Summertime, Sobriety, Sincerity, and a Couple Side Notes, Too

It’s July 2nd. Already. I don’t know where summer has gone, but it’s gone fast. Summer used to be my favorite time of the year. I still love it for all it stands for, but weather wise? I’m more of an early fall girl. My hair was not cut out for humidity. This week I’ve gotten a couple of questions on some choices I’ve made, and I just wanted to take a minute and talk about my decisions, and ponder the 4 S’s. Summertime, Sobriety, Sincerity, and a couple Side Notes, too.

SUMMERTIME: This summer has been a different one for me. I always said the summer of my 30th year would be the best summer of my life. That’s been true and not true.

It’s true in the case that one of my very best friends got engaged and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the wedding planning process. Seeing her get the “happily ever after” she so deserves truly makes this such a memorable part of life for all of us in her circle.

It’s true in the sense that I’m learning more about myself than I ever thought I would. I’ve gone through things that have changed my entire life this year, and I’m really realizing what’s worth it, and even more importantly, who’s worth it…and that means a lot to me. I’ve learned more than ever that family isn’t necessarily blood, it really is the people who are there for me day in and day out, and love me in spite of my wide array of crazy.

It’s true because I’ve learned I have to live my life for me. If writing is what I do best then I need to pursue it, even if it’s terrifying for me, and potentially for the people who think I may write about them. (I’m not a total asshole, I’d clearly change your names…duh!) If I’m happiest when I’m running, CrossFitting, and following a Whole 30 lifestyle, then that’s what’s going to come first. No excuses. I can’t worry about people walking out the door because of it, that’s on them…not me.

It’s not true because I’m a little bummed. It seems something fell apart that I really thought could be great, and to be honest I don’t know what happened or why. One minute all was well, the next it’s like I dreamed it. This situation may always be one of life’s great mysteries in my book, and it makes me a little sad. However, I do think things work out when they’re supposed to work out so I remain cautiously optimistic, very confused, and clearly very vague.

It’s not true because training for the marathon hasn’t been easy. Not because I hate running, but because I’m a quitter. I know the only way I will be able to do this is to train appropriately, but ugh. Sometimes I just don’t want to, and forcing myself to do it has been really hard on me for some reason.

SIDE NOTE: I know I sound like I have it all together with the above stuff, I don’t. I’m still a hot mess…but I’m a hot mess who’s making decisions, and that’s a BIG DEAL for me.

SOBRIETY: My Facebook status the other day talked about how I plan to follow a very strict Paleo diet until after I run Chicago, and how I plan on not drinking at all. Yes, the biggest reason I’ve chosen to go sober is because it’s best for my training, but it’s not the only reason.

I come from a long line of addiction. My biological grandfather was an alcoholic, both of my biological parents were drug addicts/alcoholics, my biological uncle was an addict, and my sister is as well. I’m grateful every single day that I don’t have a drug problem or a drinking problem. That being said, I am at a point in my life where I want to make some changes.

I can go out and have one glass of wine. I can go out and not drink at all. I can go out and have 7 drinks. I never feel like I HAVE to drink, or that it’s a necessity to have fun. I do, however, think that as  a whole (myself included) my “age group” uses alcohol as a crutch. It’s easier to make the excuse of “well, we were drinking” than to own up to things. I don’t want to be one of those people.

I haven’t had a completely sober summer in probably a decade. I haven’t forced myself into social situations (knowing I may be uncomfortable, especially with my anxiety) and had to stand completely on my own, without that easy fall back of a cocktail to “loosen up.” It isn’t going to be easy to say no, and it’ll be interesting to see how other people respond, but for me, for my life, and for what I’m trying to accomplish with my training, complete sobriety is the best choice.

*SIDE NOTE/DISCLAIMER: I am NOT saying I’m never having a drink again, so don’t freak out if at some point you see me with a cocktail. I am trying to learn and grow as a runner, a CF’er, and a person.*

SINCERITY: I’m trying very hard to live a very sincere life. I want to be open with people, and I want to be honest with people. Yesterday I walked in to see my BIFF (aka one of my very best gal pals) and I looked at her and said, “I can’t say this without crying, but what is wrong with me, why did this (vague scenario from earlier) happen, and why am I assuming I did something wrong? Why do I do this?” And then I cried. Instead of answering the question, instead of giving me some bullshit response to boost up my ego, she stopped what she was doing, looked at me, walked over to me, hugged me, and let me cry.

Living my life this way, letting people in, knowing that every time I see people they MAY have read these posts where I leave it all out there, it isn’t easy. Looking at my friends and letting them see me cry, telling someone exactly how I feel about them, risking embarrassment, rejection, just letting my guard down in general…it’s really tough. But I’m telling you, the laughter, the hope, the healing, and the overall love that has come with it, it’s worth all the tough stuff. It’s worth the sincerity, and it’s worth the possible shyness I feel when people bring up my writing. It’s just worth it.

I hope your summer so far has been full of sunshine and singing at the top of your lungs with the windows down, and more memories than you know what to do with. But if your summer has been filled with the tough stuff, if there’s a lot of side notes mixed in with your sunshine and singing, just know it’s worth going through the mess. I promise.

One last SIDE NOTE: To all of you who have said to me “thanks for saying what I can’t”, “thanks for being brave”, and “thanks for understanding me”, or have just supported me so far on this…THANK YOU, you have made my summer so so sweet. xo!

Cheers! CasC
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