10 Reasons why I’m 19 and will never drink again

Don’t get me wrong, I used to drink alcohol. It was a good year from the summer after high school to the summer before my sophomore year in college. But I slowly started to realize I do not need nor do I want to consume alcohol or drugs in any way. There wasn’t a singular bad experience that brought me to this; just the realization that I am more me, and a better me without the façade of drugs and alcohol. Here’s why:

  1. I only really did it to conform in social settings. Party without alcohol? I’m not begging someone to go get it. Party with alcohol? I’m drinking what everyone else is. To me, this didn’t make sense. I equally am not motivated to consume alcohol in either of these situations yet in one I feel coerced into doing so simply to fit the social setting. The solution? Don’t put myself in that setting.
  2. Drinking “to get the edge off” is not a good thing. For me, drinking was a way to rid myself of the nervousness of being in settings with many people I didn’t know and probably wouldn’t hang out with under other circumstances. When you’re half-drunk you can have fun with anyone, even if they’re kind of a terrible person. This seemed appealing at first but I’ve realized I would rather have three real friendships than a billion fake friendships with people that I really have nothing in common with other than we drink together. That’s not enough to build a positive relationship, nor a meaningful social interaction. Translation? Not worth my time.
  3. Again, not worth my time. I only probably have a good 82 years left on this planet and I don’t want to waste a single more second with a hangover. Even moderate drinking isn’t worth it. You know what’s five times as fun and takes absolutely no loss of motor skills? Road tripping. Traveling. Things you probably shouldn’t do half- drunk. Although I’m young, I have far better things to be doing than wasting my time getting drunk. Do you see the world we’re living in? My time is valuable and can help others. Which brings me to…
  4. I know I’m young, and I’m “allowed to have fun” and I do have fun. I’m young but I’m not immature. The mistakes I make are honest mistakes. I don’t see the point in intentionally getting myself drunk and getting sick, and calling that my valuable youth experience. My valuable youth experiences include navigating the middle of California by myself and trying to learn as many languages as possible. I still make human errors along the way, and I am learning about life. But with intention, not in a beer bottle.
  5. I know I’m in college. I know a good majority of the kids in college consume alcohol and use drugs. Truthfully I don’t care. I am at a university to learn something that is hopefully useful for my future. I am here to become a better human and change agent. I’m not here for the parties. That’s literally $1,000s for parties. No thanks.
  6. I understand myself more deeply now. I know my desires and goals more and more each day and I am centered on these. I am so purpose- oriented that I don’t have the time nor the energy to pretend I am not. Yes, I have plenty of fun but I will not waste away my nights doing something so purposeless. I do not need to conform to others; I need to keep my eyes on my purpose.
  7. I have determined by now that I am an introvert. Expanding my social circle is not necessarily my goal right now. I have enough friends. Going to parties to blend in with the drunken crowd is at the bottom of my priority list.
  8. Alcohol isn’t healthy. Many studies show increased cancer risk even with moderate alcohol consumption. There’s added dyes, chemicals, and sugar in most drinks, and I already avoid these as it is. Plus, over time, alcohol damages your liver and other internal organs. It isn’t worth the risk.
  9. Drugs control you. I even avoid caffeine. Even a small amount can help you develop an addiction. Drugs alter your mind and perception. I am the only one who is in control of my mind and I want it to stay that way. As a yogi, I honor this and practice this. Allowing a substance to control me is dishonorable to my mind.
  10. By keeping my body free of foreign substances, I allow myself to further purify my soul. You probably didn’t think this would get so philosophical, did you? The truth is- my mind, body, and soul are near and dear to me. They are my temple. My home. I guard that shit with my LIFE. I try to live the most minimalistic and natural life I possibly can and honor what I need at any given time. If I have too many distractions, I will lose sight of this and will not be as satisfied with my life overall. I am the sole gatekeeper of this precious life.

