How I Outgrew the Night Life

How I Outgrew the Night Life. Written by Apple Gamboa for

Where do broken hearts go? They say this is the perfect place — because you can barely hear your own heartbeat. There I was in a bar, hoping I could heal myself.

I was all set. I put on heavy makeup to look a bit more mature and wore the tightest dress I’ve ever tried on my whole life. I glanced at my reflection in the elevator, nervously tapping my feet as I await for the unknown to happen. I was a totally different person then. The doors finally opened. Loud music started to blast through the speakers. The lights were dim as people huddled in groups. I finally stepped on the dance floor.

I didn’t even have to squeeze myself in. The waves of people swaying to the music caught me. The next thing I knew, some guy was grinding behind me. Surprised, I immediately went out of the crowd to see where my friends were. They had exactly what I needed at that moment.

Shots. Shots that trickled down my throat, burnt my insides, ignited me and made me feel I was allowed to do anything. When my favorite dance music “Where’s Your Head At” played, I lost my mind for a minute and went back to the dance floor. The DJ knew exactly what music I wanted: songs that would not remind me why I’m here at the bar in the first place, songs that would make me forget all the emotions bottled up inside.

All I can hear were songs about flirting and meeting someone new — sometimes that’s what I was told to do.

Stranger encounters
Stranger encounters

I was dared to do crazy things in bars. I danced with strangers. I gave a drink to a man I think I’d like even if I was sober. I made other groups join our tables. These were things I never thought I would do. It became fun to meet people; some didn’t even bother to ask what my name was.

We were strangers, maybe sometimes too close for comfort. Yet we didn’t care. We already had baggages in our lives; we didn’t want any add-ons. Besides, this was only just for a short time. For a year, I frequented these places. My parents didn’t approve of it yet they couldn’t stop me since I maintained my high grades as a Journalism major in UST. My friends hated me for it. They couldn’t understand why I spent hours preparing for nights in these chaotic jungles.

I wasn’t able to explain myself then. All I knew was that I was having the time of my life and everything was transitory. Because of clubbing, my body and mind was too tired to think about my problems. My worries dissolved with all the cocktails I drank and the loud music still in my ears even as I was about to sleep.

Graveyard shift
Graveyard shift

But all good things come to an end. Well, I realized it wasn’t even good to begin with. Clubbing became tedious. The party music was suddenly too loud. It irritated me when people would bump me especially if it was intentional. I felt like I was being suffocated. It dawned on me: I was losing myself in the process of escaping reality.

I dumped the tight dress, shedding all the pretensions. I stayed away from the make-up that was masking my emotions. After a while, I found myself again. I realized I didn’t want to exist in fleeting moments. I wanted something more tangible: permanent relationships and a world I could hold on to and grasp. I am imperfect, and so is my life. But this is what’s real; this is who I am. It was time to embrace myself and probably pick up from where I left off.

No more hiding and escaping in the night. I decided to face the daylight again.

What am I doing?
What am I doing?

[Entry 28, The SubSelfie Blog]

About the Author:

Apple Gamboa.

Apple Gamboa was an interview and field producer for GMA News, particularly the newscasts Quick Response Team and News to Go. She is currently a producer for lifestyle TV shows and documentaries. Travelling and music is her passion and she takes risks as her personal reality medicine. Journalism 2010, UST. Read more of her articles here.

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