BY LAURA JANE/ ILLO BY JEN
On September 1st I told my co-worker to guess what day it was. He said he didn't know and I was like "Imagine if I made you stand here and guess forever?", but then I just told him- it was the one year anniversary of the day I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist. (You can see a cool pic of my fresh and pink George tattoo here). He said, "Wow, that's pretty important, huh?" and I said, "Mostly I can't believe a week existed in my life where I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist on a Saturday and then quit smoking three days later"- it truly is crazy to think about how much positive energy I must have been swimming inside. Feeling real happiness for the first time, knowing true peace and balance and hitting it. All these wonderful concepts which once were clouds were bones now. I could wrap my hands around them.
Here is the Quitting Smoking Journal I wrote about quitting smoking one year less five days ago. I am trying to read it so I can write about it but I don't have very much fun reading my old writing. No matter when I wrote it, it's always overwrought. I'm catching snippets of it while skimming it: I definitely remember that I was wearing leopard print on the day I smoked my last cigarette, but I forgot that it was raining. I remember that trying to quit smoking was hard for me and I remember that quitting smoking was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I remember the only time it was hard- when I got promoted in April, I felt very stressed out about a lot of work-related things and I started thinking about cigarettes again. I came very close to smoking one, but put it off because I had to go focus all my energy onto some stressful work-related thing, and then I forgot about it . And then once I zoned back into myself I was all "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?", and then it was gone forever. I never cared again.
It's weird how easy it all is. I feel like I never smoked. I went into anorexia recovery five years and five months ago yet something eating disorder or body image issue-related still comes up for me at least three times a week, if not day- but I guess the difference is that my eating disorder came from within myself, whereas smoking cigarettes, no matter what kind of lies you tell yourself, is external: you smoke because some corporation told you to do it, because the people who work at cigarette companies or the advertising agencies that work for cigarette companies are all excellent at their jobs. I never believed that when I was a smoker. I thought it was a part of me- I thought I smoked because there was something about me that made me a smoker. But it was only my central nervous system.
But that doesn't mean that I ever want to be the judgy kind of ex-smoker who cares whether any other person ever does or doesn't smoke. I actually really love it when phonies and assholes smoke; it provides me with some very solid fodder for extra-hating them. And I adore a good passionate smoker- I was a passionate smoker once, and I think that passionate smokers are a faction of society that definitely needs to exist. I like when people arbitrarily stand up for stupid shit for no reason. I'd take an unapologetic smoker over a judgy non-smoker in a heartbeat- judgy non-smokers need to get some cigarette smoke blown in their faces every now and again so they can fake-cough like the delicate sons of bitches they are and remind every cool person in the world how important it is to stay chill.
Willingly addicting myself to smoking cigarettes was one of the worst decisions I ever made, but I was very young when I made it, and then ended up quitting at twenty-seven anyway, so who even cares. I feel too far away from ever having smoked to be able to explain exactly what I've gotten out of quitting, and that's weird, because I smoked a lot of cigarettes! For a lot of years! And now it's all just become the sentence, "I used to smoke." I suppose I could try and figure out what this past year might have looked like if I was constantly ducking out of work and sex and eating killer dinners to go light some shredded wood, chemicals and paper on fire and then inhale their fumes like I'm the hugest psychotic idiot there ever was, but I don't know. I guess I'm just too busy living.