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.


Meghan K said...

you are so cool. I love that you just decided to quit and did it. Such an inspiration. Keep it up!

canadienne said...

Awesome post, Katie. This makes me happy.

Larry said...


lance said...

Hooray! I like the list. Trying to get my cicerone certification was the motivation for me to quit...smelling things is great!

Katie O'Shea said...

Thanks, everyone! I almost didn't post it.

1.) People who stop doing stupid shit shouldn't get parades. Parades are for feats of bravery & for never having done stupid shit to begin with.
2.) It felt like bragging. But it wasn't really bragging.
3.) I was embarrassed to have ever smoked to begin with. I know that some of my family members will read this. It is painful to me to know that I will have caused them pain by admitting I did something so dumb for so long.
4.) What if the quitting doesn't take? The good news is, it appears to have taken. The way my head works, when I receive bad news, I'm in danger of slipping. I received some bad news today, & while relapsing did cross my mind, the mind-crossing was very brief, & then I dealt with the very bad news in other ways.

The one thing that made me post it, despite the shame, the bragging, the prematurity of it all, was the idea that other people might look upon the problem in the same way that I did. It's not about whether or not I will have the strength of will to stop doing something that I must admit I enjoyed; it's about whether or not I have the strength of will to become the kind of person that I want to be. Once I couched the problem in these terms, the answer was easy. The answer was YES.

I know that sounds swiffy. But it's true. I could write a book on this subject. I might. Not a self-help book, per se, not really. An autobiography that happens to point out a bunch of shit along the way.

If I tell you all about it, do I have to do it?! RATS.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you quit. I smoked for 10 years and quit cold turkey. On a scale of 1-10 I thought it would be a 12 on how hard it would be to quit. In reality, it was like a 2. Unfortunately I began smoking again about a year ago. I'm going to try to quit again, wish me luck friendo :-)

Flunky Carter