This week, something has shifted for me. I'm finding myself in a middle place. When I think about the life I had when I drank, I know that I do not live there anymore. The people I spend time with have changed. How I spend my time has changed. My values have changed, and I bring who I really am to the table now, always. But this new life, my sober life, just one year old, still feels so new. I keep waiting for something to hit, for me to suddenly feel like I belong here.
The thing is, I know what I'm doing. I'm waiting to feel like I'm done. I'm waiting to have the in-person sober community. I'm waiting to have a million things to say on here. I'm waiting to feel like I have any clue what I'm doing. And if I'm not careful, I know I'll be waiting forever. Because, no one ever has anything figured out. I am convinced that being an adult is mostly the artful combination of google, duct tape, dry shampoo, and coffee.
The thing is, I am only upset because I feel like I should be somewhere else by now. But that isn't how it works. I am supposed to be here, because I am here. The middle, it turns out, is beautiful, because if you're lucky, you can live your whole life there. There is no end goal, not really. We will never get to a place where we feel done, because we will forever keep moving the goal posts.
And I know this. But that doesn't make that middle feeling go away, it's just that a new feeling joins it…the feeling that maybe I'm okay. Maybe I’m good and fun and brave enough and cool enough and smart enough, right where I am, just because I’m here and I’m alive and I’m trying to climb into life in this big, scary, messy world. Maybe what I have to say doesn’t have to be poignant and important and universal, maybe it just has to be honest. Maybe what I feel is valid, just because I feel it. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone in all of this. And other people feel awkward and hopeful just about all the time. Hopeful that they will be seen and understood and that someone will stop looking at their phone for long enough to say “I see you, I see what you're doing, and I'm proud of you”, so that I can say it back.
A few years ago, I could not imagine spending any length of time sober. It seemed completely impossible. I couldn't imagine speaking up for myself. I couldn't imagine writing a blog. I couldn't imagine submitting writing pieces or going after the things I want. Back then, where I am at right this second, in what feels like the middle, looked like the finish line.
This week, I'm trying to remember that when we get closer to the things we want, our perspective changes. And that is a good, great, wonderful thing because it means that we are continuing to grow. So this week, I'm sitting here, in what feels like the middle, and I'm looking at the things that are changing, even if it isn't at my pace. And I am trusting that it's all happening perfectly.