9 months down, 3 left to go!

September was quite the whirlwind for me, and I can't believe how quickly it flew by. Shoot - we're already halfway through October for cryin' out loud! I know I keep saying it, but this year has been pretty darn amazing. I feel like I've learned SO MUCH, and I just want to keep on learning. 

This was my first month officially on-my-own with my freelance career, and I'm loving it. I work longer hours on the days when I have time, and take a little more time off on other days (when I can). I truly enjoy what I'm doing now too - I love my co-workers at the cafe (where I work part-time), and the constant socialization. I really enjoy the freelance work as well, since all of my projects have allowed me to be creative. I realize now that's something I've been craving in my work for a long time. 

My beautiful friends at the cafe! From left to right: Jeana, Mona, and Sienna. Not pictured: Ian and Wolfgang (those crazy boys). Latte art by Ian!

My beautiful friends at the cafe! From left to right: Jeana, Mona, and Sienna. Not pictured: Ian and Wolfgang (those crazy boys). Latte art by Ian!

Summer seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye, and now fall (my favorite season) is beginning. The days are getting shorter, and I enjoy feeling the brisk air on my face as I bike to my cafe job in the mornings. It's a lovely change, and I look forward to what the new season will bring.

I have been thinking about what I've learned this month without having alcohol in my life:

I'm more hydrated.

This may seem obvious, but it's something I forget about all the time! Since I'm not drinking booze, I'm drinking either water or a fizzy water-based drink. All hydration, all the time!

I'm ready to start drinking again. 

I know I've come so far this year, and I'm so happy about the changes that have come from abstaining from alcohol. But I'm looking forward to having a drink again. I certainly don't plan to go crazy on January 1st, 2016 - but I look forward to having wine with dinner, or toasting a locally-brewed beer with friends. I hope that this year will make it easier for me to take time off from drinking in the future, and help me with moderation. 

I feel all the things, still mess up (even without alcohol), and that's okay. 

There was a point in this journey where I naively thought I could never do wrong, as long as alcohol was no longer clouding my judgement. But it just ain't true. I still screw up, and I still get frustrated about certain decisions I make in my life. I text people I shouldn't when I'm feeling blue (although I'm better at resisting), and I make some silly decisions when out partying late at night. 

Cutting out the alcohol doesn't guarantee that we'll make the best decisions in our lives. Some desires are still there, and I feel strong emotions. If anything, I probably feel everything more than I did before, and with greater clarity. My next step is to be forgiving of those choices. I won't always do the "right" thing all the time. There will always be those moments when I go with my heart rather than my head, even when it's probably best to listen to the latter. With or without alcohol - I am who I am: an emotional being with a constant jumble of emotions, and a big fucking sugar-coated daydreaming heart. And you know what? I'm okay with that. In fact, I am pretty sure I've reached the point in my life where I can love myself for that. And that's pretty damn awesome. 

Part of me is holding back. 

There's a reason why booze is called "liquid courage" - it takes away the voice of reason and replaces it with "I can and should do anything I want, right now!" As I mentioned above, it's still possible to make those carefree decisions without booze. But there's a bigger urge that holds me back. Lately I've been asking myself: are there things I wanted to say this year that I didn't say because I was never drunk? 

Think about those times when you're with your friends and you drunkenly tell them how much you love them. That guy you've always liked? You confess that you have feelings for him. You tell the world that you feel ALL THE THINGS and that they should feel them with you. I believe that when a little tipsy, we become a more honest version of ourselves. So there is a part of me that wonders if I've been holding back a bit, and I'm pretty sure that I have. I don't think it's a bad thing, but it's certainly interesting to think about.

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I hope you'll consider joining me in my last (less than) 3 months left of sobriety! Click here to sign up for my No Drinking Challenge, and let's toast on New Year's Eve! 

Money saved in 9 months: Approximately $2,056.00

Weight: Not a clue. But I did put on a size 4 pant the other day, which made my jaw drop. That could be from all the biking to/from work though. :)

How I feel: Contemplative. Content. Blissful. Fulfilled. Happy, happy, happy.