It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night. My iPhone lights up with a text message from my friend Bridget.
"Hey I'm home for the weekend and we're planning on going out tonight. We're meeting up at my apartment and then going out around midnight. See you then?"
Midnight? What does she think this is -- college?
I can barely keep my eyes open as I watch an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" with my mother. I highly doubt that I'll want to take off my pajamas (that were put on as soon as I got home from work), do my makeup and actually be sociable.
Last time I checked, I was a young and personable girl who enjoyed going out with friends and socializing. So why do I find getting out of my house and seeing other people to be such a chore?
"Getting up at 7 a.m. every morning to work an 8-hour day is totally what is making me tired," I thought. Then I realized that everyone else is doing the same thing -- some even get up earlier because they have a longer commute -- so I couldn't use that as the only reason.
I also tried blaming my sudden apathy toward socializing on the fact that no one liked me. Why would I want to go to this bar and see people from high school who probably forgot I existed? Do I really want to run into my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend? Will anyone even want to talk to me? Yet my friend was inviting me to go out, so clearly someone likes me.
Then I thought that maybe I was just bitter about not being in college anymore, and that was what was turning me into Ms. Anti-Social. I figured that this "girl's night" my friend mentioned would turn out to be a bust compared to the epic hot-dog fights, karaoke nights and endless themed parties we had in college. Comparison is the devil.
In college, I was surrounded by tons of other people my age. Here at home, I have about 3 or 4 friends who I see every so often. Most people my age are still finishing up their degree or have moved away from home to pursue their career, so the options seem limited in comparison. During college, there was always a party or trip planned for the weekend. My weekend nightlife now mostly consists of going to 1 of the few bars in my town and feeling like the youngest person there (it doesn't help that I naturally look young as well).
I've come to realize that maybe I can't pinpoint exactly why I seem to be less sociable after college. I can try all I want to blame it on external factors and other people, but when it comes down to it, only I can choose whether to say "yes" or "no" to that invitation.