It took me two years but, I’m back with more life lessons from my party girl past.
I was a bit of a hot mess in my early 20s, as everyone should be. Those nights spent juggling part time jobs, studying for finals, and drinking my weight in vodka-Red Bulls made me who I am. Obviously, I didn’t see it then. Back then, I had a completely different plan for my life involving Vogue, designers and a rich husband. Rich husband aside, I still deal with designers, attend bomb events, and was quoted in WWD, albeit erroneously. Point is, if it wasn’t for my Lindsay days at 21, I wouldn’t be living my Beyoncé in my 30s. Trust me, nothing teaches resilience like having function hungover on 3 hours of sleep.
Be like vodka.
Before I was a whiskey girl, vodka was my go to drink. Why? It mixes well with anything you have on hand. I have had vodka with Sprite, Red Bull, Diet Coke, OJ, fruit punch, and Kool-Aid. Hell, my roommate used to mix it with milk to make White Russians. No matter what you mix vodka with, it adapts, adds to the mix and still packs a punch. That is exactly how you should be. No matter what situation you are thrown into, adapt, add to the mix and do your best to come out on top. How else do you think I manage to work at a tech start up with engineers all day and seamlessly go to networking events with the fashion crowd without missing a beat or changing my clothes? VODKA. (It’s a way of life.)
Keep your private life private.
Unlike younger Millennials, I was almost grown when Facebook came online. In fact, I remember running into friends from high school telling me I HAD to get on “THE Facebook”. This was when only people with a .edu address could have access to the platform. Being part of the generation that invented how we interact on social media, I learned pretty early on to keep my private life private and my public life separate. The minute parents and job seekers started using Facebook to stalk us, I locked down my privacy settings, stopped posting every night’s escapades and moved my real life off the internet. Yes, my thoughts and opinions online are real, but my meals, memories, and mistakes never make my newsfeed.
The same thing goes for any public appearances I make. The me you get when I’m at an event is not the same me you get watching Game of Thrones on a Sunday night. There is some distance between the two simply to protect my energy.
The art of the quick change.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to dip into a restroom or the backseat of my car to upgrade my outfit in under 15 minutes. I do not mean simply changing my shoes, I am talking full hair and makeup with limited products. And that doesn’t even begin to cover turning last night’s club look into something day appropriate for your walk or drive home. Those times taught me to carry travel sized everything in my purse. Mascara, blush, powder, perfume, deodorant, mouthwash, and even a first aid kit all live in my bag just in case I get a last minute invite anywhere.
Shame doesn’t serve you.
I do not have a most embarrassing moment. No, I’m not insanely confident, I just learned a long time ago that shame and embarrassment are wasted emotions. Agonizing over your short comings and mistakes teaches self-doubt and insecurity. Instead, focus on learning the lesson and getting on with your life. That is how you learn to pay attention to your surroundings instead of your phone to avoid being clotheslined by a tree branch. Or, to do your research before a job interview so you don’t spit out useless outdated facts. Or to not eat a full meal before yoga, even though they tell you not to. You get the point.
The art of finessing.
My friends and I had a knack for getting into VIP at almost every event we went to. Even now I’m amazed at how often we never paid a cover charge yet ended up dancing on someone’s table with bottle service. Part of that can be chalked up to being attractive, but pretty only ever gets you so far. What really got us into VIP without a single issue was the art of finessing. Mastering the fine art of finessing comes down to one thing, flexing your positives. It could be your sense of humor, your knowledge of Harry Potter, or your amazing legs, we all have something we can play up to our advantage. Don’t think this has to only apply to dating or getting in free at the club. If you work in sales or marketing, the art of finessing is how you close deals and hook customers. What do you think I’ve spent the past decade doing to pay my bills?
At the end of the day, every stage of your life has lessons to teach you. The hangovers, heartbreaks, broken heels, and missed opportunities are all a part of growing up. You cannot skip them. To quote a wise woman named Carrie, “Your 20s are to make mistakes. Your 30s are to learn the lessons. Your 40s are to pay for the drinks.” Here’s to learning a thing or two.
Photo: The Cobrasnake (AKA where I found all my party style inspo during the late Bush/early Obama era.)