Well…I wasn’t quite so successful at planning out dates for myself on a monthly basis this year. I did, however, take myself out by myself on occasion, but usually impromptu and for only a nightcap. Which is one of my fave things to do at this cute local cocktail bar.
I also went out quite often with friends, both on planned and impromptu outings. I realize that’s exactly what I needed. I wanted to celebrate life with loved ones. My chosen family. Last year was all about my path to independence and this year was all about spending time with the ones who helped me get where I am today. And my annual birthday shows reflected that the past two years respectively.
My favorite part of the night of my birthday show was making everyone feel like royalty, literally, and watching everyone find the perfect crown just for them!
As for my 35th Birthday Resolution, I’m going to write a letter each day to a different person, place or thing that has inspired me in some way throughout my lifetime.
Well I survived 2017, but it wasn’t easy. Amazing things happened throughout the year as I claimed my independence and freedom as a single person. I tried to document my journey along the way, but it was a lot harder to document while still processing the emotions than I realized. Yes, writing helps me process but it also forces me to think about the situation which I wasn’t always ready to do. My last post was in August, and a few weeks later would’ve been mine and The Ex’s official 12th anniversary. Ironically our anniversary of becoming exclusive was 9/11. That should’ve been a sign.
It was also difficult to write about the loved ones who hurt me while also respecting their privacy. But then again, why should I hold back from sharing factors of my own truths; they haven’t considered my feelings.
I made mistakes. I battled a double heartbreak. I was faced with discovering who I really am. Do I enjoy and respect that person? I tried to be honest and open with my chosen family and my lovahs. I gained new friends. I met new lovahs and lost other lovahs. I embarrassed myself. I was proud of myself. I earned a grant and produced a show. I worked hard and played harder. I created a demo for an EP all about my road to independence and performed those songs and some stories for my annual birthday show. It was one of the most healing processes I’ve ever gone through. That really does just prove the power of art. And now I understand the strength and popularity of heartbreak albums in so much more depth.
My experiences inspired my current Birthday Resolution which I realized I haven’t announced yet. During my 34th year I am going on a monthly date with myself. Taking myself on dates is something I’ve been doing for years, even while dating The Ex. But this year I wanted to make a conscious effort to do so regularly, so stay tuned to hear all about them!
I suppose I’ve procrastinated on writing about my last two drinking days because I don’t want them to be real. As summer approaches, it gets harder and harder to say no to a cool drink. There’s nothing like patio weather in Chicago to make one want to day-drink as a relaxation activity. Accidental binge drinking does occur for everyone in the city this time of year. Do my cravings make me normal or make me an alcoholic?!
Drinking Day #24 was Memorial Day — a beautiful day with friends and sangria at the Waterfront Cafe which overlooks Lake Michigan. It truly was a Red, White, and Blue day with red sangria, white clouds, and blue water!
About a week later I had drinks again when I went out with my girl to CeCe Peniston’s Sew Unique Swimwear fashion show on Friday. My girlfriend and I like to leave our men at home sometimes and have our own date nights. So it only seemed appropriate to have a drink while in the VIP section.
But now I have only 6 days left to last me until December 9th — technically the 8th since the 9th resets my year. Everyone has been asking me if I’ve had my days saved for specific dates, and up until now, I’ve just been going with the flow deciding as I go. Of course I knew that some specific holidays would be Drinking Days, though. Now here is how I’m allocating the remainder of my Drinking Days:
Chicago Pride Parade (June)
Friend’s bachelor party (July)
4th of July (July)
Sister’s birthday or Market Days Festival if I don’t see her for her birthday (August)
Father’s birthday–if I see him during this occasion (September)
So I drank on Easter, but barely got through one drink the whole day because I was coming down with a cold. My acid has been bothering me quite a bit lately even without drinking, so I’ve been trying to eat better as well. I should probably start taking some pills, though, too just to be on the safe side because too much acid reflux can lead to cancer. Scary, right!
