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Is it necessary for a mature and conscious adulthood to have a hedonistic youth?


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The ego is asking: Is it necessary to have had a crazy youth and early 20s with regularly drinking with the same group of friends, having had a group of friends with whom you had a friendly banter and to have had a strong relationship of teasing each other - to be bale to grow into an adult with a mature and conscious sense of self?


I always had a strong inhibition in me towards alcohol and promiscuous love because my dad is an alcoholic who cheated on my mom with several women at the same time. I travelled the world the bit to learn about cultures, worked and volunteered here and there, but actually without getting into any flirting and sex - except for 2 kisses at some parties in Canada.


My ego feels wounded, and less then others for not having had an outspoken, more outgoing, promiscuous young adulthood, with more social connections and being part of communities - which usually involves sex and alcohol where I am from.


As I grew up I always wanted to be part of the cool kids a bit, but I learned to accept myself the way I am - not so outspoken, but still a bit goofy, versatile, intelligent guy. I often let other guys approach women I liked and take them because I didn't know how to as girls out or engage in a confident conversation with them. I still had a girlfriend when I was 17 but that didn't involve sex, just kissing on the physical level, but we were kind of really close friends who were into each other a lot. I broke up with her, because I was still looking for who I am.


I had a relationship of 2 years and I broke up with her as well. It seems that the main reason was that my ego was constantly looking for something, and I even felt jealous at her that she had a youth where she was drinking regularly with her handball team. She organized parties at her house and she posted to her friends on facebook about being drunk and getting drunk together and how cool that is, even swearing sometimes. I haven't ever played sports competitively. This just confuses me as to how reserved a person she was next to me in this 2 years and how much she confessed she loves me and she feels being herself next to me, sharing all our day with each other, speaking or meeting up every evening. This break up was 6 months ago and I am trying to move on, but memories still creep up. I loved her too, but my relationship was a bit addictive to her, I needed her to feel complete and I was losing myself more and more. Although the breakup was the only way out, I could have healed next to her as well.We drank wine twice together and she didn't want to drink with me and also she was getting really interested in yoga, massage, healthy diet and spirituality. I don't want to speak bad words about her, because I deeply respect her, but to me this transition is too sharp, 180 degrees after having learnt how she behaved in her early 20s as to how she was while being with me from when she was 24. For a deeper consciousness, is such a hedonistic youth necessary? Getting drunk after having hangovers, having flings with guys?


All the girls I dates so far loved me and accepted me for who I am - which served my ego well - but I wasn't truely in love with them I think, or couldn't tell because I defined love through them serving my ego.


This question still is hanging in the air. My ego wants to constantly cover up or make up for what I seemingly have missed in my early 20s - partying and getting drunk - maybe doing crazy things sexually. But I actually don't know whether this is true, this is me, or just my ego taking every opportunity to feel wounded for things other people possess.



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What you describe often leads to regret, not enlightenment.


Not to mention DUI, pregnancy and loss of brain cells.


Of course going to a party once in a while and having a good time (drinking or not) can be good for you as long as you do not take anything to extremes (you know the type)


There is no reason trying to be something you are not, be yourself and love who you are.



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You use terminology in your posting that suggests to me that you read a lot of psychology-related material. And you tend to over-precision in your descriptions.


What I'm seeing is a lot of overthinking by yourself about how things were and what you wanted them to be.


Perhaps the problem is that? Are you ever able to just go with the flow? To be in the moment?


If that is so, it is not a matter of lost youthful excess as a sort of finishing school for life.

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What do you mean by finishing school for life? I am actually going with the flow a lot. In the sense that I have a difficulty of saying no, and then I tend to want to do too many things at the same time. But I think you mean going with flow in a different sense.


But over-thinking was something my ex girlfriend told me a lot I am doing, and that I should just be present.

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What do you mean by finishing school for life? I am actually going with the flow a lot. In the sense that I have a difficulty of saying no, and then I tend to want to do too many things at the same time. But I think you mean going with flow in a different sense.


A finishing school as a place to prepare for the next phase.


Going with the flow does not mean doing too many things, nor does it mean not saying "no."


