My cane, made from only the finest novelty-grade peppermint, rested safely under my gold and diamond ring. My watch reflected the soft lights above us back in a million different directions, as did my jacket. A sequin blazer, emboldened with a design of Christmas lights turned me into a human disco ball as I sat at the far end of the room, one elbow on the table and my opposite hand on what I came to call The Enforcer, standing on my knee. I was called a Christmas Pimp, or the Mayor of Christmasville, and gladly took the titles.
The Christmas season is upon us, and last night, we rang it in with ferocious style. Gorgeous dresses, lace accents, smoky eyes and ever-so-subtle glitter surrounded me as we ate like the classy beasts that we are. I got drunk for the first time in a year, and finally became familiar with what’s known as “mingling.” It was another first for me, in the sense that anxiety wasn’t in the picture. My outfit was loud and flamboyant, but I rocked it with confidence—if I could travel back in time two years and pick myself up in a DeLorean, I’d bring myself as my plus one. I’m sitting here this morning with memories fading in and out like a radio station on the fritz and I almost can’t believe that was me last night. There was no second guessing, just action.
I feel like I’m basking in a small revelation—like I just discovered a super power. I have been wondering for a long time how to transfer my work personality into a social situation. At work, I can approach anybody and strike up a conversation, but I flounder with small talk anywhere else. For the longest time I thought it was the lack of a purpose in social conversations, but then I realized I was a dick. To think of a social interaction as needing a purpose other than getting to know someone is almost psychopath behaviour, it’s adjacent to “how can I get what I need from this person.”
I’ve had a few small revelations lately, earlier this week I realized that my vocabulary is twisted when it comes to my friends. In my head, I phrase things like, “I have to go ____,” when in reality what I’m doing is spending time with a friend. My mind twisted the verbiage into something that felt like a task, or an errand I had to take care of, rather than giving it the credit of what the action would actually be—enjoying time with someone I love. Realizing that little aspect of my personality has shifted things for me in a positive way. I’ve opened a lock in my canal, allowing excitement to raise my ship to the level of what feels like normalcy. I actually get excited to see my friends now, I look forward to their faces and find myself longing for them—something that I’ve typically reserved for romantic parties.
I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is analyzing my life, figuring out where to invest more heavily, and how to maximize those returns. Work has definitely been an investment field, and the return is greater than I ever hoped; investing in myself as a writer and artist has also risen my stock a great deal. The returns I talk about are things like confidence, pride and ability. Last night, I saw the returns of my investment in the friends I’ve made over the past year, and it became clear to me that I need find those returns myself, they won’t come to me. Just as life doesn’t wait, there are some things you have to chase down and take for yourself.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.