I also drank last night to celebrate the excitement and freedom of the Night of Noise event that the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance hosted at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to break the silence of the Day of Silence. The DOS is a way to combat LGBTQ+ bullying in schools and the NON is a way to break the silence at the end of the day. After the great event that my boyfriend organized with performances by my friends Mister E. Machine and up-and-coming artist James Panther, I went out with some other friends for drinks. I was “in the mood,” whatever that means. My boyfriend obviously had to stay behind and do some work since it was his event so it was just me and my two gay married friends. Capitalizing on the fact that they were both getting flirted with by some guy at the bar, I got the gentleman to buy us all shots. I’ve not been much of a shots person since I was 21, and now that I don’t drink that much at all, it probably wasn’t the best idea because the drinks they serve at this particular bar are already strong. So my night ended with me puking out a cab window while we’re driving 45mph down Lake Shore Drive and getting yelled at by my boyfriend who had to provide me with a bedside trashcan and water once I got home. I apologize to him and to the next person who opened the car door on the cab. The emotional and physiological hangover is another reason why I am taking my 31-Day Challenge this year.
February 9 will officially make the two-month mark for Birthday Resolution, and I’m definitely going over my allotted days. I’ve had eight drinks so far which breaks down to four a month! I’m only supposed to have 2.5 days, which means some months at three days and some months at two. But I don’t feel like I’m behind. I’m learning that I don’t need the booze. I’m feeling better and more energized, I’d say. My acid is definitely not bothering me as much as it was. Now if only I could cut out those fried foods next. That’s really the only things I’ve noticed that contributes to it lately. No matter the current outcome, I’m still benefiting from this Birthday Resolution.
So I’ve been tempted everyday this first week of my Birthday Resolution! The holidays are extra hard because of all of the office parties and such. Today we had our holiday lunch at work and how could I deny a better selection of wine than I would pay for myself?! But the one glass of wine that I had has already put me to sleep. I feel like I need to brush my teeth. I love a decent wine, but this challenge has also already helped me really pay attention to my alchohol intake and how it effects me.
But I did resist temptation this past weekend when my boyfriend and I went to the bar. I had him order me a bottled water. I felt so proud. But then the temptation hit again once we got home because he bought a bottle of bourbon (my drink of choice). I still said no. But this weekend I have a birthday party to go to and then next week is Christmas dinner and the week after is New Year’s Eve! What shall I do? Thirty-one days breaks down to 2.5 days a month. So I only get a few months with three days and the rest I get only two! And my friend Morgan has already had four days!
I’ll keep you up on my progress as the holidays come to a close.
I started Chit Chat Jonny a few years ago to record and track my progress on a New Year’s resolution. Once the year was over, I focused my attention on other projects. I’ve returned this year to track the progress of a Birthday Resolution I made earlier this week. I challenged myself to only drink 31 days during my 31st year in this life. So from December 9, 2014 to December 9, 2015, I will only allow myself 31 days to drink. So if I pick up a glass of wine for dinner, that’s one of my days. If I go out to the club at 10 o’clock at night and stay out drinking past midnight, I’ve rolled over into two days.
All of my friends think I’m crazy or that I’ll only end up binge drinking on those days. But I’ve already cut back a lot over the past couple of years because of my acid reflux, so I think I can do it. I feel as if this will be an exciting and healthy challenge. One step closer to a better lifestyle. And this blog will help me reflect upon my progress. I’ll record before, after and maybe even during my 31 Days.
I told my friend Morgan about it and she really liked the idea, so she has agreed to do it with me! But she gets 32 days until December 9, 2015 because she’s 32 years of age. I’m holding her accountable because we shook on it!
So my first night of drinking was of course at Beauty Bar Chicago for my birthday celebration, and the next morning at work I felt dehydrated and sluggish. My acid made it difficult to eat anything but if I don’t eat breakfast I get hangry. And I had maybe 4 drinks the night before. So already this is proving to be worth it because of the hope to feel healthier.
But then of course we had a celebration at work for our new board members the very next day and the wine was flowing and so tempting! And FREE! How do you say no to that? With extreme difficulty, but I did it!
Will I be able to spread out the remaining 30 days appropriately? We shall see!
For my birthday, Daddy and his wife drove up to celebrate my birthday and hers this weekend. We decided to go to a music improv show at the Apollo. Baby Wants Candy has been around for a while and they are super hilarious. They improvised an entire musical right before our eyes. It’s really the first improv show I’ve seen live. It was a great way to observe everything I’ve been learning in class. Today is my last improv class. 😦