Going out: the weight of expectation.
What’s the plan? Heading to a pub, club or just leaving the house to meet friends in a neutral location after dark? Sounds to me like someone’s going out. At its core it’s fairly basic manoeuvre synonymous with friends and fun, but all too often the fun portion of the evening crumbles under the weight of expectation.
I’ve had a tough week, I went terrible on my exam, work has been killing me etc. etc. - all reasons for a well-deserved night out. Trying to instantaneously counterweight the shitness of your day/week/month/year in one swift move is right of passage for all. But with such lofty expectations the whole ‘going-out’ event often turns into a razor wire act, treading carefully between different friend’s plans, varying levels of intoxication and multiple venues. The result? A night spent roaming the streets, too cautious to fully commit to any one venue for fear of falling deeper into the anticlimactic abyss if the night doesn’t pan out as hoped. All the while adamantly chasing a fun mirage that may or may not exist.
The perpetrating factor in all these failed nights? Well there’s a variety, but one that runs through all is over-planning. It seems the earlier the night out is planned the more time there is for anticipation to build to insurmountable levels. The textbook example being New Years Eve, it’s the epitome of overhype. If you were to average out all your NYEs up till now, easily 80% would reek. Each time you have a year to contemplate and prepare, only to realise that maybe that was the problem.
Spontaneity is key, the best nights out are often the ones you don’t see coming. There’s no over analysis of each and every element of the evening, you’re just out, present in the moment. You’ve already fought the hardest battle at home - resisting that inner urge to stay in for a ‘insert your favourite TV show’ marathon. That’s reason enough to be celebrating with a beer or six.
So instead of orchestrating a night that didn’t actually exist through a series Facebook photos, fake drunk misspellings, and unnecessary check-ins. Think back to the best night you ever had… how much time did you spend on your phone, on Facebook, Twitter, texting random people or just roaming from venue to venue? More than likely – none. You’re out now, so commit to it, you have work/school/mediocrity to get back to come Monday.