlete by day and a wild socialite by night. Vodka was my poison of choice. Back then, we all drank the cheap stuff. No-name brand liquor packaged in flimsy plastic bottles didn’t make us so much as bat an eye. My consumption wasn’t excessive, but with a party-filled schedule, the drinks flowed freely.
As I progressed to post-college life, my nights of partying dwindled dramatically. My focus was now centered on a budding corporate career and a renewed passion for health and fitness. Don’t get me wrong; I still went out on the town now and then and enjoyed an array of cocktails. The difference was that alcohol no longer defined what it meant to have fun. Admittedly, some of my best memories with N involve loose lips, warm bodies and an overindulgence of liquor. But even then, it was the company that made those nights remarkable, not the Ketle sodas.
A group of old college friends arranged a girl’s night out in Hollywood last weekend. We set up camp at a popular nightclub famous for its guest DJs and celebrity sightings. Knowing that I wanted to return home safely to N, I made a conscious decision not to drink that evening. I reconnected with friends, danced the night away and had an amazing time – all without the aid of alcohol. Each time I politely declined a drink offer, I felt infinitely more secure and happy with my pledge of sobriety. When the club closed, my inebriated friends stumbled out, entertaining slurred conversations with questionable men as I returned to N’s warm bed.
While that was an empowering evening, it didn’t make me suddenly turn a corner and want to abstain from drinking altogether. I still enjoy a stiff cocktail at the bar and my weekend dinners wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying glass of wine. But what that experience did reveal was that I’ve grown a great deal since I graduated from college. I’m not the same naive young girl whose small world revolved around late night club hopping and endless bottle service. I realized that during the last four years, my priorities have shifted and I’ve truly come into adulthood. Now that’s something I’ll toast to.