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Reasonable unreasonability

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NOVEMBER 08, 2022

In high school, I always wrote my New Year’s resolutions in the beginning of my planner. I wanted good grades. I wanted a boyfriend. I think I wanted to learn how to play chess once but, most importantly, I always wanted to “do more unreasonable things, like make plans on a Tuesday.” 

Looking back, I realize what a huge nerd I was in high school. I was in ASB, on the bowling and badminton team, did goddamn competitive theatre and my most significant and continuous goal was to be “unreasonable” in literally the most reasonable way. I was a teenager scared to hang out with my friends on a Tuesday because in my mind, it was absolutely ridiculous to have fun on a school night. 

It goes without saying that I was not — and am not — a chill person. I’ve never done well without a plan to mentally prepare myself for whatever might come. I couldn’t deal with last-minute dinners with my boyfriend’s family or spur-of-the-moment invitations to hang out with even my closest friends. With these anxious tendencies, sex and spontaneity never went hand in hand. Everything had to be overanalyzed because if I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do ~it~, I couldn’t imagine having to say no down the line. 

Growing up and coming to UC Berkeley, I’ve begun to indulge in being unreasonable. Instead of being concerned about what I should or shouldn’t do, I’ve started to live for what will make me happiest. In a change from nerdy college-obsessed 17-year-old Julianna, at 21, I wake up every day in pursuit of “fun.” 

I’ve become the friend who is always down to go out and always comes back with ridiculous stories about the unreasonable things that ensued. So instead of worrying over lunch after class on a Tuesday, I am an avid taco Tuesday-er. Instead of being scared of last-minute plans, come 9 p.m., I am knocking on doors asking who wants to hang out.

I do things and people, because it seems like an alright decision at the moment, and that has become enough for me. Being reckless can be nice, but sometimes I miss the girl who considered all her options and really cared about school. With that being said, I don’t miss a shitty sex life. 

Movies always depict spontaneous and steamy sexual encounters where love interests are so enthralled with each other’s bodies that they make out in taxi cabs and stumble into apartments already in a full embrace. For so long, this seemed ridiculously unrealistic. Dance floor make outs, or “dfmos” for short, were a thing of fairytales and not actual college life.  

That is, until I found myself macking on a stranger at Papatzul on a weekend trip to New York City. I didn’t know anything about him, name included, but that didn’t matter. I was young, drunk, dumb and maybe just a little reckless, but it was silly and fun, which has become my new prerogative. 

Becoming sexually spontaneous, be it at a club in New York City or at a frat’s “Champagne and Shackles” has made for a better time and better stories to tell my friends and eventually write about. Maybe not every decision ends in fireworks, but I’ve yet to burn my life to the ground, so why not have some stupid spontaneous fun? 

Being slightly reckless and very honest about it does come with its own setbacks, though. While I know people perceive me a certain way, sometimes I still feel like the anxious little girl too scared to speak up in class, let alone kiss someone. I’ve taken the idea of “fake it till you make it” and ran with it, but I don’t really know if I’m faking confidence or just exposing my lack of critical thinking and willpower. 

I’ve been told if someone placed a marshmallow in front of me and said to me if I didn’t touch it for five minutes, I would get a second, I would not make it past the first minute. I want to have my cake and eat it too, but I may have strayed too far away from the responsibility I once knew. 

I don’t want to go back to overthinking every decision and a stale sex life, but I also don’t want to lose myself completely. With the new year approaching, I’ll start my resolutions again, but this time, I’ll encourage some reasonable unreasonability. Taco Tuesdays and “dfmos”, but still making it to class the following day.

And so I’ll explore being both spontaneous and secretive at the same time. Starting by saying that spontaneous and steamy movie-like moments are possible for me in real life, especially behind locked bathroom doors aboard a party boat in the San Francisco Bay. 

Contact Julianna Goldfarb at 

LAST UPDATED

NOVEMBER 08, 2022