Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things are starting to happen.

Oo I do love it when you start to see things move in the right direction. Today was a good day. Yesterday was a good day too actually. First up, my recording, mixing and mastering sessions are now booked in and happening in January, at the same studios recently used by Kanye West, Lady Gaga and many other notable superstars. That's exciting. Better do some singing practice aye bro. Second up, my book proposal, thanks entirely to the efforts of my esteemed reader Katie, is now in the hands of a publisher within one of Australia's major publishing houses. I will not say which, just in case it jeopardizes my chances in any way, but that, my friends, is super freakin exciting! Thank you Kate. It will be a while before I hear anything on that front, being, as it is, Christmas time, but I am more than happy to wait. In the meantime I can concentrate on my arpeggios, my studio time and a plethora of other tiny and pressing tasks. Hooray, thank you Universe, and on we go.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Project three and other stuff.

My, this getting stuff done takes a lot of doing. It's like for every small bit of reportable progress you make, you do a million tiny tasks to get there. Since we last spoke (spoke?) I have been inching my way towards booking in a studio recording session, revising my book proposal and completing various items for my new website. Website? What's all that about? Maybe I should tell you about project number three. My third project is project NewYork Fuckin City. Ultimately, my aim is to go there, get a job, find myself an incredible, beautiful, cool-minded man, and live happily ever after in my favourite city in the world. To start with though I'm focusing on just getting there and finding a way to stay. My new website is the first part of the plan. I am putting it together (or more correctly my adorable friend Niccola is) to showcase my professional work and my other personal projects. It's an important weapon for killing it on the job hunting front. And it's not far off being ready to roll. But as I said, these things take time. Every day though I am setting myself a handful of tiny tasks, and provided I get them done, I am moving forward.
Meanwhile, I have been happily not drinking, exercising and trying (quite unsuccessfully) not to succumb to too many pre-Christmas chocolate attacks. I say happily, which is true. But that's not to say I haven't had moments to ponder my latest non-drinking stance. Yesterday, for example, we had our work Christmas party, a long lunchy affair at a venue elegantly jutting over the ocean at the end of a lovely golden beach. A very pretty spot. It was a weird thing, because while I really, truly felt no desire to drink, I did get small attacks of 1. not being a real part of the larger gang and 2. feeling a bit bored with the prospect of what the afternoon really held for me. But from my position now, I also knew the answers to those problems. 1. if alcohol consumption is the sole thing that gets you in the gang, I'm happy forming my own, and 2. I'm not prepared to feel horrendous anymore in exchange for whatever it is alcohol thinks is a good time. It's kind of like I've come up against this sort of awful truth, that alcohol or not, sometimes you find yourself facing boredom. The aim I suppose is to try and avoid boring situations as much as possible. Find people who really interest you, go to events you really want to go to etc. I guess I'm going through a phase at the moment of easing my head into a new zone again with the non-drinking thing. I might have a moment where I think, hmm, a glass of red wine might be nice right now, but then I remember that a glass of red wine will not make me feel nice tomorrow. I seem to be quite a slow learner, but bit by bit I think I'm getting there. I have wondered though what it is about me that makes me so absolutist. Why does it have to be all or nothing all the time? Why does it have to be either completely tightly controlled or completely out of control? Why can't I do any form of medium? Will I ever be able to? At the moment the way I'm looking at the drinking sitch is that it's not a matter of never drinking again necessarily. But it is a matter of not touching the stuff until I have well and truly achieved some of my goals. (Even that though sounds retarded to me. Why, if not drinking had helped me turn my dreams into an awesome reality, would I then go and fuck shit up by drinking again?) I also reserve the right, should a hot date with an equally hot boy arise, to drink something to take the edge off. Ah and there I've gone and done it again. I've turned this into another boring rant about me and drinking. Sometimes I really wish I could be a little less aware of my every frickin move (drink, meal, exercise session, adherence to whatever rule I happen to be applying at the time) and just relax. But as it happens I'm currently on a mission. Three actually. There will be plenty of time for relaxing once I have reached my first little cluster of destinations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Project two.

Okay, so we know a little bit about the rock star/music project already. And some of you will already know something about project number two, but some of you won't, so here's the go. Project two is my publish a book project. Specifically, the aim is to get my last blog, My Year Off The Piss, published as a top-selling book. Hurrah. The thinking is that alcohol is a problem for many people, but because a lot of those people aren't (or don't consider themselves to be) alcoholics, they kind of just suffer in silence and try to battle on alone. I was one of those people. My story might help. But seeing as a large chunk of people do not spend their time trawling the web for random blogs, publishing it in book form might also help. So that's what I'm doing. But because I have a little habit of straying from the path, and because it's hard to straddle three paths at once while maintaining complete concentration (for some reason I am reminded at this point of an awesome picture my friend Kristie has on her toilet door, of a pyramid of formation water skiers, all wearing hilariously revealing pink lycra outfits.), for this project I have enlisted the help of my talented friend Jane. If you've been reading for a while, you will have met her already. She's the one who had an unbelievably cute baby called Arlo some months ago. And because she's a creative by profession, but is currently looking after her newborn, she felt like she might have some room for a little creative proj like this one. (Her willingness to help out also suggests she has a special, magic knack for baby management, or that she's a saint. Either way Janie, I salute you.) And so we begin. Firstly, it is a million times more fun to be actioning a project with someone else involved. Secondly, it makes you do stuff. Since my swearing off the booze again the other day, for example, we have both sourced publishing leads and will presently draft letters to present the proposal. Tiny steps, all extremely necessary. I will let you know how it goes. Speaking of leads by the way, and of projects, and of hilarious coincidences (which we weren't), in the two days following my saying bye bye alcohol, two more music producer possibilities have popped up, both of whom have also renounced the bottle. Crazy shit. More on that when I know more. And now I've got stuff to do.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rebalancing... act.

