Lessons In Adulthood: Learning Your Limits In Love (And Alcohol)

My cabernet days back in 2011. Had to switch to white. Red brings out too many emotions.

My cabernet days back in 2011. Had to switch to white. Red brings out too many emotions.

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 2: “A time when you were too drunk, but now you remember…”

I woke up this morning with all of the fans in my apartment on, yet it was still hot as hell. I didn’t know why I was in Dante’s Inferno until I checked the thermostat and realized the heat was on, not the AC. Apparently in my post-writing Chardonnay stupor the night prior, I had plucked the switch up instead of down.

Writers drink. For me, a glass of wine next to me while I scribe is usually just as useful as my laptop or some Pandora station as the soundtrack to my posts. They are all a part of my arsenal, equipping me to write 500-700 words day after day. Sure, a glass of wine isn’t completely necessary–I don’t want anyone deeming me a functioning alcoholic here–but it is quite nice, indeed.

That being said, today’s topic was a bit difficult for me because there hasn’t ever been a time that I was too drunk that I could only recall that moment later. (If you’d like to throw the label “Goody Two Shoes” or “Control Freak” my way, now would be the apropos time.) That isn’t to say I’ve never been drunk. I’m human. I have red blood running through my veins. Duh. But, I haven’t ever blacked out.

I learned my limits with liquor on my best friend’s 21st birthday. Yes, my best friend’s 21st, not even my own which occurred a month prior to hers. The shame and irony in this fact is not lost on me. That night I learned that I am the most feathery of lightweights and I have been cognizant of my limits ever since. Of course, I’ve still tested them, not as much with deliberate intent to wake up the next morning hating my life, but more so in moments of blind bliss, gladly accepting that second or third drink because YOLO.

I am not going to draw some convoluted analogy between limits in alcohol and love because that’s trite and probably exists in a rom-com monologue somewhere out there. But, knowing your limits, whether it be in relationships, alcohol, workload, or the host of other weights you carry is the mark of growing up. Knowing if your tolerance for bullshit is super high or super low (hopefully it’s the former), is a compass that will forever help guide you through human interaction.

The only catch is that just like the night of my best friend’s 21st birthday, we don’t usually know our limits until we’ve tested them beyond their capacity. We only know our rules after we’ve broken them and are still sporting the battle wounds to prove it. Knowing your limits means you probably have an archive of stories about messy break-ups and miserable hangovers. And, you need those stories. You want those stories. Because without them, you never reach the point where you become a self-respecting adult who knows when, where, why and how to draw the proverbial line in the sand.



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