Heads up: this essay discusses my relationship with alcohol, if you're in recovery or struggling with addiction this is probably not a good essay for you to read.
This fall has been a season of change for me. The universe has been giving me signs for a few months now, that it was time for me to slow down. But in my constant desire to move forward I admittedly forgot how to do that, to stay slow. It happens to the best of us, but it sure feels like it happens to me more than it does for most. As evidenced by basically every other blog post I've written.
One night this summer, deep in the throes of Tennessee, I made pizzas for a few coworkers. In an effort to get back to my roots, and find some semblance of home in the corporate housing I'd been provided with, I decided to make both the dough and sauce from scratch. The recipe I followed for the sauce called for a splash of a dry white wine, something I've been staying away from for the last 3 years. Normally I'd simply go without, but on that day I found myself circling the liquor section at the grocery store. Something was calling me. I made a few trips there and back, before settling on a dry chardonnay that came in what I can only describe as a juice box. I included a few tablespoons into my sauce and put the rest in the fridge. I felt like I had answered the call.
I forgot how much I love the taste of white wine. And the smell lingered in the air even after the alcohol burned off with the heat of the stove. At the end of the night I stared at the wine in the fridge, wondering why I'd kept it. I wasn't planning on cooking anything else with the wine, but for some reason I let it stay there.
If you're new here, or unfamiliar with my journey, about three years ago I decided to stop drinking alcohol. It was a decision born more out of convenience than necessity. I've thankfully never struggled with addiction, but was able to come to the conclusion that I like my life better when I'm not drinking. It's been admittedly easy for me. It's not hard to go without something that you don't even miss.
But I think I was starting to miss it, especially in Tennessee. I missed the ritual of a glass of wine with dinner, or cocktails paired with deep conversation. There's an element of social bonding that comes with drinking, that I've been good at replicating with sparking water. I started to long for that added element after a long work day. I'd watch my coworkers enjoy a beer on their porches or smell the fermentation on their breath as we celebrated our days off on the river.
During my last few nights in Tennessee I kept coming back to the fridge. Staring at the juice carton of wine, daring myself to take a sip. I'd feel the light of the refrigerator illuminate me, a stark contrast to my dark apartment, once again calling me. After the third night I poured the wine down the sink. Read More