To me, if you're experiencing life in the moment, you act. You do not hang back. But you do take on what life presents.

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Hardly anything to be proud of when you get STDs, hangovers, fatty livers and crappy college grades, flunk out, end up working at a fast-food drive-through and live in moms basement.

My ego wants to constantly cover up or make up for what I seemingly have missed in my early 20s - partying and getting drunk - maybe doing crazy things sexually.
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Okay first of all, it’s incredibly unfair to state or assume that people who did have an eventful youth are wrought with STDs, pregnancy, health problems, and pathetic careers. My God, judgemental much??


I partied in high school. I drank more than I should’ve. I connected with many friends because of it. Not that I felt like I had to drink to fit in, but having those crazy stories and experiences to share really is a sort of bonding experience. I didn’t get pregnant, or get an STD, and I have a successful career.


I think having those experiences at an early age probably did help me feel accepted, which probably helped my self-confidence and I’m sure eventually aided in me becoming the very bold person I am today. I guess what I’m most grateful for related to those experiences in my youth is that I did it early and grew out of it early. I can definitely see myself being a bit more high strung now if I hadn’t already done all that stuff back then. I made it through college with no issues and rarely (like once a year after New Years) come in to work hungover, so it never really affected my adult life, because I was well over it by the time I was 20.


Regardless, you can’t go back and change the past. Would you be a different person if you’d had a more colorful past? Probably. But obviously, that wasn’t what you wanted or you would’ve done that. Are you feeling the urge to go experience it now?? Go have a few benders, just be safe. But resenting the fact that you never acted out is useless. Do you like who you are? If so, why the need for a different life? I’m grateful for my memories, but aren’t you grateful for yours as well?

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Hmmmm.... when I read your description of the girl you were seeing I get the sense that perhaps you were attracted to the "bad girl" in her... and you admit yourself that you were codependent with her. While it's entirely possible to heal while in a relationship with someone, you need to be your own person with a solid foundation of self-awareness in order to do so, otherwise it becomes even more damaging to your self-esteem / self-worth.


And speaking as someone who did have that hedonistic youth in my late teens and early 20's I am here to tell you that it does nothing to make you a better person. At the end of the day I think it's not about the partying and drinking.... instead it is about allowing yourself the opportunity to take risks and try things and to go after what you have always wanted and believing yourself worthy of the life and relationships you want.

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I am 52. I've never been drunk or tried an illegal drug or had a one night or even a two night stand. From the time I was around 14 and throughout my 20s and into my 30s I had a ton of fun including going out till all hours at awesome clubs dancing my heart out, going to singles resorts, singles parties, traveling (although not for very extended periods) and I was around a lot of alcohol and drugs. My husband grew up a bit more sheltered than me and wasn't into the clubs/dancing/rock and new wave concerts I was. He has been drunk or at least very buzzed in his life -I don't think ever around me or after we met (we originally met in our late 20s). He wasn't promiscuous in the least and neither was I. He was far more reserved and shy than I was and it all works out. I do not regret any of the fun I had -I did do some dumb things, some things I regret, nothing awful or terrible. Friends of mine did though. I've seen people who spent a lot of time using drugs/drinking/being promiscuous take a different path when they get older and others did not. I can't say anything general. I married and became a parent later in life (early 40s) and one reason I'm totally fine not going out much anymore is because I know I've had my share and then some.


I think my social life back then helped me figure out who I was, who I liked ,who liked me and I feel chills when I hear some of the 80s music that's for sure!!

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Partying isn't limited to the 20's crowd. So if you feel like you are missing out to the point where it's affecting you, your life, your self esteem, and your relationships, then quite frankly nothing is stopping you from hooking up with people who are partying and experiencing that. Go and do it and see reality and how it works for you or not.


That said, if you are always fixated on what you don't have and imagining how other people's lives must be so much more fabulous, you have bigger personal issues to resolve than just wanting to party.

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I had a WILD AND CRAZY YOUTH!!!!! before kids. But some of the most coolest, badass people I have ever met didn't drink or do drugs. They traveled the world. Volunteered. Open businesses. Invented things.


