23 April 2011

i quit

There are things that we do that we're proud of, & there are things that we do that we are not proud of. For the past ten years, I have gone back & forth, caring that I did something of which I wasn't proud vs. not caring. Does that make sense? No, right? So I did something about it.

I quit smoking.

Below is a pretty good list of reasons I might have quit:

· I taste things, professionally. And smoking gets in the way of my ability to taste things. And smell things. It prevents me from being as good at my job as I could be.
· Meanwhile, to be seen hampering my ability to taste lessens others' faith in how well I do my job. Employers, colleagues & customers, some of whom ask me on the regular for advice on coffees.
· Continuing to smoke — choosing to smoke — while knowing full well that it brings about an early, painful death is basically saying that I want to die. But the thing is, I don't want to die.
· It lessens my enjoyment of other things that are important in my life. Like food, coffee, biking, breathing, walking, singing, & feeling good.

But those aren't the reasons that I quit. I quit because I wasn't proud of it. And I would like to be proud of every damned thing that I do. I am not proud that I started when I was so young. I'm not proud that I gave money to the tobacco industry, on & off, for fifteen years. I am not proud that I allowed myself to be complacent when I knew it was out of step with what I believed in. And one day, I realized just exactly how un-proud I was, & from that moment forward I didn't want anything to do with it anymore.

So far, quitting has not been difficult. In fact, it's been remarkably easy. Perhaps this has to do with my reason for quitting — I'm not withholding something from myself that I want to have. I just don't want to want it any more. And that feels incredible.