I remember this one time in college leaving a party with my buddy at 4AM. We were headed to Waffle House (because duh), tired and sort of out of it, but he began pontificating about the finer points of life. He wanted to talk about the party we’d just left. Now, in the years I’d known him, this friend of mine had always maintained a very keen social lens (even in the wee hours of the morning), so when he started talking I was all ears.
This was probably mid-college, 2nd semester sophomore year or first semester junior year, right when things were getting good. We went to a lot of functions, and had a lot of good times, but on this night, he’d overheard some folks talking about how boring the party was and how they didn’t have a good time and it sent him down a worm hole. And I followed.
Now, keep in mind this wasn’t his party, or anyone’s party he’d help throw. In fact, he’d had no vested interest in the party outside of going there to have fun. Which is what his talk was all about:
“TF kinda shit is that?”
He had questions as we waited on our orders.
“How they gonna say the party was whack? That shit wasn’t whack, was it? WE had fun, shiiid.”
He didn’t understand how we could’ve been in the same place as them and shared different experiences. How someone could hinge their fun on what other people were doing. Could these people really have been “too cool” to have a good time?
“I mean, if you didn’t have fun, then you didn’t have fun. But that don’t mean the PARTY wasn’t fun! Am I making sense?!”
Like I said, it was 4AM but eventually he’d come to the conclusion that most of the time, people aren’t having fun because, well, they aren’t having fun. And that’s a word right there.
There’s only one verb in this phrase: “have fun”. It’s have. That’s it. Fun is a privilege, not a given. It rarely just falls into your lap, you know? It takes a decision. You wouldn’t go to Six Flags, be afraid to ride the roller coasters, not have a good time, and then say the park isn’t fun, would you? Of course not.
Nah, homie, you just didn’t have any fun. And that’s on you.
Have you ever read The Mastery of Love? It’s a good one, and it has this little part that’s adjacent to what I’m talking about:
“If you take your happiness and put it in someone’s hands, sooner or later, (s)he is going to break it. If you give your happiness to someone else, (s)he can always take it away. Then if happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love, you are responsible for your happiness.” — Don Miguel Ruiz
So yeah, this is what my boy was explaining to me at 4AM all those years ago.
“Can’t nobody have fun FOR you! If you’re not having fun, that’s your ass. And if you ARE having fun, then that’s all there is to say about that. Nobody can change YOUR mind.”
Ah, the brilliance of the slightly tired, partially altered, and starvingly hungry mind! Just think for a minute how this applies to our happiness in relationships, or our fulfillment at our jobs and the passion in our hobbies, etc. No matter the area of life, there is a certain level of purposefulness we must bring to it if we expect to get something back out of it. Thems the rules; and that goes for everything from 4PM workout classes to 4AM Waffle House visits.
We have to fight for our right to party. Got it? Cool. HAVE fun, y’all.