Sober City – March 29th, 2011
Stupid vices. Dumb habitual moral depravities that completely infiltrate our otherwise virtuous existence. Enough already! Drinking, smoking, eating, using, dating, working, sleeping. Is nothing sacred? It seems like anything that temporarily feels good and has the ability to harm you in excess is a potential vice that should be avoided at all cost. Even a certain city in Florida has been associated with this deadly moniker (a TV show and a bad remake of said show proves this kind of vice is indeed terrible). Why is it that the things we love must consistently insist on hurting us over time? They’re all Ike on our Tinas (or Chris Brown on our Good Morning Americas) and we keep coming back to relive the same old patterns because “this time things will be different” and “we have too much history to throw away all those years because of a couple bruises”. Sure, we can believe anything really. As long as we get to stay comfortable and keep doing what we know how to do best, regardless of how physically damaging or mentally unstable things might become. Whether it’s alcohol and cigarettes or sugar and sex, we’ve become a society of battered wives with varying degrees of substance abuse. Thanks Bing Crosby!
Of course it’s not all gloom and doom. Millions of people exist relatively vice free, or at least flirt with the “bad” stuff from a safe enough distance away. These people are the people who don’t really like the taste of alcohol and get drunk off of one glass of wine, or the people who don’t really watch what they eat because their metabolism is that of mythical gods of legend, or the people who sneak a smoke once every couple months or so without ever feeling the urge to immediately buy 12 packs and re-enact Denis Leary’s No Cure For Cancer stand up routine. These wonderful people are called assholes. How dare they skip through life having whatever they want, whenever they want it with little to no consequences! What are they, aliens? Robots? Robot aliens? They must have something we don’t have. It’s in their genes or their upbringing or their personality type or something they were simply born with that makes it easier for them. It has to be that, right? Maybe. Or maybe not at all.
It’s really easy to think the world is against you. Woe is me, my parents were fat so that’s why I love food so much. Alcohol is part of my culture and heritage therefor I’m prone to binge drinking. I don’t want to work myself to death but it’s in my blood to work as much as possible no matter how damaging it may be to my health. These are all great excuses, some of which even hold a lot of actual credibility and merit, but at some point the reasons for why we claim we do things can easily turn into our signed certificates of resignation. “This is just who I am”, we say. “No sense fighting natural instincts”, we think. I mean most people rely on these excuse like air in their lungs anyway and if what they’re doing makes them happy and is part of who they are then what’s the big deal? Kudos to you for being yourself! It’s all about living life and being happy, right? Truth. Dig it. I’m all for it. As long as whatever it is you’re doing is in fact making you happy and not actually building you up just to burn you back down. (Arcade Fire lyric but totally applicable.)
See, those people that eat what they want and drink when they want and generally piss off everyone else that struggles, they aren’t assholes, they’re proof. Proof that it can be done. All this talk about body types and upbringing and superior genes is all just white paint for the flag to wave when we’ve decided to call the fight. It’s way easier to point fingers and make excuses then it is to rewire your brain and become a better version of you. And let’s not kid ourselves, changing deep seeded habits and drastically improving your life is not something that can be done by reading a book or watching Oprah, it’s rewiring your god damn brain! It’s not rocket science, it’s brain surgery! This is hard stuff and to be honest, most people just aren’t going to do anything. Most people live a perfectly fine life, vices and all, enjoying their peaks and putting up with their valleys even if those valleys keep getting deeper and deeper until they eventually turn into graves. It’s not a terrible life, but it’s also not for everybody.
So If you truly want to change something about yourself (and I mean TRULY want to change, not just the idea of change) then you have to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve it. Whether you actually do or not, is the only real test of what you truly want and how much you’re capable of. We’re not all automatically guaranteed success in life but we are all guaranteed a chance to at least try (if we want to) and who knows, you might even surprise yourself and rise to the challenge this time. Of course on the other hand, taking a long hard look at yourself and exactly how you’re living your life, just might be all the doctor ordered. Sometimes you’re happier than you think just the way you are. Whatever your situation is, just make sure you’re happy in it and making those around you happy as well and if you want more out of life, then suit up for war and batten down the hatches. It’s you against yourself out there and it’s a fight to the death. Choose your battles wisely and always remember each day is a new chance to storm the gates and burn the enemy castle to the ground. Cheers!


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