All good things must come to an end, it’s inevitable. UCF’s winning streak, the American classic television show “Workaholics”, and the one time I ate Raising Canes for 39 straight days. All of these things ended in a blaze of glory. The same happened for my youth in the closing days of 2018. The life I had been living up until then suddenly seemed unsustainable. That the days that “old” people told me were coming we’re finally staring me in the face for the first time. Some people call it a “come to Jesus moment”. Being the good Buddhist that I am (not really), I saw it as a flash of enlightenment. A flash that showed me one of my worst fears in the world, growing up.
Let’s rewind a bit, back to about a week ago. My mind was ripe with thoughts that litter the psyche of any early-20s guy or gal around the magical turn of each year. Where was I gonna go? Who was I gonna meet? Would I find someone single and desperate enough to kiss me when the clock struck midnight? I had spent the preceding days the only way I knew how, by “re-toxing” my body to ensure maximum tolerance for the inevitable debauchery that was sure to ensue that evening. I took a power nap. Again, in preparation for a long New Years Eve. I woke up to a stomach ache, nothing out of the ordinary. I took some antacids knowing I had time to get rid of whatever affliction had overcome me in the last hour or so. It was only 9am, how bad can a stomach ache last realistically, anyway!? That’s when it hit. Let’s call it “the release of demons”. I hadn’t eaten much whatsoever the day of or the day before. So this was pure gut wrenching hell. I called into work and suddenly, the night was in dire jeopardy.
Sleeping in between the vomiting spouts. None of which helped the gut wrenching pain. I knew something was a bit different than food poisoning or an overindulgence. It was at this point I called for a ride to urgent care. It only took my very blunt, Asian-American doctor 30 minutes to diagnose me. Pancreatitis. Stemmed from several factors, mainly my intake of poison both liquid and solid in the form of mostly fried chicken. I was sent to the packed-to-the-gills emergency room and pretty quickly admitted to the general hospital to be pumped full of a cocktail of fluids: promethazine, anti-clotting medication, and morphine for the intense pain. After visits from the most worried and most geographically able people in my life. I sat in that hospital room, alone. Alone with nothing but my thoughts and a backlog of podcasts to listen to.
It was the silence between these podcasts and the influence of God’s sweet nectar, morphine, where I can to terms with my reality. It was time for me to grow up. In the blink of an eye my youth, in which I have basked in for the last 23 years was gone. I was already prepared that upon my departure from the hospital three days later that major life changes were going to be made. No more pregames leading to 11 p.m. trips to the club. No more month long Raising Canes binges. No more mismanaging my relationships with others. No. I was old now. Not old, but OLD old. I had looked death in the face and spit in it’s nostril holes. They say “live fast, die young”, but I’m not quite ready yet. Not before they make a sequel to “Step Brothers” and I have the chance to watch it 50+ times on Blu-Ray.
So, what now? Well, I can’t be too sure. In the days since my brush with fate, I am immediately a changed man. I’ve stopped getting lost in the sauce completely. My gambling ban continues to be enforced upon me, and I’m doing things for people I wouldn’t have even thought of doing before the date changed. Do I intend to be any less fun and energetic? Absolutely not. Am I still going to go out and enjoy the company of friends? Even more so. Instead of being a sad, apathetic, self-loathing, and down right neurotic human being. I’m choosing to put my energy into people regardless of their previous actions towards me. Maybe I’ll try and find a significant other (fat chance). Maybe I’ll read more. Maybe I’ll try my hand at being a sub-par college athlete again. No matter what happens. I’ll be sure to live my life more like an adult, rather than just a real big child. Gone is the old RP. In, is the new RP.
Still expect the same relationship advice and general ramblings here and on my socials @RotelBeckhamJr.