As a young college student it can be awkward being one of a few that choose to not consume alcohol, but I avoid putting myself in uncomfortable settings as much as I can. I know my true friends will honor my decision. I am not condemning the consumption of alcohol for everyone; in moderation it can be okay. I can only speak for myself and what I know is that, I have many goals in this life and I am determined to do as much as I can to alleviate the societal ills in this world. Without added distractions, I am more focused, physically and mentally stronger, and have more time and energy to do this. I know now how to listen to what I need much better- and refraining from drugs and alcohol is just one of the ways I can honor that. I just encourage everyone to truly uncover their short-term and long-term intentions, and figure out what is their best path to achieving these. And honoring that fiercely.

And to the people at the party-yes, really, I’m fine with water.

Signed,

Forever D.D. (designated driver)

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Comfort

Comfort?

What is comfort?

I do not speak of comfort.

I am not well versed in the language of death.

I am alive-living.

More than a shell, very well beyond a shell.

Comfort reeks to me.

I can smell it a mile away.

I see you dragging your bones along like you don’t have a life to live any more.

I see you letting your body be a tomb.

I know I cannot do this. I can never ever do this.

I can revolt.

I can do what I can to touch the heavens, even if it means forever walking on my tip-toes.

I can keep my own universe, my own mountains, and plains, and rivers, and valleys.

I can run without interruption, escape the soul-crushers, and ascend.

California

Once I went to a land so beautiful I wasn’t sure I’d ever return

My soul would never return

I would forever be changed from the sacred spaces

My soles would forever trace these lovely places

I went to a land I treasured more than anything I had ever owned

Because true beauty cannot be owned

Because I worshipped my travels and sought light in the golden state

I found that humanity is plenty warm

I found a place to spend my days

I found a place so near and dear I craved it even when I was there

I learned I’m much luckier than I thought

I learned that sometimes you don’t make a plan but the universe makes a plan for you

And it works out more perfectly than anything you could’ve constructed in your small mind

Opened by new places

Enamored by these new faces

Something in me has ties to here

And I feel like no matter what I do

I won’t be able to shake this feeling

I am intricately and innately connected to this place

I have longings more complex than I can fathom

I am here for something bigger than myself

I was here to see the world is so much bigger than myself

And my impact is so much farther reaching than I thought

I went to a place that shined a light on my face and showed me the treasure inside

I went to a place and found authentic bliss, then I cried

I went to a place that helped me realize all of my imaginings could be true

They could be truer than true and better than I could’ve ever imagined

I went to a place that showed me this life

Is better than I imagined

I went to a place that filled me up but left me wanting and needing more

I went to a place that tied a string on my heart

I went to a place that changed me permanently

Taught me the difference between permanent and temporary

And that I better start working on my life now because we don’t wait for the future

The future is now and my future is here

I am tied to a place without me and I am tied to a life and a dream where I can thrive in this space

I dream of a life thriving on exactly what I’ve been doing with my time here

I can see the future and the future is a shade of gold only my eyes can register

I went to a land that brought me my future

And brought me hope

I went to a land so beautiful it broke me

And promised I could be whole again if I would ever return

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Here’s to together, and here’s to apart

You are alive in me.

You are alive like a sparrow in the trees

Leaving me alone and taking all of my fertility for yourself

I cannot see the cypresses from here

I can only see your deep brown eyes

I can only see your chocolate skin

And imagine baking pies with your sugar

I can only imagine what real love feels like

I can only begin to suspect you have a natural inclination

To love me, and to love all things.

To love all things, without me.

I love all things

I stretch my arms and legs as far as they can go

And I have limbs in both hemispheres

You have limbs in both hemispheres

You begin to span the universe and galaxy ways

But I tell you to stop.

