“There’s only two people in your life you should lie to… the police and your girlfriend.”
– Jack Nicholson
Sometimes I like to reflect on my old escapades. While I have a lot of crazy stories, there’s one in particular that I’ve always enjoyed. I think the story holds a special place in my heart because of the fact that it was a spectacular disaster that still managed to be incredibly fun. The event in question was:
The first time I ever went out solo
It was a boring summer night in Iowa. I was 18 and there was nothing to do. Most of my friends were on family vacation, or had other obligations that evening. I was intending on staying in and reading blogs. Around 8:30 at night I stumbled on an article about going out by yourself. The author explained that anyone who was confident could go to a bar or club and have a great time.
Five minutes later I was headed out the door. I drove for 15 minutes to go to a nearby college that my friends and I used to party at in high school. While I didn’t know if anything would be going on, I figured that it would be worth a shot.
I ended up getting lucky. I saw a house with a massive line in front of it. I waited my turn, paid a two dollar cover charge, and walked inside. In hindsight the party was pretty horrible, but at the time I couldn’t believe it. I’d just walked into a random event, it was something I’d never even thought possible before.
Despite being incredibly nervous, I still managed to walk around and talk to people. Eventually I struck up a conversation with some girl as we both waited in line to use the bathroom. While we were talking, I was interrupted. Her friend rushed in, grabbed her arm, and swept her away.
I felt completely heartbroken. I’d gone out by myself, met a random girl, and hit it off, what were the odds that something like that would ever happen again. Wallowing in my sadness, I ended up walking to the house’s back door and sauntered outside.
As it turned out, I got really lucky.
Right after I walked outside several police cruisers turned on their lights and descended on the party. Already being in the backyard, it was easy for me to sneak off the property and watch from afar as everyone was rounded up and hauled off to jail. Because I hadn’t been drinking, it was pretty easy for me to get back across the street and walk back to my car.
As I drove home I just kept laughing. I couldn’t believe how crazy my night had been. I’d gotten into a random party, talked to a girl I didn’t know, and almost gone to jail. I figured that it would be hard to top an evening like that.
I was wrong.
While my adventure would become a cherished memory, it was actually one of the tamest evenings of my life. Since then I’ve had a thousand evenings that have surpassed that night in every way imaginable. I’ve been to private mansion parties, gotten into scuffles with criminals, and done way more than hold a five minute conversation with a girl.
The first time I ever went out solo wasn’t the best night of my life, but it was one of the most important. As silly as it might sound, I gained a lot of confidence from going out alone. It also laid the foundation for a skill set that I’d use for years to come. Additionally, I learned another valuable lesson from my experience. I discovered that my perception of the world was limited to what I knew. Two minutes before I read about going out alone, I never imagined that doing so was possible. My entire world opened up by simply thumbing trough some blog posts.
It’s easy to think that you have it all. Your world’s only as big as you think it is. Even doing something as simple as picking up a book, or trying something new can open doors that you never even knew existed.