I’m not talking about the Oscar-winning song or the 3 foot end of the pool.
I’m referring to people who lack depth.
The people who only see me for what I look like. The people who are driven by status. The people who are more concerned with job titles than the purpose of what they do.
I’m not interested in your money, your condo, or where you got your degree- I want to know you as a person. I don’t care where you work, but I do want to see past your ego.
I recently met someone who never asked about my writing, my recovery, or my job. Sure, they complimented me on my appearance, but they cowered when I mentioned serious things about my life, and seemed to forget I don’t drink. Ouch.
They didn’t want to know me- they wanted to me to be what they wanted me to be.
This is common in today’s society. In a world of Real Housewives and Kardashians, it can be hard to find people who want to sit and have meaningful conversations. It doesn’t have to be serious, but I do want to know what’s underneath the exterior (and I’m not talking about getting someone naked).
I want to know where someone is at spiritually- and I want to have a good understanding of who you are– not what I want you to be.
I’ve come to a point in my life where my own boundaries and self love are greater than putting on appearances to be accepted- I would rather be rejected than be untrue to myself.
For years I wanted nothing more than to be a “normal person.” To be a child with siblings and two parents at home. To play sports with my peers. To fit in with the kids at school.
But I was none of those things.
As an adult, I still don’t fit in with the “normal people.” I don’t go to Happy Hours anymore. I can’t casually order a drink with lunch. I don’t have a glass of wine to unwind.
Instead, I go to meditations, write by the river, have coffee with friends, and go to support groups. I constantly look inward. I find new ways to learn and grow.
Each day, I’m doing something healthy to strengthen my life- because today, I finally accept that is my way of life.
It has to be.
The other day I was talking to a friend about my network in Boston. When I moved here in 2016, my intention was to develop a healthy network of friends, and even though it’s taken nearly three years, I’ve finally done so. I finally stopped pushing people away- and I learned I can’t do everything alone.
In my circle of friends, we may talk about some heavy stuff, but that’s what we have to do to survive. To stay sane. To remain peaceful on a daily basis, especially amongst chaos.
Sweeping our problems under the rug does not help- and holding in our pain keeps us sick. I’m grateful to have a supportive network today who understands me, loves me, and is there for all the quirks, the dark moments, and the laughs.
I can’t lie- I loved drinking. It did something to me that made me feel invincible, interesting, and sophisticated. Little did I know, it actually did quite the opposite.
As much as I loved a rooftop bar, museum opening, or fashion event, I also loved a good dive- and all the debauchery it brought.
If I hadn’t loved drinking (or at least the chaotic lifestyle), I wouldn’t have gone back to it repeatedly despite the negative effects it had on my life, my relationships, my sanity, and my health.
People suggest, “just have one!” yet quickly realize I do terrible, uncharacteristic things after one- because one always leads to eleven or twelve.
As I began to grow spiritually, I realized alcohol didn’t have the same place in my life. It blocked my intuition, my connection to my higher self, and stripped me of all my inner peace. Alcohol leaves me wanting more, hopelessly aware of the emptiness inside of me that a healthy spiritual condition fills.
Do I wish I was that person who could just have one? Of course. I never would, and I never will, though. I’ve accepted that reality.
Instead of drinking to fit in or make others around me feel more comfortable, I’m happy with my carbonated water or Diet Coke today. It certainly helps me remain centered, mindful, and grateful for the moment.