Nat Jonesin' | Roy, Nat & Freddy Mac

Screw That. I Can.


Tonight was such a gorgeous sunset, its warm, humid, and all of my windows and sun roof are open and I am instantly transported to my freshman spring break trip to Jamaica. And all of a sudden I am sitting in a pool and telling my friends “NO, I’m not going with you” out to the trampoline in the middle of the ocean. I wouldn’t get out of the water bc my chubby thighs had created such a rash on my bottom and inner thighs I was too embarrassed to get up and out and enjoy myself like I so desperately wanted to- even though I was wearing gym shorts. So instead, I stayed in the pool, sitting in the shallow end, chain smoking and getting really drunk. I didn’t want to chain smoke or get really drunk, what I wanted to do was jump in the water with all of the other college students, flirt with the boys from all over the world, and enjoy the amazing trip I was on. But I couldn’t. I sat there and watched my friends while I hung out with my other friends — my ciggies, and beer. And I talked to everyone around me, made people laugh as I do, that has always come easy for me, and seemingly, had a good time. And that’s what I did for 15 years after then. Get uncomfortable with something, deny myself from the happiness I want, and for some reason, start smoking. It just kept happening. Smoking all the time. Skip meals- just smoke instead, bored on road trips- smoke instead, get uncomfortable in social situations- go outside and smoke. And then it became a crutch I used to keep me safe and also, hold me back from life as I grew older. “I can’t date that guy, I smoke” “I can’t go there, its for healthy clean people and I smoke” “I can’t do yoga, I smoke” “I can’t be friends with those women, I smoke”. I can’t I can’t I can’t. Screw that. Yes I can.

It has been 30 days since my last ciggie and 85 since I decided to quit smoking for good. And it has been a crazy life changing experience- the in best fuxking way possible. It seems, after all, that dumpster Natalie has left, it was her choice, and I supported it. I mean, all of her friends had grown up and had kids after all, and she hates being alone. We all have a force within us that sets our pace in life, and dumpster Nat disrupts my pace. And we all do that don’t we? At least a little, make decisions that we know are going to disrupt our pace. But we do them anyway. And in a way, we become obsessed with them- why we do them, justify to ourselves over and over again that they are ok, even good for us, when really, we knew all along, it wasn’t.

And after years and years of broken promises to myself and others, I am here, slowly but surely, becoming the person I have always wanted to be who does not smoke. And it has not happened with out pain, joy, sleepless nights, exhilarating highs and sad lows, and times when I thought I was losing my freakin mind and questioning myself in every way possible. Convince myself everyone hates me, I’m getting fired, I can’t see past this, this sucks so bad I should start smoking again, I can’t be myself with out cigarettes. Wait no it’s fine, everything is fine, I am amazing, life is awesome, new everything, new me, yeah, new me rules, NO WAIT NEW ME DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS. Ah dang eat pretzels and keep on moving on. And then one day, I just relaxed into the mess and it all got easier. Trying to create a new habit on a heavy heart and stressed mind and body, doesn’t work for anyone. It was been the constantly telling myself “you can do this” and the support I have received from every one around me that has made all the difference. Relaxing into the you that makes good decisions for yourself.
Now, I make decisions from a place that doesn’t smoke cigarettes and doesn’t hang out by the dumpster in the dark. But walks and then tries to run and gets a little out of breath with all the extra quitting love chub and new lungs in the sunshine. But she’s out there, in the sunshine, trying to find the next place she can’t smoke in and feeling so fuxking proud and freer by the day. When you live life how you really want to, it just keeps getting better and better, and that keeps my heart going. So thank you to everyone who has reached out along the way, you have truly made these past 85 days life changing. I haven’t written bc I didn’t know what to say until right now. And there is always more to come from me 🙂 Just wait till I start talking about my mom, that bitch will keep my motor running for days…Trust in yourself you really do know what’s best.