30 Is NOT The New 20… Part 1
As you might have guessed most of my weeknights are spent going to client dinners for work or network mixers. It is the story of my life. This week was no different than most. I worked a full day and headed over to downtown LA to the City Club for yet another networking mixer. Most normal folks would have listened to their body and took their asses home and had a relaxing evening on the couch. After my vow to no longer succumb to FOMO (fear of missing out) I recently started declining these invitations. However, this was something different than the usual mixers I attended so I decided to follow my first notion and go. Upon arriving to the City Club the grouchy spirit I had most of the day was lifted by the beautiful 360 view of the city of LA. I forgot what beautiful views this venue had. There’s nothing like being high up and taking in what made me fall in love with this city. I made my rounds around the event, exchanged business cards, gave my 2 minute pitch speech on what I did and how much I loved my job… blah… blah… blah… I finally had a second to order a glass of wine from the bar and I took a second to go over to one of the windows and actually enjoy the view of the city. The sun had gone down and the sparkling lights looked like diamonds. Awwww… the feeling of endless possibilities. Sometimes in life you need to take a moment to stop and take things in instead of reaching for your cell phone to respond to an email or taking a picture to post on your social media. And that’s exactly what I did. I made a conscious effort to take a deep breath, enjoy my Sauvignon Blanc and look out at the city that had become my lover over the last 15 years.
I was enjoying my few minutes to myself when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was my home girl from back in the day. It had been a good 5 ½ years since I had seen her. Tanya and I met at a party shortly after I moved to LA. And from there we both had a second job of hitting up all the hot parties back in the day. Not a real second job. But I would leave work, head home, and change to go out and dance the night away. We literally partied 4 nights of the week. I would be out until 3am and wake up the next morning at 7:30 for work and not miss a beat. There is no way I would even attempt that now. I know my limits! But back then there was no stopping us. The highlight of course was The Garden of Eden on Sunday Nights and The Gate on Thursday night. We knew we had arrived when we finally knew the doormen at the clubs and would just walk up and they would open the ropes to let us in with no questions asked. And then when Gino knew our names and would show us love as well, our young foolish 20 year old selves thought we had hit the social city jackpot! How could we not? Gino was a notorious for being a ruthless doorman. He had no filter and would tell you straight up “You’re not getting in this club.” We had witnessed Gino play a firsthand role in lowering many 20 something’s self esteem by not letting them into a hot spot because they were either too fat, too homely, or he was just in a bad mood. And the guys had it worse. If you weren’t a recognizable actor, rapper, or athlete, you would need to have some money to spend to get a table. And when I say money, I’m not talking a few hundred dollars. I had seen guys pay $1000+ just to get a table to get into the club. If you were a guy who didn’t have money, status, or notoriety Gino would play the fuck out of you. I’m surprised Gino never got knocked out. He was downright evil when it came to who he let into the clubs. His job was to make sure the club maintained the reputation for being the hottest party with a very select group of people that were granted access. Luckily Tanya and I had made it on his good side and had the opportunity to have access to all the hot parties without any questions asked. Looking back on it now, it was so damn silly. Gino was a doorman! His job was literally to pick and choose who gets into a club and open and close a red carpet. Guys actually got paid to do this! And the only reason why they were able to experience any power was because young 20 year olds allowed them to have that power. Hind sight… hind sight…
So there was me and Tanya, two former party girls turned executives. How the tides have turned. We had a good laugh about the good old days and we promised to get together for a drink and reminisce about those times. The last time Tanya and I hung out was shortly after I separated from my ex. We went to The Garden Of Eden on a Sunday. I thought it would be fun to go back to my pre-marital life. I thought I could pick up where I left off and enjoy the clubs like I used to. But when we arrived to the club all I saw was a bunch of over exposed breasts, too tight clothing, overly made-up faces, and long weaves. You knew the moment an athlete walked into the club, because an area that was once crowded with people dancing would clear up and you would see a majority of the girls placing themselves in eye sight of one of the athletes with a “pick me” look. It was downright pathetic and obvious. I tried to order a glass of wine but all they had was White Zinfandel. That was like drinking the Kool Aid of wines. Back in the day when I used to frequent the clubs my drink of choice was an “Adios Motherfucker.” Since I wasn’t making money back then that drink was one that could get my nice and tipsy after a few sips.
It was still the same scene. Everything was still the same. But what changed was I was the 30+ bitch in the club! It didn’t feel right. It wasn’t exciting. That’s when it hit me. That life was no longer who I was. I enjoyed every minute of it in my 20’s. That’s what you’re supposed to do in your 20’s. And there wasn’t judgment on those young girls who were doing exactly what they were supposed to do at that age. Live it up and have fun so they could one day have fun “Remember when…” stories to tell and laugh about just like Tanya and I had. I had zero regrets.
But fast forwarding to that time after the ending of my marriage, I was on a different journey. The life I had before marriage was no longer who I was. The person I was when I was married was never who I was or what I was supposed to be. The woman I was in my 20’s had evolved. The things that used to make me happy were no longer the same. I was now a woman in my 30’s and the 20 year girl I was had grown up. I had no idea who the hell I was at that time. I was so confused. The ending of the marriage and the beginning of the unknown is a scary freaking thing. It was at that moment my journey to self discovery began. To be completely honest the journey took some years. It took me a while to find myself. Realizing you are no longer the person you once were, but not yet the women you are supposed to be can be downright confusing. And I was at that point. I was starting over and the evolution of Me began.
So here I am. Almost 6 years later. In a space of knowing who I am. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when the road is rough or I have confusion. But I know who I am and I am okay with it. I know what I need and desire and don’t compromise on it. I think back on to my 20’s fondly. It was a great ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well… maybe some of the outfits and the time I had a weave that came down to the middle of my back… Lawd have mercy! I appreciate the journey. I recognize I wouldn’t be Me had I not gone through that experience. Because 30 is not the new 20 what would my 35+ self now tell the girl I was in my 20’s after experiencing life’s ups and downs and growth? Hmmmmmm….
To be continued…