Thursday, October 9, 2014

Is coffee the key to happiness?

Okay okay, I'll get the obligatory 'sorry I've been gone' out of the way. I've been busy, I'm sure you'll get over it.

But really, I have been. I've been planning my trip to Colorado. Next Friday - a week from tomorrow - I'm going to Colorado. I'm not totally sure what airline I'm using, where I'm staying, or what I'm doing most of my time there. I think it's Frontier airlines. Charlie was in charge of that. He got the plane tickets and the tickets to the game. We're going to Denver next weekend to watch FC Dallas, the local major league soccer team, play in Colorado. That's the excuse to go visit the world of endless micro-breweries and legal pot. So we have a ride there, tickets to one event, and the ride back. I think I was in charge of finding a place to stay.

Ever heard of I hadn't either until Charlie mentioned the idea and I decided hotel prices blow. So I looked into it, and it's really a pretty awesome place. It's like a real social media site, except the point is to actually go out and do stuff rather than sit online. It's a whole social network devoted to meeting new people, in person, by letting strangers into your home to crash on your couch. This bitch is worldwide. Think people who backpack through Europe without an itinerary. These are the people loving, culture learning, good people of the planet. These people just go meet new people, even if they're tied down and it means just inviting travelers into their home for a few days.

So for the past few days, I've been trying to find a host. Someone who will take us in for Friday and Saturday night and give us a couch or two to pass out on. It's a tricky business. Some people want to spend the whole time with you. Some people only maybe have a couch. Some are super religious - you know how evangelicals are, with their open arms, ready to accept whatever passes through their doorstep.

Anyway, long story short, I've been busy with that. And of course, lots of netflix as usual. Can you blame me? It's hard to break old habits. Like smoking. and biting my nails. And a slew of other things I'm sure I have no conscious control over.

I stopped smoking about a month and a half ago. It lasted a while. Honestly, it did. But one day, I was drinking, and for some reason I bought a pack. After like six weeks of not smoking. And I maybe had one just to calm the urge. But there were 19 cigarettes left. I put it aside, saying okay, maybe I'll only have them when I'm really drunk and just need one. That slowly turned into one a day, two a day.... suddenly I have one at lunch after a really bad morning on calls at work, and boom. Back to normal. One in the morning, One on break around 10. One before lunch. Two after lunch. One on the way home. Whatever once I get home.

It's an awful habit. I need to stop. But my brain is hardwired to love them. How do I stop such a strong physical addiction when I know I have an alarmingly addictive personality in the first place? It's not just cigarettes. It's shit like Netflix. Like biting my nails. Like my ancestral line of alcoholism.

It goes beyond that though. I'm just addicted to routine, and the nicotine encourages that. I don't go past a certain point. I've already said: one in the morning, one on break, 3 over lunch, one on the way home, a few at night. That's when I smoke. And my brain knows it and loves it. I get twitchy when I don't have a smoke when I'm "supposed to." It's the same way, albeit not as twitchy, with the rest of my life. I'm perfectly content just going through my pattern all day, every day. Wake up at the same time every day, take shower, get ready for work, leave at the same time, get to work around the same time, serve my time, get home, take the dog out, watch tv, go to sleep. repeat. The same thing, every day. And part of me is just okay with it. That's maybe why I don't post so much. It's just not part of the schedule.

Recently I looked at my high school class' facebook group. Seeing where everyone is going, what they're doing with their lives... they broke out. They're moving all over the country. To LA, Seattle, Denver, New York.... and here I am. Quite graduate from a close school, back where I started, running the same pattern I did in college, except with work instead of school. Why can't I break out? What is it that I want to do?

I ask that because I don't know. Looking through everyone's lives, it's like, "Oh, yeah, naturally, that's totally where I expected them to end up." Like the slightly flamboyant kid who ended up teaching drama classes. Or the outgoing popular girl becoming a model in LA and then settling down with a husband and kid. But what am I doing? What's the thing people would say, "oh of course, that's where he ended up. What else would he be doing, honestly?"

I just don't have an answer. I'm just... drifting. I guess it's just like I did in high school. No defined group, no defined purpose. I have a job. It's not what I love doing, and it's "temporary" in my mind. But I've been there over a year. How is that "temporary" at all? I fell into a new groove, and like always, it's hard to break out of what I've decided is a normal pattern. I need to stop and reexamine everything and decide what it is that I love doing.

That's one of the worst parts about being depressed. Nothing is really intriguing. There's nothing I'm truly passionate about. I don't have any hobbies. I don't have anything that excites me. I like economics, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, I lose focus and suddenly it's just work again.

My brother wants to open a coffee shop in Denver. Or Colorado Springs. Or somewhere in Colorado. And he wants me to join him. His heart is dead set on it. And the weird part is that mine is too. I can't decide if my excitement is just breaking the mold I'm stuck in that I hate, or if it's just contagious excitement from him about the idea, but I'm excited. I don't think I've been excited about anything in awhile. Sure, I'm going to Baylor this weekend. Sure, I'm excited for the game. I'm going to Denver. I've got plans and things to figure out. But this is more. It's long term. Excited about a "career," if you will. Excited about life. That's something I haven't been able to say about life since middle school.

And if that's not a reason to pursue it, nothing is.

I love the idea that I can still get excited about doing something for more than a few hours. I don't know if it'll ever actually pan out, but just knowing that I can still get excited to do something that I can make a living off of makes me... oh, I can't think of the word, but it makes me think I can at least do something that I enjoy. It makes me want to try. It makes me want to search for happiness.

On a side note, I should really stop doing these drunk. I might be able to articulate my thoughts a bit better. Tonight I'm trying a random whiskey I pulled off the shelf. It's called Paddleford Creek. Not too bad. If you have any bourbon suggestions, I'm all ears. I do like bourbon.

I'm not happy. Not with my job, not with life, not with much of anything. But I feel like if I could just get the courage to throw myself out into the world.... to try to start a coffee shop, or even just find a job that I'm excited about going to everyday... life could be okay. And if life is okay, that's a good start. If I'm at least content with life - and it'll be the first time in a long time - maybe I can think about other things. Like dating. For the longest time I thought all I needed was a girlfriend, but it's just a crutch like everything else. I need to be happy with my life before I can consider dragging someone else into it.

Anyway, that's enough drunk rambling for the evening. Happy Thursday. Go Bears, go Cowboys. This weekend won't be easy for either, and they need all the support they can get.

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