I had a lot of great nights during my younger years. I’m talking the stuff coming-of-age movies are made of. Lots of friends, lots of laughs, just the right amount of drama and chaos and always a late-night re-hash session with my roommates. One of those great nights happened to be a St. Paddy’s celebration in college. I’m not quite sure what made it so, so perfect, but it just was. My friend Laura and I — usually going our own way to say “hi” to other friends (or great looking boys) — for whatever reason, stayed side by side the entire night. The result was a slap-stick night of fun and adventure ending with a 20-piece chicken nugget meal (with four different dipping sauces, thankyouverymuch) and an epic rehash session. An endless amount has changed since that night for both Laura and me. And yet when I came across a picture we snapped of ourselves that night (hello, selfie before it was cool), I was transported right back to that place. The girl in that photo has worries, sure, I stressed about finals and boy troubles, but those are nothing compared to the troubles I’ve since endured and the worries and stress I have daily. The girl in that photo looked so happy, so carefree, she looked like so much fun. Somewhere along the line I developed frown lies and while I have fun, I feel I’ve lost my ability to let loose and to live in the moment. I’m sure this revelation (which I’ve had from time to time) is just part of growing up. But what I can tell you is that, as proud as I am of the woman I’ve become, I miss so much about that girl. That was the girl my husband and my life-long friends fell in love with, not the neurotic person who wakes up at 6 a.m. to vacuum “because it’s the only time I have time to do it.” I framed the photo and placed in on a bookshelf in my office. When things get tense, I look over at that face and remind myself that she is still me. While I’m all about meaning business (and for the most part I do) I think it’s important that we all remind ourselves that the business of fun is just as important as the business of business. Treat yourself to a great night soon. I know I will.
Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.