The End

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog lately, and I’ve come to the sad realization that its days are done. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not a college kid anymore. Hell, I’m not even a law student anymore. I’m a fucking professional (and I don’t mean that I fuck professionally).

The thing is, the person you see on this blog isn’t who I really am. It captured just one aspect of my personality I refer to as my “inner fratboy” – the Peter Pan part of me that didn’t want to grow up and be an adult. Except that instead of running around Neverland wearing tights, the Lost Boys were blackout drunk and hitting on 19-year-old girls at a toga party.

But times change, and my inner fratboy isn’t what he used to be. He grew bored of his “love life” being a string of random, alcohol-fueled hookups, and discovered that there’s something remarkably pleasant about having a girl you actually want to [gasp] talk to in the morning. He realized that there are better occasions to celebrate with a kegstand than “Tuesday.” And even stranger, he realized that there are experiences that he might want to remember himself, rather than having to ask what he did the night before. In other words, “Alcoholism” simply lost its luster as an ideology. At some indiscernible moment, my inner fratboy grew up

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought I would be doing after law school, I’d have said I was going to be clerking for a federal judge, working at the USDOJ, or something along those lines. I figured that my grades alone would guarantee me a sweet fucking job, and that I’d be choosing between multiple offers. Yet there I was, four months after graduation, honors galore on my resume – and unemployed.

I am living proof that grades aren’t everything. Sometime during my third year, I realized is that the reason I wasn’t getting any offers was because I was an arrogant, immature smartass, and I’m pretty fucking sure that it came across in my interviews. Given that there are plenty of highly qualified candidates willing to work, I can understand why they didn’t want hire a guy they thought might get wasted and hit on an important client’s wife. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand this until the recruiting season had come and gone.

I had to do a lot of growing up over the past year before I could finally let my inner fratboy retire. I mean, he’ll always be there for me, doing the things I need him to do: making steaks out of sacred cows, saying insensitive things to sensitive people, telling stories about vile acts of bestiality he’s seen in Mexico, and relishing the craziness of the occasional Guys’ Night Out. But for all intents and purposes, he’s gone. He’s not welcome at a black tie charity ball, in front of a client, or any other place where my inner fratboy really needs to grab an inner beer, sit in front of my inner Xbox, and just shut the fuck up.

In reality, my days of debauchery have been over for more than a year now – writing this blog was my inner fratboy’s last holdout. I haven’t had a new drinking story for nearly a year. This, of course, makes sense, since I just plain don’t drink like I used to. And while I don’t regret my years of shameless womanizing, I was surprised to find myself actually being happy in a real “long-term relationship.”

But the strangest thing of all is that I don’t miss my inner fratboy – not really, anyway. I mean, I’m going to miss reckless, self-destructive behavior like I miss playing with G.I. Joes in elementary school: something to remember fondly, but something that I ultimately grew out of and moved on. My poster of John Belushi now languishes in the basement next to Cobra Commander, symbols of eras gone by.

After all, I’ll always have Paris. And by “Paris” I mean how a random Monday night bar crawl could lead to me convincing two drunk sorority girls to make out – and then having a three-way kiss with them. Or stumbling down the street with a friend, convinced that everyone wants to hear us sing Willie Nelson songs at the top of our lungs. Or… you get the idea. The point is, my college (I include law school) “glory days” have been relegated to nostalgia – not lifestyle.

Now, the time has come to turn my energy towards the future. I landed an incredible job that will give me the chance to really prove myself, doing exactly the sort of things I want to do. The blog helped me get a book deal which I hope will be the springboard for many literary endeavors to come. I have a wonderful girl to call my own – someone who saw the person that I could be and always wanted to be – someone who believed in me, and who helped me finally grow up and become that person. All I can really say is that life is good.

I used to dread the idea of growing up and becoming a responsible adult – a “real person,” not a student. I think that I held on to this blog so tightly out of fear. I have always been terrified of growing up because I thought it meant becoming a boring fucking stiff, watching reruns on Nick-at-Nite and eating oat bran. Quitting the blog meant giving up the last vestiges of my old self – in other words, relinquishing a part of my identity.

And yet, it amazes me how easy it is to finally let it go now. I’ve discovered that growing up and moving on isn’t so bad after all. You still get to have fun as a grown-up – it just gets classier, with cocktail hours replacing frat parties. Instead of weekend roadtrips to hook up with girls in another zip code, I’m looking forward to safaris and cruises with my (eventual) family. Instead of guzzling vodka that comes in a plastic bottle, I’ll be able to sip fine scotch (in moderation, of course). Instead of a loud apartment complex where you can tell the day of the week by the number of beer cans littering the floor of the elevator, I’ll have a house – with a yard. And of course, what I’m looking forward to most of all is being a professional instead of an overgrown, adolescent fuck-up.

I think Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years” pretty much sums it up:

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now its time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years

All good things must come to an end, and so too must Law & Alcoholism. The time has come for me to bid a fond farewell to my inner fratboy as he rides off into the sunset on the back of a Tijuana donkey. I hope y’all have enjoyed reading this blog even half as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. And so, for the last time:

Fuck it.

This is Legally Intoxicated, signing off.