Friday, January 29, 2010

I watched a change in you...

I was going to title this "Sometimes Selling Out Is Waking Up," but it would have flown right over most people's heads.

Over the past three or four years, I've been going through a lot of changes. Apparently, all of that came to a head when I decided to try my first drink a few months ago. Since then, I've been ridiculed and judged by some, while accepted (and in some cases, even congratulated) by others. It seems that every possible reaction has been conveyed to me upon the release of the new information.

I guess it all started a few years ago when I was approaching the end of my several-year tenure of doing shows. I was growing tired of all of the empty accusations, shit-talk, and drama, and was beginning to find out who my real friends were. I didn't know it at the time, but found out later that for the entire time I was doing shows, I was getting thrown under the bus by people who I thought were my friends but apparently, were pretty far from it. It got to the point where hardcore and straight edge didn't mean what they used to. I made the mistake of exposing myself to "the business end" of hardcore, and it wasn't a pretty sight. It has actually almost completely ruined everything I once loved about it. I have to put some of the blame on myself for losing sight of what hardcore actually meant to me over the decade prior, but I'm definitely not responsible for all of it. Anyway, despite the fact that I pretty much ceased attending shows and hanging out with the people that I was friends with for the past 5+ years, I stayed straight edge. I knew that without it, I would have been in a dark place while going through all of the shit that was happening in my life at the time (all of the stuff above, combined with going through a divorce, was a tough pill to swallow).

Fast forward to 2009...I found myself completely not in love with the idea of labeling myself as straight edge (and for all of you "lifestyle" elitists, I didn't give a shit about that anymore, either). I despised it, and talked shit on the idea of it most of the time. So, realizing I was doing a tremendous disservice to those who were still taking it seriously, I decided to give up on it altogether in June of 2009. And, before you get the hankering to run your mouth, I'm hoping that you read everything above and realize that this wasn't a spur-of-the-moment, "my friends drink so I do too" thing. It was a long, drawn-out process. I knew then, and still know now, that without straight edge, I wouldn't be in a successful marriage, have a great job, or own a nice house. So for that, I'm thankful. However, it's just not for me anymore. People who are truly supportive of me will understand that, as I understand (and am sympathetic toward) their changes and other happenings in life.

It wasn't until October that I took my first sip of alcohol (that's exactly what it was - a sip), just to get curiosity out of the way. It was okay - definitely nothing life-changing, but I knew that if I wanted to have a drink, I would do just that. After all, it's all about doing what YOU want to do. Fuck what anybody else thinks. So, after consuming about one total fluid ounce of alcohol from that point until the beginning of December, I went to a bar with my friends, had a few drinks, got a little bit drunk, and DIDN'T drive home. Since then, I've had some drinks every other weekend or so, and haven't really experienced much more than a slight buzz. I had a lot of reservations when I started doing this - I wasn't even sure how or why it happened, but I was worried that it would become an addiction, as my family has a history of that. However, I've found myself to be quite responsible, and it has bloomed into nothing but a social activity that happens every so often (though, I'm still in a bit of an awkward stage and have been told that I look like a teenage girl when I drink).

So, you may be asking "What's next, heavy binge drinking, weed-smoking, cocaine, and meth?" Well, no. I try not to be an idiot, though shit does indeed happen. But, I guess it all boils down to this: regardless of what I do, it is truly my decision, and while I'll respect other people's opinion on the matter, it won't change who I am or who I'll become (even if I wanted it to). I trust myself enough to know that I'll make only the best decisions, and those close to me do as well (that's what I'm told, at least). I'm still the same old lovable, fun-loving, easy going Bryan, though. I hope that's the one that people became enamored with, not the "tough-guy, full-of-hate, fuck-you-I'm-edge" Bryan who died years ago (and probably wasn't even real in the first place).

1 comment:

  1. you're a smart dude bry.

    and i like how you labeled this "selling out is the new black" bwahah