Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'll Tell You What I'm NOT Giving Up For Lent... You.

“I’m writing my one hundredth blog today,” I told Cory as I added another cream to my coffee. 

“Hey, that’s a milestone,” he responded with a polite smile. 

Breakfast with Cory at the Cracked Egg is one of those things that just has to happen every once in a while. It’s one of my constants that I rely on. I always know what to expect and it helps me slow down when my brain begins to get ahead of me. 

Like, for instance, when I’m thinking that my one hundredth blog needs to somehow be larger and more profound than anything else I’ve written lately. As if I need to add any additional pressure to myself right now. After all, dropping weight, quitting drinking, running Family Fit Club, getting ready for an upcoming art show, trying to make rent, keeping healthy food within reach, doing my best to be an attentive and loving girlfriend and remembering to clean out Bailey’s litter box is keeping my plate pretty full. 

I thought of this as Cory asked me “So, what other big things do you have coming up?” 

I told him about the art projects I am working on for the upcoming bird show and about the obstacle course/race that Tim and I were going to be participating in together this coming May (www.devildash.com). I told him that I would be scheduling my appointment to get my braces on in the next few weeks and that I am very close to actually admitting that I like my job. I gave him an update on Family Fit Club and how I’m a little annoyed at my brother’s competitive approach to losing weight. And I reviewed all the shows I currently have DVR’d. 

“Basically, my life is pretty boring these days,” I finished as I took a bite of my egg white scramble and dry wheat toast. 

Without missing a beat, he said “Your life isn’t boring as long as you aren’t bored.” 

I let his words sink in for a minute before I smiled at him and said, “Yep. My mind? Blown.” 

I have SUCH a bad habit of waiting. I’m always waiting for something big to happen. I’m waiting for the next opportunity. I’m waiting for things to get better. I’m waiting for the day when I am happy with everything I am and all that I have. I’m waiting for this blog to go viral so my days of being... well... a waiter (okay, waitress) might slowly come to an end. 

I spend so much time waiting for things that I think I want or need that I fail to see how much I am actually doing and what I have already done to give myself a pretty fantastic life. One that is anything but boring. 

I know a lot of it lately is feeling bitter about not being able to go out and drink anymore. But then I quickly remind myself that I am free to do whatever I want. No one is telling me that I can’t drink. It is a conscious choice I made because I want a healthier life, both physically and emotionally. 

I find myself avoiding social situations because I don’t know how I’m going to handle not drinking when everyone else is. Then I think about how much better I’ll feel when I drive home sober and wake up the next morning without a hangover. I think about how proud I’ll be when I’ve gone an entire year without this particular vice and how it makes me stronger as a person because I’ve done something I said I was going to do. 

I think about how I told myself at one time that I would never quit smoking weed... only to find how much happier I am without it. I think about all those cigarettes I smoked and how unattractive they made me. I think of how healthy my lungs must look now compared to only a few years ago and it makes me smile. 

I look at my apartment and think of how hard I’ve worked to create my home. I think of how much more comfortable it must be for Tim to come home to our place instead of the room he was staying in before this and how I helped to create that sense of peace and contentment for him. 

I look at my cat and, even knowing how obnoxious and irritating she can be, can’t believe someone left her in a shelter for two months - after two years as a stray - without taking her in and giving her a home.  

I think about my “grown up” job as a Sales Manager for Hyatt and compare it to my simple job now of waiting on tables. I realize that I now work half the hours I used to, doing something SO much easier and with health benefits that are equally as good, and I make the same amount of money I used to. I always said I didn’t like to work and now, I hardly have to in order to maintain the lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to. 

I think about my family and how often we get to see each other. I think of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve overcome together. Even my brother’s silly antics now are nothing compared to what we’ve endured with him in the past. I look at my sister-in-law’s belly that is about ready to pop and am excited for the new addition to our family. We aren’t perfect, but we are perfect for each other. I remember spending all those years wanting to be on my own and in the end, I am so happy that I have found my way back to my family. 

I look back at my 99 previous posts and all that I’ve been through since I started this blog. Different boyfriends, different activities, different groups of friends... in every moment, I thought I had found what I was looking for, only to have it change time and time again. However, just like breakfast at the Cracked Egg, there is a constant I see that I hold onto and cherish: my desire and push for my own personal development and growth. And the hope that someone out there can relate to it and not feel so alone in their own struggles. 

I’m not bored with my life. How can I be when there is always something to do? Always something to learn? Always something to be discovered? 

And there will always, always be something to write about. 

Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, emotionless sex, lies, excessive gambling, cheating, running away, hiding, withholding and living as a victim didn’t exactly make my life the kind of “exciting” I was looking for. So without them, how can I think I am missing anything? 

Some of you have read each and every one of my one hundred posts. Some of you skim through the ones that look the most interesting and some of you have just started reading. No matter which person you are, I am humbled and grateful to have you as my audience. It’s not always as easy as I make it seem to put myself out there in the honest and vulnerable way in which I insist on approaching my writing. I’ve taken quite a few nasty hits in the past year and a half but have also been rewarded with loving and supportive feedback. I welcome it all. I hold myself accountable through this blog. And without you to read it, it’s purpose gets a little gray. 

So thank you. Thank you with all of my heart. 

And please... keep reading.

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