It’s a tad late, but I figured it’d be best to document the fact that I did, in fact, make it 30 days alcohol free. God, saying it like that makes me sound like an alcoholic. I’m not. It’s not like I was jonesing or just needed it so bad, rather I challenged myself to 30-days free to 1) prove a point to a few people who thought NYC Happy Hours were getting the best of my time, 2) to give myself a period of sober soul searching and 3) to prove (and honestly learn) that you can have just as much fun without it.
Over my 30-day span I attended Ashtanga yoga almost daily. That in itself makes me smile because 1) I’ve never done yoga regularly, 2) I knew my dad was going to be happy about it and 3) I was re-establishing concepts of dedication in my daily life by forcing myself to wake up every morning at 4:45 in order to make it ALL THE WAY downtown in time to still be able to hear the Buddhist chants in the temple when I began my practice.
The first few days of yoga were just like any other time I had tried to practice—I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering, I was nearly incapable of controlling my breath for each movement and I was mentally counting down until it was going to be over. Then around the fifth consecutive day something awesome happened—I had this totally euphoric practice. I was 100% connected to my body, my breath; everything was fluid and wholesome. That’s when I knew, this whole yoga thing might be on to something.
During my 30-days free, I chased endorphins—a lot of them. After going through a rough place in the beginning of May, I knew that I needed to focus on myself and do what was best for me. Some people got annoyed with me for incessantly turning down offers to go out or simply hang out, but I had miles to run, weights to lift and endorphins to earn. I have always been the girl who feels best with sweat dripping down my face (and everywhere else—I literally get so excited when I wear gray and you can see it all through my shirt—I’m weird). Anyways, the point is, I obsessed over physical activity and it got me to a really wonderful place with myself—apart from exhausting myself daily, that is.
My biggest takeaway was that I learned about deliberacy (yes, I made that word up…well a friend did, but it works). So you see, in our day and age (and by our I mainly am referring to Gen Y, but go ahead and throw in others too if you deem fit), we so often want to go out which generally correlates to drinking which sometimes equates to drinking too much which more often than not leads to bad decisions. Ahhh, but when you don’t drink? E V E R Y single thing you do has reason behind it. E V E R Y single activity I partook in, I enjoyed to the fullest. And isn’t that funny? I mean really, so often people are saying “Yolo” and “ Live life to the fullest” and it’s usually when they’re shoving a shot in your face and cheering you on to take “one more.” But the thing is, until my 30-days, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I lived so fully and truly experienced every minute of it. It made me see myself in an entirely different light. It allowed me to uncover truths about myself and work on becoming the person I aspire to be.
Of course, then I went home and went out a couple times and it was all good fun until the last night when it wasn’t. And that’s when it became clear that if I do drink I won’t be as determined to rise and shine, chase my endorphins, offer up the best of myself to the people who matter most to me in this world and live deliberately. Sure drinks are great and I’m all for a Sangrita or Dirty Shirley, but one night hard in the paint that didn’t end well to say the least solidified what I already learned during my trial—I can do without (or at least without a sm a n y).
So, that being said, cheers to a trial completed, new life altering recognitions and the hope to live deliberately from here on out.