I have been wondering a lot lately about my life and the people that I surround myself with, and I find increasingly that I am becoming very skeptical of my friends.
When I turned 27 this February, I knew that things had to change. After having done a Languages degree and then a Masters which basically led to a ridiculously badly paid job as an ESL teacher I knew that I needed to turn things around this year.
The thing that I have noticed quite evidently is that my friends are very young. In terms of age, I’d say that most of my friends are around 24, 25 or even 26 so the age difference is not enormous. What makes the difference is the way that we think. Whilst I worry about my future, thinking about what career path I want to take, do I want to get married, how many kids do I want; my friends are talking about how trashed to get, tinder, and the next party to rock up to it. For a while now I have been wondering why I feel so negatively about my life in Paris and I came to the realisation that it is because I don’t actually do anything.
Outside of work, everything that I do revolves around drinking. My flatmate (yes, the one with the peeing cat) is a manager at a heavy metal themed bar and she works every night from 8pm to 2am and at the weekend from 10pm to 5am and she seems to be perfectly content with her life, she sleeps all day and drinks all night. Even though she is 38 years old! She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. A few years ago, when I was a student I was the same. I took a part-time job as a waitress and I would work almost every night from 5pm to 2am and then go out for quick drink with my colleagues before staggering home at 5am… 7am.. 11am.. But nowadays, when I have a big night out I almost have the feeling of guilt. I mean from the amount of alcohol that we take in – it definitely takes at least 24hrs to recover. However, I find that my friends are happy to do it over and over again – night after night.
The other thing that I have noticed is that even the friends that have a 9-5 office job also just want to drink. I feel like whenever we meet its always for drinks “Aller, on va prendre un verre sur la terrasse”. Everyone complains about how poor they are so they can’t possibly join the gym or go on a day trip or eat at restaurant but somehow when it comes to splitting a bottle of wine or buying a round of shots – wallets fly open. Why is it that no one asks me if I want to go to the cinema or if I want to go to see the Paul Klee exhibition at the Georges Pompidou or if I want to go for a run. Every single proposition that I have had in the last 7 years is for drinks or to go out. Is alcohol the only way that we can have fun nowadays or is it simply a numbing agent to distract ourselves from pointlessness of our lives?