I'll be the first to admit that I am a man of vices. To some, they may be unhealthy. To those closest to me, they know that some of them are quite inspiring (coffee & cigarettes, anyone?).
Over the years, I have thrown away bad habits only to pick up new ones. I have been conscious of my decisions, and there have been times where I was completely oblivious. I could never give up coffee or cigarettes. I have never even tried quitting smoking. Even during the hottest days of summer, I wake up and put a pot of coffee on. I also drink alcohol daily. Usually it's just a couple beers as a nightcap, but I see no problem with this. It's relaxing and it relieves a lot of stress.
Silly it may seem to some of you, but I in fact like the habits of these more than the actual "addiction" to nicotine or caffeine. Morning coffee is a routine, a comforting way to always start the day. To (badly) paraphrase Eddy Joe Cotton: "The morning coffee routine is one of few constants in this world. No matter how crazy things get, you can always have your coffee in the morning." (If someone knows this exact quote, please relay it to me. I've spent the last twenty minutes going through the book and I can't fucking find it.) The same thing can be said for cigarettes. Taking a break from work and resting my weary legs, the feeling of the smoke being sucked into my lungs is a comforting burn. It has bite, it lets you know you're alive. That first cigarette in the morning is always the best one of the day.
To anyone that knows me, my caffeine and nicotine intake levels are some times on a superhuman level. I'd say it's part of my charm, but I don't think I could find anyone to back that up. With these vices sewn so obviously into the fabric of my personality, there are some vices that I've left by the wayside and will never return to. They were things I was never addicted to, but were also kept around for too long.
I began smoking pot after I had graduated high school. The first time I smoked, I didn't even get high. I thought to myself "This is stupid AND it tastes like shit". I didn't touch the stuff again for a while. Eventually, I tried it again wound up getting the most stoned that I have ever been. Once I swept out the cobwebs from my marijuana hangover, it became a routine for a while. The desire to do it was fueled mostly from boredom and partying. Being underage in the Midwest, there's really not a lot you can do to keep boredom at bay. So, you drink and smoke pot in secrecy.
I did this for a few years, all the while accumulating some pretty rad stories which I still tell to this day. I decided to quit smoking the shit altogether when a band I had claimed as "my second favorite band" ever came on the stereo and I couldn't remember who it was. "Eesh," I said aloud to Michull, "I need to lay off the pot." Since then, I smoked twice. It's been years since the last time, and I have no plans any time soon of going back to it. I'm pretty sure the guilt would crush me, not to mention it would kind of undo the last few years I've spent without it.
When you're young and stoned in the Midwest, you eat a lot of fast food and drink a lot of soda. Taco Bell becomes your food pyramid. Thinking back to how much fast food I used to eat, not to mention the quantities in which I would indulge in one sitting, makes me sick. I used to have at LEAST eight cans of off-brand Mountain Dew a DAY. There were times when I'd eat fast food at least twice a day. I eventually quit drinking soda altogether and lost about twenty pounds right off the bat. The last time I ate McDonald's was almost four years ago. I ate half of a cheeseburger and immediately wanted a nap. At that very second, I wrote off fast food entirely. It's unnatural, super-processed and extremely unhealthy. I've eaten Burgerville once since living in Portland and although its all natural and minimally-processed food, it still gave me the shits. No more for me, thanks.
I'll start off this last one by saying I like porn. Read as much as you want to into the anonymity or escapism aspects of it all you want, but its simply fun and, yes, stimulating to watch. Here's the thing, though. I don't watch porn. Or even google pictures of girls going at it or whatever. Over two years ago I decided that I was sick of feeling like a creep and slobbering over some pixelated images on a computer screen. And, yes, there were times in the past with an ex-girlfriend when I preferred watching porn over to being physical with her. When I realized how sick that actually was, I felt ashamed and told myself to quit being so fucking depraved and focus on reality in all of its facets. I am now with the girl I want to be with for the rest of my life, and no amount of porn can come even close to how happy she makes me mentally, physically and emotionally.
This post may be a little unnerving for some of you to read, but I think it might shed some light on who I am as a person. I'm hoping that it motivates any or all of you to make positive changes in your life and helps to change anything you may not like about yourself. It's all up to you.