Everyone marches to their own drum. Everyone marches to a different beat, and that is what makes people awesome, unique, and special.

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I've always been cautious about my drinking and choices of who I've slept with as well. I grew up seeing the uglier side of excess, like you, a parent (and others around me) with drinking problems . And seeing friends suffer due to promiscuity. It was never glamourous to me nor held an appeal to go down that way for myself.


I'm not sure why your ego hurts? It's different when you grow up seeing extreme versions of it. It's finding peace with that too, and coming to understand you do not have to be bound either way by others choices.


I enjoyed and enjoy a glass of wine and a little rowdiness now and then. It took me a while to be comfortable with that though, that this is me, and I don't have to guard so hard against going too far. I think a lot of kids of alcoholics worry about that

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But I actually don't know whether this is true, this is me, or just my ego taking every opportunity to feel wounded for things other people possess.


What a rich, self-aware question. I think everyone has pangs of wishing to turn back the calendar from time to time. The one thing that helps me address regrets is to give myself permission to behave any way I wish NOW. You don't need to be 20 in order to drink or dance or do whatever you believe 'would have been' so great.


I may not speak for everyone, but if it's any comfort, the reason that most of us outgrew partying is because we were BORED with it. Most of the time we only did it because we were bored enough to want to self-medicate. What should that tell you?


Allow your introspection to lead you forward into desired behaviors rather than regretting your youth. I don't know of too many people who wouldn't have done things differently had they known HOW. So take what you know today, and spend your time any way you wish. If you're not motivated to do today what you were never invested in doing before, then doesn't that confirm for you that you made the right choices for you?


Head high, you've got this.

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Your mistake, in my opinion, is that you are going off what you believe is a universal checklist for life. Simply put, you cannot resolve your personal issues in the same way that you balance your checkbook or figure out a math equation. They are entirely different parts of life, and they are to be solved in entirely different manners.


One day when you're a parent, you'll see that there is no standard way to raise children. Even if two children have the same mother and father, they could have completely different personalities, so their parents might have to treat each child a bit differently. One child might be fascinated with screwdrivers and more than anything, wants to hold one in his hand. But this is dangerous for such little toddlers. So the parents have to lock up the tool box and over and over say NO when the child wants to grab the screwdriver he sometimes sees in his parents' hands. But the other child may not care one way or another for the screwdriver, so they would never have to hear the parents say NO SCREWDRIVER! One child will grow up with the memory of the yelling. The other, not directly so the memory won't be as bad for him. Parents adapt to the personalities of their children.


You are not a toddler anymore, but being that you're human, the same basic principle holds true. What is good for one may not be good for another. There is no definite way to know either way, and honestly, ANY type of lifestyle will have good and bad aspects to it. It's not so black and white.


So, please delete that checklist from your head permanently. You're putting yourself through unnecessary strain here.


Maybe you should be asking yourself another question, such as, "will living in a way that has been out of character for me, be beneficial for me in the long run"? It could be. No one knows for sure. Just make sure that if you do follow that path, you practice responsible drinking and safe sex. There is nothing desirable or fun about a person who loses control so much that their life falls apart.


Good luck.



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It sounds like you're assuming drinking and partying in your 20s somehow leads to emotional maturity.


It doesn't. The truth is that some people enjoy drinking and partying and some don't. Some enjoy one night stands and casual sex and some don't. Unless it's done to excess or in a way that's unhealthy, none of these things are "bad". They are just choices that people made.


I drank in my 20s. I went to parties. I wouldn't refer to that part of my life as "hedonistic", nor do I miss it now that I'm a mother who has given up that sort of thing. I love being in bed by 10.


You seem to think you've missed out on some kind of necessary milestone that leads to greater awareness and that couldn't be further from the truth. For some, their mistakes bring clarity. Others don't consider events from their youth a mistake.


I think you definitely sound like you lack emotional maturity. I don't think it's because you didn't drink but I do think you lack self awareness and self confidence. I would concentrate on finding those parts of yourself over worrying about all those great parties you missed.

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