So many things to say. Writing has not been very easy for me in the last month, so it is with hesitation and loads of fear that I put my fingers on my keyboard and try to find the space in my heart to write. I’m so hard on myself and want to find any sort of excuse to avoid this task that brings me so much relief and so much joy. Writing was my second love as a child. After reading, came writing. I took my pen to my first journal and wrote about so many things. It was easy. It came to me like a gift and I squandered it and pushed it to the side in favor of other more glamorous and exciting interests. The only thing that got me back here today was reading my blog entry from this date last year. I can’t believe how far I have gotten from where I thought I would be by now, but I also can’t believe all that I have accomplished, so even if it feels like I am not where I thought I would be, I am here and that says a lot.

1460 days. Four years without a drink or a drug. I did not know that it would get harder with more time, if I had known, I might not have stayed sober as long as I have. So far, my even years have been harder than the odd ones. It seems like it’s been that way in life in general, so maybe there’s a theme there. I can remember feeling very grateful that I made it to two years and I’m certainly very grateful that I made it to four. I am full of hope for the next year and feel like it could absolutely be the best year yet, I just have to keep working hard to make sure that’s the case.

Growing up is hard. There has been so much of it this year and I want so much to dull the growing pains with something easier than getting on my knees and asking for help. I know it sounds easy, but some days it seems like the ground is farther from me than the bar down the street. Today, I woke up feeling grateful for my sobriety for the first time in nearly three months.  I’ve been full of resentment lately. I’ve resented this life, I’ve resented the separation that being sober has made me feel like I have from a lot of people that I love, and I’ve resented every person that I have seen leave their sober lives behind them this year because I can’t stop thinking that maybe I should do the same. But today I woke up and I remembered what it was like to wake up four years ago on this day and know that I deserved better than the life that I was living. I felt it in my bones when I woke up and I felt it all day today. Gratitude.

There is a part of me that knows that my crazy is all part of being afraid of what lies ahead for me. There is a great big move in my future and there is a man by my side that has fought like hell to make me believe that he is my biggest supporter, my partner, my best friend. We plan to move across the country, to build a new life for ourselves in a place that we both believe is the perfect place to be together. There is so much beauty in change, but it is going to be the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Moving across the country at 17 was scary, but I didn’t know any better. I know better now. It could end up being a stupid decision, or it could end up being exactly what we both hope it will be. Home. Some place to plant some roots and grow together. We have been through so much together this year, and I finally feel like I am safe with him, safe enough that I can lean in and admit how scared I am. If it ends up being a mistake, well, I guess that makes for some good writing material.

I didn’t even know I had so much to say tonight. I just knew that I had to write. I’m filled up with all kinds of yummy goodness, after seeing a good show and then getting to see so many lovely faces tonight. I’ve met some amazing people in this city, and it will always be a part of me. I will always come back to this place and love it with the most gentle heart. This sweet city beat the living shit out of me, and then it picked me up and taught me how to live again.

Many people ask me, “if you love it so much, why on earth would you leave?” I often ask myself the same thing. But then I think about how dearly I loved Austin, of how I spent my last year there, wondering why I was so anxious to get the F out. There is a humming. It starts soft and low, and sings sweetly to me and tell me to open up and get ready for adventure. That adventure lies beyond what I already know. And oh, how I know this place. I know it more than any other place I lived, because I have known myself here. I have known my loved ones. I have KNOWN myself and my loved ones. Like really, truly known myself and other people. When I allow myself the time to sit still and reflect on living sober, that humming, it gets louder and more excited when I realize this one thing: There is still so much growing ahead. Let yourself grow. 

I can’t begin to wonder at how much bigger my world will get when I finally begin to plant roots in my home state again. And even though I’ve been full of doubt and resentment regarding sobriety, I know that the only way I want to live my life is sober. I’m sure I’ll cry and complain about it every October, but come November 1, I hope I always wake up grateful.

Thank you.