I drown in your eyes like you said you could in mine

I drown in your eyes and your smooth talk and your sweet skin

But when my teeth sink into your flesh it’s only bitter

It’s nothing like I imagined nothing is like I imagined

Nothing is like the world I was promised growing up

I drew a picture of the world and nothing was accurate

Not a single thing was accurate- I had no idea what I was doing

I dove into geography like I did this love

Instead of making a whole cake

I made a slice and thought we could split it

I thought we could split this love

I thought the earth was big enough for four footprints

I laughed at the notion of ever returning

I thought we could split this love into two even halves

I split this love I am responsible for the splinters

I am responsible for the crushing of this love

I am responsible for this I am responsible for the imprint my body makes on your bed

I am responsible for these stained sheets

I brought you here and offered you life

I offered you love

I gave you nothing more

Your stomach was empty and it always has been

You have always been empty

And I have never been able to open my mouth

And make noises when I need to

I have never been able to shake this guilt

I have never filled you up

All I ever did was remind you how you resent loneliness

And you cry when our palms unite

I cry when your hand leaves mine

I cry when you escape and I know you’ve been wanting to for a long while

I cry as you breathe in and out in and out faster and faster

And I feel every single heartbeat of yours and I know why it’s fast

And I brought this for you, please take it so your heartbeat slows

I don’t want to lose this flower

My plant is finally starting to flower

I don’t want it to burst before it becomes something beautiful

I don’t want to ruin it with my eyes

I don’t want to cut my tongue when I try to kiss its daggers

I don’t want to be tempted to harm myself on this plant

I don’t want life from this vegetation I have lived my whole life in isolation and you think I will stop now?

Do you think now is a good time to cut the rope?

Do you think I can drop you down this mountain and your eyes won’t shut forever?

Do you think you could open your eyes one more time

Just one more time

One more time for me

Let me know that you were once a living breathing organism

You have windows on your face and they are so reflective I can see myself

I can see myself and I hate it because I look like a disaster

I look like I came to seek revenge for all the hope you filled me with

For those wicked seeds you made me plant

You made me garden because you thought I believed in growth over sustenance

You thought I was okay with starving for a few months

You thought I could survive off of your nutrients

You thought sucking you through a straw was everything but a bitter delusion

You never saw the truth you never saw anything but your own round flat nose that mushes against my face

You never felt anything but a fierce grip you never gripped anything but my daggers

You never hid them from me you kept everything in plain sight

You wanted me to know if one of us dies it’s only our own damn fault

It’s only your own damn fault no one told you to climb Mount Everest

No one told you to become anything but ordinary

You rented these cemetery plots you knew we would die you knew I was dying

At a faster rate than the slow rate of everyone else

You thought I was dying and you were right

You thought I was dying because I kept losing my hair and sleep because every time I tried to close my eyes all I could see was your face lost in mine looking to me for guidance like a map of the world but the only continent I ever truly understood was myself. I made a key so you could navigate my poles more easily but you couldn’t read. You couldn’t read because your mama never taught you and my mama taught me way too much about this house and not enough about this world. And not enough about love and what to do when your lover is a panther and you feel estranged while making love. And you feel like you need another soft body next to yours and you feel like this might not be the body you need you might just need two of you. You might just need two of you you might just need to work on yourself for a while and come back to this place and kiss your memories and laugh infinitely and laugh and cry and never stop laughing because the hearts of two lovers don’t stop beating.

Once they establish the same rhythm they don’t stop beating they don’t stop beating they never stop beating

They only open one of their eyes every once in a while to make sure the other one is still breathing they only open their arms out wide so they can make love to the clouds and fall asleep happy and dead and happy and alive and never wake up because we are stuck in this dream together we are stuck in this dream and I’m not sure I ever want to get out if it means I have to spend less time loving myself and worshipping the body god gave me and realizing my soul was intricately and lovingly made for me and it fits me like a warm winter sweater it fits me like the ocean around the world I fit myself but I don’t know if I fit you

I don’t know if I’m ready for this but you are always ready

So I bury my head and bow to the both of us I bow to the both of me

In our love there are two of me and none of you and I resent the pain I will cause us but for now let’s savor our independence

Let’s savor everything about love we ever hated.

Let’s savor everything the galaxies have left behind for us that we can use to build a fort against the others and the screaming, crawling world that always seems to wait on our heels to pounce.