Still Growing Up

I used to really enjoy drinking. I loved the initial surge from the first few sips. I loved the comfort it provided simply holding the glass. Drinking made me not care. If you really want to get into it, it was a release. It allowed me to let go of my self-instilled constraints. I was definitely addicted to the chaos it created, the recklessness...the late nights, the built-in excuse, the ease in forging new connections (albeit temporary), the madness that can only come when everyone is beyond sloppy and the next day is a cascade of memories from the shitshow that was.

Obviously it wasn't all glitter and champagne and laughter.

Sometimes I look back at my younger self and wish my time was spent differently. Sometimes I cringe and simultaneously emit a small sound (a muted scream perhaps) when I replay certain interactions...situations.

I was incredibly selfish. It took me an unfortunately long period of time to learn and find what was actually important to me (which as it turns out has very little to do with me). It took a long time to recognize that while I popped in and out of people's lives soaking in the moment, I wasn't actually making real relationships. I thought I was. I didn't know any better, and that is part of the downside that I'm still trying to unpack.

Sometimes though, I look back...and I'm glad.

I can't credit those "good old days" exclusively to drinking, but it was part of who I was.

I wasn't scared then, at least not in the same way I experience now. I freely moved from one location to the next. I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I was impulsive. Rarely did I consider repercussions. Sometimes I look back and envy that freedom, the freedom of youth and ignorance. I wasn't carrying the weight of mortality back then.

I get how that sounds all heavy, but it's true.

Something happened when I got sick and anxiety took over.

For one, I don't enjoy drinking anymore. I'm not really sure why. I can't take credit for it. It wasn't a conscious change. It just doesn't do what it once did for me. I didn't drink for over a year following that summer, now almost two years ago. These days I'll have a drink here and there but it really isn't the same. It's like I said before, some sort of switch either flipped on or off. I'm not sure which.

The other change is my leaning toward simplicity. I used to think that in order to hang on to a memory, I had to hold onto everything associated with that experience. I grew up believing keepsakes were essential. I kept letters and trinkets and glasses and stuffed animals and any little thing that held even a glimmer of sentiment.

I kept it all so that I could remember. When I went somewhere new, I wanted to hold onto the places I'd previously been. I guess I didn't want to forget who I was when I was in those places. I've spent the last couple years going through and letting go of so much; and there were so many times where I would look at some "thing", and not remember what it was or where I had accumulated it. I had so many strings attached to meaningless objects.

But that's life, right?

We grow.

We change.

We hopefully evolve into better versions of ourselves as we try to make sense of what is important to us.

I finished my Nutrition (Dietetics) program last week. It's been a difficult couple of years for me, but I'm proud I finished. This was a big deal for me. I switched into content that forced me out of my comfort zone. I left my job and security and income for this.

And I did well.

I say all that not to boast, but because I was scared to make the change initially. I didn't have confidence that I would perform well in my classes, but I ultimately did way better than I thought I could. My acknowledging that is also a big deal. I have a tendency to downplay my own accomplishments.

These days I make sure to celebrate all the good. I just might not do it in the same way I used to.

This was how I celebrated my degree completion. I'm assuming I celebrated my first degree differently, but nothing stands out. I probably had some sort of memorabilia from it, but I must have let it go.


  1. More importantly, you ate the ice cream, pretzels and sprinkles all combined in some sort of epic sundae right?!? Congrats on finishing your program, that is awesome, so proud of you!! Hope to see you soon. And just for the record...I think some of those booze soaked friendships you made are still pretty fucking awesome ;)

  2.’ll still make us pudding shots when we visit right?!


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