Because people won’t stop asking…I don’t want to drink anymore, b/c I don’t want to.
In high school and college I was focused. I knew what I wanted, I went after it, and 90% of the time I got it. Not to say disappointments didn’t exist, but I feel, in general, I have had more success than failure. That doesn’t mean that what I achieved didn’t come without struggle…Yes, I don’t live in a 3rd World country and I can’t remember the last time I missed a meal, but it’s all relative.
During my high school years I didn’t drink, I didn’t hang out with people who did, I was extremely anti-drug, could not fathom letting a cigarette touch my lips, and had little interest in anything but sports and boys. Besides speeding, all illegal activities just seemed like a way to fuck up everything I spent my time working for. It was in my interest to avoid these things. It wasn’t hard. I grew up in a household that was virtually dry. (Having 6 kids doesn’t leave much time or money to dedicate to booze.) My friends were also student athletes who had similar mindsets.
College was a little different. I slowly became acclimated to the drankin’. Went to parties, learned to play games…everything you’d expect based on movies, but on a much smaller scale. Off-season consisted of parties and goofing off, falling in line with the crowd. During softball I refrained. I wanted to be in tip-top shape at all times; not to say there weren’t special occasions, but for the most part it was not an element of my life from January through mid-May. Similar to high school, I’d rather play sports and get good grades than lay in bed with terrible breath moaning about my head ache and regretting whatever the fuck I ate in my stupor. In summers, away from school I didn’t spend time or money on hooch either. Few gatherings here and there, but mostly dry.
After graduation I learned about this new mentality: “Work Hard, Play Hard.” This philosophy seemed to include working your ass off all week and going out Fridays and Saturdays with friends, meeting new people, drinking your weight, and trying to find a way home. I went out with my friends from college, new colleagues, and my siblings. Thinking back now, I don’t know why I drank. I don’t need to drink to loosen up; I’ll say whatever all the time. I don’t need to drink to dance; I’m dancing right meow. I was certainly not depressed. I did it only b/c that is what was happening around me; like a yawn.
|Accurate Representation of my former...|
After college I lost my drive/focus. I was a willing participant in a “relationshit” that lasted 3 years and included relocation to the Midwest, a 50-60 hour per week job, too much boozing and a 15 pound weight gain. I don’t know if you have ever been to the Midwest, but in winter there are few things to do. My outside of work activities typically consisted of: watching sports at a bar, watching sports at home, watching sports at a friend’s apartment, going to bars for birthday parties, going to bars for Fridays, going to bars for Saturdays…have I established a clear enough pattern? Additionally, in Chi you never need a DD…there are hundreds and thousands of cabbies chomping at the bit to drive you wherever you need to go.
It isn’t that I ever felt pressured into drinking. I just didn’t know what else to do, there were few other activities in which to participate. I had too much time; I didn’t have enough awesome shit on my schedule. I couldn’t schedule my life with the way my job worked, some days I worked 8 hours, others 12…but I never knew more than a day or 2 in advance. Basically what I am saying is I was a lazy asshole who followed around a group of people trying to experience new things. (Turns out it was the same ol’ shit every time.)
Luckily for me I found my way out back to the West Coast. Even then I was lost. I had a job I wasn’t sure I wanted, all of my friends were getting married or crappin’ out kids, my family was all jumbly…and I was still without certainty about what I wanted from a professional standpoint. So for several months I was more or less in the same rut, same routine…
THEN I got busy…I had my day job, sailing, my side job, started riding my bike, it was SUMMER, some miscellaneous volunteer activities, and just anything that came up. Granted there were downtimes, but typically they are butted up directly with some highly physical activity that required me to be at full strength…It was at this point I realized I had found my way back to the high school kid who didn’t give a crap about dranks because there were so many more interesting things to dedicate my time to. (This time it expanded beyond sports and boys…but the idea is the same.)
I would rather spend my time and money on things that are actually fun, gasoline to get me places, foul weather gear for sailing in the rain/cold/snow/sleet/hail, FOOD, kitchen gadgets, random stuffs for friends, concert tickets, bike stuff, FOOD... When something is bad for their health people decide to “quit” them. You never hear someone say, “I need to quit brushing my teeth.” Or, “I should stop eating carrots…”
Whatever. That was way too much information. The point is I want to run around and act like myself when I was 16, it was fun and I was amped all the time. I feel the same now, except I have money to spend…which makes it way more rad. Like every other fucking thing I have written about on this blog, my advice for changing things is to just stop doing them. If you want to do something, if it is really important to you, you will make it happen. So make it happen, whatever it is.