Yesterday I passed a milestone I’m proud of: one year alcohol-free. I hesitate to say I celebrated the anniversary, because I struggle still to define what it means for me. Giving up alcohol was in itself not difficult. Quitting drinking, however, was.
Since I didn't have a problem with alcohol, I never thought about giving it up. The problem was me, I thought. I just needed to learn to be more fun. And then one day I realized I don't like drinking, and I don't want to do it anymore.
Drinking is how we socialize. That’s how we connect when we don’t know how to otherwise. That’s how we meet strangers in hopes that they turn in to lovers. That’s how we’re taught we’ll find the relationships we crave.
At first, I thought I would stop drinking and everything else would stay the same, but that didn’t turn out to be true. To borrow a concept from yoga, what I did when I made the choice to give something up was make space in my life for new habits and new relationships.
November 17, 1999, I received the key to an apartment I'd never seen, packed a few things in my Subaru Forester, and moved to New York City. I was 21, already out of college a year, and I had no idea what was coming next.
In recent years, Milennial feminists have taken issue with the expression “Not like other girls.” To do so discredits what my generation and the one before mine experienced to get a point where that argument could even be made.
This wasn’t a decision I ever thought I’d make, because it wasn’t a decision I had to make. I could have existed forever in that gray area between someone who doesn’t like drinking and someone who drinks because that’s what people do.
I spent over over a decade traveling the country in an old van building my business working at music festivals and concerts. Here's what I learned in the process about van life and how to thrive in a small space on wheels.