Make it a double

This is me 11 years ago. I’d just graduated from The University of Texas at Austin—Hook ‘em Horns! 🤘—with a Master’s degree in Advertising. For a graduation present, my parents bought me a plane ticket to Chile to visit my old college roomie who was living in Concepción with her Chilean beau.

Because a single was never enough, I ordered a double one night while out on the town. That’s what you see here, a shit ton of vodka (in the two glasses I’m holding) and one bottle of tonic stuffed down the front of my shirt. Classy, right?

Not surprisingly, I don’t remember everything that happened that night. I do remember having a bad hangover the next day and waking up alone in my friend’s apartment. The day had already started for them. A personal hell, complete with me praying to an unfamiliar porcelain god in South America, was only beginning for me. Needless to say, I lost a full day of my already limited time in Chile. Not to mention a little dignity, too.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my “past life” and can’t help but feel a bit melancholy because I have too many memories like this one; drinking too much, blacking out, and having a debilitating hangover that rob me of the next day. I robbed myself, really. I robbed myself of days, and years, from my own damn life.

Scrolling through my old Facebook photos makes me cringe with sadness and disgust. I see a lot of heavy lids, glassy eyes, and there’s always—ALWAYS—a drink in my hand.

I find a little happiness though, too, in knowing that’s not who I am anymore. At 40, I’m finally growing up and becoming the person I was meant to be. Someone I can be proud of and not turn my eyes away from when I see her in the mirror. It’s the culmination of experiences like this one that got me to where—and WHO—I am today. And for that I am grateful.

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