As a theatre teacher & director, it is my job to teach actors (and production staff/members) to say ‘yes’ to the moments at hand. Things happen when a group of people has acceptance and drive running through it. Moments on stage are funnier or more sincere, sets are completed with panache, and everyone is invested. It is such a beautiful thing to work in this artistic world. I am so lucky.
So why then am I such an asshole to myself in the rest of my life? By ‘asshole,’ I mean a nay-sayer. Over the past decade, I have turned down countless numbers of invitations or talked myself out of events because it would take away from the little fort I had built up around my evenings and weekends. My MeTime that I was so possessive of and determined to protect… So that I could drink. Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo.
What was I thinking?!
I have always been jealous of my sister, who is 8 years younger than me, because she is the person I want to be when I grow up. (See why I included the age difference now?) She is so together, and with it, and passionate for Life. She does things, and joins groups, and meets people, and puts herself out there every day… And I just think she is the coolest person I know because of all those things. She sparkles and shines and is dependable and someone her friends lean on for help or comfort. She has networks of people she can reach out to who would do pretty much anything for her if she just asked. She is so fucking cool. And I want to be just like her.
This past week, I have put myself out there a few times, even when it wasn’t the most convenient or easiest choice to make. In fact, yesterday was full of hassle because I said ‘yes’ to something and had to juggle mountains of snags that rose up as a result. … But the production (which was the ‘something’) was awesome. And my babes were super-happy. And even though the hubs was slightly out of joint, the day was full and great and fun. … And I wasn’t holding my breath, or counting the minutes until I got to enter my Fortress of Solitude and drink my brains away. Each minute – even the walk around the city block to the theatre – was enjoyable because I wasn’t holding my breath for my Main Event later in the day. I was in This minute, Right Now. That was a cool feeling. It is a cool feeling. And I found it momentarily. Cool.
Working my way into making the first step into sobriety has taken a lot of mind-suckage, as in when I wasn’t thinking about when I would drink in a day, I was thinking if I should be drinking at all and wrestling with that and the guilt and the shame of my habit. One thing that kept surfacing in my thoughts were my ‘Good Ol’ Days,’ which (not surprisingly) happened before alcohol ever showed up. I think my favorite year was when I was 17 and pretty much as awesome as my awesome sister is Now. Seriously. I did everything and loved doing everything. I filled up my days with academic challenges, social engagements (Coffee at a gas station? Why, yes, please! Midwest girls know the hippest joints.), athletics, dance, family dinners, dreaming about the future, theatre, writing poetry and short stories, and having the deep, heart-to-heart conversations with girlfriends that just shook me to my core. All on a daily basis. What an awesome, Full life I led.
These past couple of years, I kept thinking it was the weight of motherhood that was sucking my energy and my want to do anything fun or daring, but really? When I look back on it, I haven’t been much of a go-getter for yeeeeeears! All through my twenties, I was clinging to the bottle on a nightly basis as well. It was just a little more ‘acceptable’ because I was hiding my drinking amongst friends and boyfriends and being out and glamorous in the adult world. But really? I was just a drunk who wanted to drink. How boring! And, more so, what a waste. Of time, and energy, and money. All those years spent investing myself into something I thought was making me happy and ‘an adult,’ but really, alcohol was just stealing moments, memories, and relationships away from me, because I didn’t have energy to pursue anything else whole-heartedly. I was distracted by booze, and I moved my world around It, rather than moving my world around Me.
Gah. Mind blown for the day.
In the past week, I have felt more like Myself for longer periods of time than I have in a long while. That flicker I felt yesterday of the 17-year old awesome-chick inside? I’m going to keep reaching for her. Keep looking for her. I am going to say ‘yes’ to Me and to the world around me. … I’m excited…. *smile*
Day 12. Here’s to Awesome.