Forget past mistakes and press onto greater mistakes

January is an awful time of year. Let’s be honest here: it’s dark, it’s cold, you’re broke – and anyone that has ever given up something they enjoy has done it in January. It’s also the month in which a lot of people choose to reflect on the actions and decisions of the past twelve months and (because of a combination of fear, shame or the unfortunate acknowledgement that it’s time to “be a good person”) vow to do things differently. Better.

It’s bloody grim.

So I’ve taken a stand!

OK – so it was an accident. Well, as much as drinking to excess and unpacking your pyjamas onto someone else’s bed can be considered “accidental”. (I hear it is also “presumptuous” – who knew?!) The important point here is that I never actually decided to venture back along this particular, well-trodden path. January was supposed to be about making new mistakes, for goodness sake! But – as we all know – “accidents” happen… And as a result, I have firmly decided that there is absolutely no need whatsoever to change how things were before. In short: I re-made a past bad decision. Twice! And it was really, really good. 

When you wake up next to someone you’ve woken up next to a few times before (if you catch my drift) it tends to either give you cause to wonder how on earth it has happened again, or to question why on earth it is not happening all the time. In the case of this particular someone, however, neither thought has crossed my mind. And I think I know the reason: this person (let’s call him Tom for now) is one of my best friends. (I know – but bear with me.)

I’ll give you some background. Tom and I have been friends since we both moved to The Big Smoke back in 2011. We’ve had some adventures since then (driving to the seaside at 3am on a January morning; being [separately] hospitalised after a night out; screaming at each other about Disneyland Paris, that sort of thing) – and our respective parents think we are both marvellous. (Box ticked!) Tom is the man I’ll marry when I reach 35 and am still single. (We’ve discussed it and agreed – and recently upped the age from 30, lest it sneaks up on us.) He is the epitome of a Storage Man and I think he’s wonderful. (There’ll be more on Storage Men later…)

Tom was my go-to man (and I his go-to girl) for our entire University careers – and then some – despite both of us (and indeed everyone else we knew and lived with) recognising each time that it was a terrible choice. We have made this particular bad decision for so long that on our (now much rarer) nights out, waking up next to him is an almost unconscious expectation. It’s as inevitable as me having to make the tea in the morning while he desperately searches for painkillers – but it is precisely because of this that I’m convinced it shouldn’t change. Just like binge watching Netflix or ordering pizza on a Sunday evening hangover, there’s no point pretending that it won’t happen. These things are convenient, familiar, but downright fantastic – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Tom said of our most recent encounter, “it’s kind of boring when we get together at the start of the night”, because where’s the fun without the chase? And I think that’s exactly what it comes down to. For now? We don’t need each other. He is on Tinder (albeit with varying success) and living in Southampton – and I’m looking forward to making more bad decisions in London. But as it might end up being the rest of our lives, it really doesn’t hurt to get in a few good practise sessions every now and again…

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Dating, drinking and (bad) decisions: the story of the twenty-something girl in London

I first decided to write this blog almost four years ago, at around the same time that I’d first decided to try and “be a proper grown up”. I’d just moved from Deptford to East Dulwich, I could still get a seat on the train out of Peckham Rye in the morning and I was on the precipice of being able to drink Prosecco rather than Blossom Hill’s finest rosé, even mid-week…

You can see it went well.

Back then (as you might have guessed) I was prone to statements of intent that were rather grander than my actions (read: absolutely no follow through) and, as a result, it has taken us a while to get here. But here we are! – and I say “we” deliberately, as I have, in essence, called in the cavalry. These words are – and will continue to be – a result of more than one frantic WhatsApp conversation, the genuine promise of psychological support and many, many bottles of wine consumed between at least two, and sometimes three of us. The result is, I hope, something you will like.

I can’t promise that it will be any less awkward to read than my recently rediscovered LiveJournal (“This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world…”) (I know!) but at the very least, it will be honest. Here follows a record of the drinking, dating and (bad) decisions of a twenty-something girl in London.