grow up already

18 weeks
August 20, 2007, 12:49 am
Filed under: alcohol, Uncategorized

Jesus christ. I’ve only been sober for 18 weeks. Feels like forever. I’m already looking at old pictures of me with a drink in my hand and going, “Oh I drank then?” Ok but then I forget about the rest of life. Shit.

I’ve been working on the removal of expectations from my life. Something that causes people to drink is the disappointment of an unmet expectation. As life is nothing but a series of disappointments, you can either escape them through drinking or figure out something else. Because like I mentioned below, it fucking sucks to not ever get a break from whatever it is that bothers you. I don’t get to check out for the night anymore. The only other way is to remove expectations. That cuts down on a lot of shit, and a nice way to put it is “living life on life’s terms.”

I totally used to think that I needed expectations to obtain any measurable amount of success or decent behavior out of others. Like if I didn’t expect myself to succeed in certain endeavors, I’d end up sitting around watching television courtroom shows for the rest of my life. Or if I didn’t expect someone to treat me well,when they didn’t I’d be so fucking complacent and expectation-less I’d just accept it.

And the fact of the matter is, what has the endless stream of pressure on myself ever gotten me? I’m either not doing what I think I’m supposed to and feeling like a piece of shit or I’m doing it and not getting much out of it because all I’m really doing is fulfilling an expectation. It’s not special anymore. Even something that I find inherently “special,” like writing, is a bunch of crap when I feel like it’s supposed to amount to the expectation that I’ll be a super-famous writer. It’s not cool to feel so godamned grandiose, especially when you know you’re being grandiose. Each word is everything I’ve ever expected to get out of it or it’s absolute bullshit. This will kill the desire to do it at all.

And then there are the stupid, embarrassing expectations I have about life. I really, really hate to put this into words but for years I’ve actually expected to meet someone at a fucking bar. Oh god it’s making me cringe. So every time I go to a bar and don’t meet someone I feel vaguely disappointed. Which duh, is every fucking time I go to a bar except when I met Trevor, who became that Sex And The City-style urban myth of a serious relationship with someone you met in a bar.

I used to be way too busy getting drunk to notice if I was meeting anyone. It was at once a subterfuge of my own lame expectations and a distraction from the fact that they weren’t being met. I finally realized that it’s my own imagined fantasy of what I hope happens when I go out that sucks, not that I can’t drink it away. So I removed all expectations from all places. All I can really expect is that I’ll be someplace that isn’t my house. Anything beyond that is a surprise.

Last week I went out with Jenn and instead of hoping I’d see certain people, or that cute dudes would talk to me, or hoping to see cute dudes at all, I just shut the fuck up and released all of those thoughts into the atmosphere (well not really, I actually just told myself to shut the fuck up). That night I wasn’t all “Oh boo hoo I can’t drink to hide the fact that nothing is happening.” Because I didn’t expect anything to happen. And what the fuck! It totally works. I had fun. I did the same thing the next night, which was even more of a high-hopes situation because I have a little crush on someone. Crushes fun and all but people forget to mention they’re also like playing Russian Roulette with disappointment for a bullet. But not this time! I didn’t care because I was just out having fun with my best friend. When he materialized later it was just icing on the good times cake. I can’t tell you how many times it’s been the opposite and I’m either in a constant state of letdown all night or best case scenario: I’d get to see that person and instead of being all happy, I’d be like “Right, there you are” and move onto the next thing: now he isn’t talking to me enough, we aren’t making out, I’m not having 10,000 of his babies, whatever. I might as well walk around super bummed that I’m not winning the lottery. Both are equally valid disappointments.


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