New Year, New Me.. Not Really
I just happened to reread an old post I had made on New Years two years ago. At that point in time, I had packed up and moved 1200 miles from home, for the opportunity to work in Public Relations at a world renowned firm. In 2016, I saw that decision pay off in so many ways and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take that leap of faith, and now have the opportunity to do groundbreaking work everyday. As huge as the professional development was to me, I think most importantly of all in 2016 was deciding to forgo alcohol and embrace my truest, most awkward self, in every situation.
The start of the New Year marks 6 months since I decided I wanted to live life unaltered. I wouldn’t say anything in absolutes, so I never set a time frame on this period of sobriety; but I figure as long as I am happier and healthier without, then I should continue that momentum. I absolutely still enjoy being around friends and family that drink socially. I always find it so funny to tell friends and family that I am not. When people find out, they instantly assume something terrible has happened and looking at a cocktail will cause you to go into convulsions. That may be a part of the reason I was hesitant to tell people at first. The way in which people alter their own behavior due to my choice, is one thing I could go without. However, most people, and those that truly matter were so incredibly supportive I was blown away (or maybe they were over playing babysitter) no matter the reason, I am so thankful for everyone that has been my champion through this journey. I am so confident now in my decision, that I can proudly tell people, “I don’t drink” and leave it at that without it becoming “a thing.”
I think the happiness truly comes from finding yourself without any “performance enhancement,” as I used to say. It oddly makes me excited when I know I can go into an uncomfortable situation and it will feel that way and be true emotion, as opposed to the numbness that alcohol and other substances can provide in what would otherwise be anxious social situations. And don’t get me wrong, I am often awkward in these settings, but I’ve really learned to embrace it. The largest lesson I have learned form all of this, is that you yourself are enough. I found getting very serious about training filled a lot of the time I would have formerly spent out at bars, but even that was a testament to small wins. I never set out any extreme goals on that front, besides being able to: run, plank, pilates or barre, for just that much longer or better each day. I set an almost daily intention of strength, be it physical or mental (ideally both), and aim to be the best version of me from one day to the next.
All in all, I think the best lesson I found in 2016 is to accept you. No matter how crazy, imperfect, or yes, awkward, you may be. Embrace the weird, it’s pretty fantastic.
Cheers to an even stronger 2017.
Originally published at lenettel.blogspot.com on December 31st, 2017.