So I went to yoga, I sweated like a freak, and I rid my body of the last vestiges of alcohol foulness. And every time I have remembered over the course of the weekend my newly reinstated no-drinking resolve, I have felt absolutely great. I think the thing I have realised with this latest decision, is that I am a different person now to what I once was. As much as I might like to think of myself as a party fiend, in fact I have morphed into something quite unlike the girl I was in my 20s. And I think that the convulsions you've seen me go through recently with trying to re-embrace alcohol and slide back into my previous place in the world, have been the throes of death for my former self. It's not easy coming to terms with leaving one of your selves behind, but I think that's what this whole thing has been about. I don't value the things I used to in the same way anymore. I don't value the same traits in people. I think one of the most difficult aspects of this transition has been the thought that people who liked me before won't like me anymore. But I'm not afraid of that now. I've realised that the people who are with me will be with me, and the people who are meant to be with me will be with me. The people who don't want to know are irrelevant. And what's more, alcohol isn't a feature of my personality, so whether it's present or absent shouldn't make a difference either way. (Except that its absence puts me in a much better mood, which is good for everyone.) Anyway, having realised all these things, and told you all about them far too many times, I feel ready (finally) to get on with shit. So, with any luck, no more puking, wallowing, or armchair psychoanalysing (how much more could we really take?) from here on in. Just action. For real.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This has got to stop.

I remember back in My Year Off The Piss, reader Jamie commented that a blog about me getting pissed all the time wouldn't be quite as charming as one about me resisting the bottle and doing nice sober things instead. Well Jamie, you were right. It seems that this blog, including the post I am writing this very second, has become a catalogue of my drinking mishaps, foul hangovers and some delusional ideas that I might be able to integrate alcohol back into my life in some "healthy" and moderate way. And it's not charming, not in the slightest. Power chucking, for example, is not charming. Doing it at work is even less so. Having a headache that feels like sections of your brain might in fact be dislodging from your head, also is hardly the picture of pleasantness. Yet this was how I spent today. I had to leave work at midday because my body was so poisoned by alcohol that I was quite violently physically ill and I was no longer able to function at work or really in public. This, by no stretch of the imagination, is the manifestation of a problem. And it's something I really don't want to be telling you guys about. It's fucking embarrassing. It's not cool. Reading back over my entries since finishing my sober stint, I can see the slithery fingers of the drug sliding back in and taking hold. First I'm all I can take it or leave it, then I'm just having the odd controlled drink because I feel like it and I can, next thing I'm justifying my right to party and drink all day. As Grogger correctly pointed out in his somewhat sobering comment the other day, I am losing the sober perspective I had gained. Alcohol is sucking me back in. And here I am again, sick as a dog, with my exercise and healthy eating plans derailed again, and in no state to make any progress on any of my projects. What. The. Fuck. And so I made a decision today. I'm not drinking anymore. Part of me is a little afraid of saying that - like, is this a decision that will cut me off from all my peers? Is it a decision I'll regret? But another hulking part of me says don't be such a stupid, fucking pussy. It says, how amazing have you felt all year until now? It says, if the whole world thought it was cool to drink rat poison, would you do that too? I think the thing is, I've kind of realised there is no perfect solution. While I would love it if being teetotal was totally fun all the time with no hard or annoying aspects to it, I've realised (miraculously) that's not how things roll. What it's about is working out the solution that gives you the most enjoyment and comparatively little angst. What I've also worked out is that psychologically, I'm more comfortable with absolutes than I am with loose guidelines. I could say something like, okay so I'll only drink on really special occasions. But that leaves all sorts of stuff up to interpretation. In my head I'm much happier saying simply: I don't drink. It's easy. I know where I stand. There's no negotiating with a statement like that. And just by the way, why on earth do we view a carcinogenic, vomit inducing substance as a reward? Hooray everyone, let's celebrate this wonderful occasion by making ourselves sick. Now I know not everyone feels the need to drink to excess and make themselves ill, but when it comes to me and booze it seems I'm a little incapable of keeping things in check. Sometimes I can drink in a controlled way, but "sometimes" is a way too unruly concept for where I want my life to be right now. I think too, there's a difference between taking a year off alcohol and swearing off it for good. When you take a year off, you can kind of leave certain difficulties you encounter unresolved. Say, for example, when I realised that meeting boys was going to be hard while sober. There was a part of me that just kind of said, okay, so I might not meet boys for a year. So what? But if you're looking at the rest of your life, you kind of need to work that shit out. Which is good. (And let's not forget that I discovered it was perfectly possible to meet and have a fabulous time with boys while sober, given the right circumstances.) I think, kind of ironically, by taking what seems like a bigger stand and saying I don't drink full stop (rather than I'm not drinking for a certain amount of time) it has the potential to make the whole thing less of a big deal. You make the decision, people get used to it, and you all keep moving. So here goes people (are you with me?). Goodbye alcohol. Hello to the rest of my life.