Evolving Upward

It’s been awhile since I’ve been outside on the blogging streets. I’m some parts apprehensive of sharing so much of my life on Al Gore’s internet and other parts liberated in revealing parts of me that others identify with. Well, I’m here. I’m showing up. I’m doing the work, with the only reward being more opportunities to flex my mind through manipulating a keyboard attached to a dimly lit monitor. “Work begets work.” I remember reading that on Twitter years ago. I didn’t have the maturation then to really grasp the weight of those three words. I was too hardened by complacency and not disciplined enough to understand that sheer talent alone doesn’t produce optimal results. We either learn through the most difficult means imaginable or just don’t learn at all. The majority of the work I’ve been doing has been inward. I’ve had more than enough time to reflect on who I want to be in this next chapter of my life and how I want to achieve it. What I’ve learned along this very brief journey is that giving something up is insignificant compared to what you gain. Being a libra, I always have a side eye when the scales are too heavily tipped to one side. Naturally, skepticism ensued when I was repeatedly told the benefits of sobriety. I wasn’t ready to hear it, but the rest of me was ready to experience it.

Chapter 36. I feel like that’s a generic Instagram caption people use whenever their personal rotation around the sun commences. Here I am just shy of four months since I became four years away from 40. I’ve taken my physical and mental health seriously while making small strides with the spiritual. I told a friend that I would follow up from the last blog post I wrote about my health, so it’s only proper that I oblige them. Roughly 60 days ago I was in the middle of my half marathon training and two months off the sauce. I dabbled in a more plant-based lifestyle, but haven’t managed to make #veganeats worthy meals. Hell, the carnivorous side of me has only slightly upgraded the types of meats I consume. I’ve cut back on read meat, barely eat pork, and eggs still high key disgust me 95% of the time. Yet, I’ve made more of an effort to consume more of that life providing stuff consisting of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. Shout out to La Croix and Dasani Sparkling for breaking up the monotony. Big ups to Welcher’s non-alcoholic rosé, ginger beer, and club soda for making me not feel so awkward during social events. Finally, all of my love to my partner, my family members, friends, and frat brothers for the alcohol alternatives, considering me while we hang out, and all of the encouragement along the way. Between y’all, exercising, and the need to remain productive, these 120 days have been mainly smooth sailing. Not running though. Running has been hell. Like hell after being lathered in shea butter and sprayed down with the 91 at the gas pump. I don’t love it and I certainly don’t like it most days, but there’s an end goal of a half marathon at 7am on March 1st, 2020 in which I plan to finish. Running provides benefits for me that go beyond the obvious. Sure my heart stays healthy, I shed a few pounds, but most importantly I get long stretches of uninterrupted time to think. Being on a treadmill or out on the pavement for two hours during long run days provides me the freedom to think about my life, my decisions, and next steps while I train. I use the time to forgive myself for the past mistakes and lapses in judgement. I often think about how my actions have led me to this very moment in life. Pondering on the failures stings and reminiscing on the accomplishments bring bliss. I can’t rest on defeat nor achievement. I still have work to do.

I cannot in good conscious say that I’ll never drink again, but I’m going to focus on sobriety for 120 more days to keep this streak going. I haven’t had one drop of alcohol, like at all. I did have a slice of rum cake four days ago. I didn’t get blackout drunk by having that dessert, so I guess that doesn’t count. That’s the closest thing I’ve gotten to alcohol since September 23rd, 2019. Sobriety looks good on me. I’m feeling more and more like my old self. The self that worked towards my goals, set challenges for myself, and gave grace to those that truly deserved it. I’m looking forward to my next doctor’s visit and the potential lab results after making these changes in my life. I probably won’t do a check-in at Day 240, but I’ll definitely dedicate a finely crafted entry to my yearly milestone. I’ll more than likely write about the work I did to get to Day 365, but focus on the work still left to do. “Work begets work.”