I’ve always been a bit zippy. I mean that in the most loving way. When I was young, I was a powerhouse of energy and I never burned out. I had this intense fervor for life that allowed me to invest emotionally to every given moment. Little things would excite me or enrage me or bring me to tears. I remember being seven and nailing homemade “Easter Bunny is Real” signs to all the telephone poles in my neighborhood because I wanted others to know the truth. I remember being three years old and irate that my cousin was allowed to run around outside without a shirt on so I took off my own and waved it like a victory flag around my backyard for an hour.
I’m proud to say that I haven’t outgrown this wildness, only now I have slightly less energy. For years I numbed it. I dulled it down when trying to seem more mature. I toyed with different versions of it when trying to get boys and friends to like me. Alcohol was a nice little discovery that allowed me to quiet it when I got excited or unleash it without caring. The more I quieted it or shifted it, the more I lost touch with a part of me that I really love. The more I started to care about what I thought others wanted from me, the more I tried to shift who I was to match those expectations.
Losing my dad, getting married, seeing a therapist, getting older, and deciding to do this sober year have all started to shift my priorities and perspective about living. The biggest shift has been towards a constant acute awareness about the limits of time. Our time is finite. Obvious, yes. But now I am tuned in to just how finite. I am going to die. You are going to die. We’re all going to die. Most of us don’t know when. I want to spend my time how I think is important given the cards I am dealt. I want to live intensely, with fervor, like I did when I was young. I want to unravel the arbitrary restraints I have placed on my weirdness to make other people like me. I want to spend my time and energy on those I don’t have to impress and I will start… now.