After the Toast

When you’re sober at a wedding you end up having a lot to reflect on with nothing to drown out those thoughts.

My first thought was the fear I went there with (as detailed in another post) was totally unwarranted. I have fantastic friends who in turn have fantastic friends. No one thought differently of me and most were impressed or apathetic– I mean, one night without a drink is not that big of a deal, really. Most of the guests had at least some familiarity with my drunken exploits so to say they were supportive was an understatement. Self-reflexively I realized that the role I resentfully clung to was not one foist upon me by others. I had cast myself as jester, nobody else. That meant all the dissatisfaction with my station in life, in my social circles, was my own fault.

Until this point in my adult life I lived with these fatuous notions that drinking, smoking and gambling could engender happiness– they were really just excuses bottled, rolled and dealt. I rejected affection because I thought it implied weakness. I let myself become hardened. I became physically, mentally and spiritually sick. I ascribed this affliction to the wrong cause because it was easier than admitting the truth.

Vegetarianism definitely wasn’t the solution, for me anyway.

My problem wasn’t a lack of vegetables or an excess of meat– it was a lack of conviction and just plain excess.  I needed to rediscover that boy who wanted to effect change; the boy who wanted to commit to something worthwhile. The boy who wanted to be a doctor.

Forgoing my vices has been ineffably helpful, but the real problem is somewhere deeper, I feel. I’m still searching. In the meantime, I will diligently try and excise my cynicism. Seek my own happiness instead of begrudging others’.

Some of my friends at the wedding were curious and asked why I wasn’t guzzling down any of the free beer. I responded as straightforwardly as I could: “I want to get into medical school. I need to be a better person.”

To which each one replied, without hesitation: “You are a good person.”

I guess I was the only one who forgot.


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