The What Ifs

Being back in my old hometown made me think of where my life has gone since I left.  It made me start to contemplate how my life would be different if I stayed. I wondered about the “what ifs”. What if I never got that first DUI? What if I never lost my driver’s license? What I never got divorced? Would I have stayed here if none of that happened?

I tried to ask my friends these questions at dinner last Thursday. “I wonder where my life would be if I still lived here. Think I would be married again?”
Maybe, but that doesn’t mean I would be happy.

“Think I would have become a mom?”
Maybe, but I might have been one of those women who regretted it and blamed my children for missing opportunities.

“Think I would have turned into the world traveler I became?”
Doubtful. Even with raises, I might be making less money if I stayed here than I do currently. I might not have been influenced to travel.

“Think I would have gotten more DUIs?”
Most likely. I might have even lost my job. Or I might have killed myself or someone else with my drinking.

Or maybe I would have slowed down my drinking. When I moved away, I moved to a city with good public transportation, cheap taxis and many bars within walking distance. My partying was accelerated. Back then, I still blamed my DUI on bad planning.

The second DUI five years later was a wake up call. Or at least a whisper. I went sober for 2 months. Then I tried to control my drinking. Soon, I did not see the point in controlling. I did not value my life. I lived to have fun. I wanted to do anything to avoid boredom. I thought being the party girl would bring me happiness.

Today, before flying home, I stopped to visit my old job. They moved to a new building. I only knew three of the seven people there today. They asked about where I am living now and about my travels. I brought up the “what if” questions to them. I was told that they think deep down, I was meant to break out of here. They don’t think I would have found happiness if I stayed. It made me feel good. I felt they validated my nomadic ways.

But it got me thinking I can not look back on what if I never got my DUIs or if none of my drinking mistakes happened. It was a messy, bumpy road that brought me to this sober place I am in now. I can not even think “what if I relapse?” I can just pick up this journey from here and continue. I can learn (finally!) from all my mistakes. I can work to avoid them again. And I can remind myself the best way to do that is not to pick up that first drink.


Mistake # 97 -I met up with a gay friend at a bar. The plan was to have a few drinks and then I was going shopping. But after a few drinks, I decided the shopping could wait. I mentioned to my friend I have not seen a drag show in this city. So he took me to one. Then we went to a few other gay bars that were all within walking distance from each other. He was giving me a tour of sorts. I was drinking a lot of rum and Diet Coke that night.

We ended up at a bar that he frequents and he started to order us some shots. I remember we met a guy. My friend was interested in this guy. So I tried to play wing-woman. When they announced last call, we invited this guy back to my friend’s apartment. I guess I was planning to crash on the couch. I do not remember much about once we got to the apartment except this guy was new to town and we talked a lot about the hassle of moving. But he must have gotten tired or just tired of my friend and I slurring our speech. He left. And I remember my gay friend saying something about even though he is gay, he still has sex with women.

I woke up in his bed. I do not remember the sex. We both sort of pretended nothing happened. Neither of us ever spoke of that night. I have had sex with friends before but he is the only gay friend I have done. He has actually avoided seeing me ever since that night even though we were both traveling in the same cities at the same time. I never thought I would kill a friendship with a gay guy via sex.

Not Normal

Sometimes, I hate not being normal. Or more that I wish people stop believing in “normal”.

I hate not believing in TGIF cause I never worked a Monday to Friday job. Weekends are just another day of the week to me. I hate that more things aren’t open 24 hours because that would work well with my night shift job. I hate that my gym closes early on Saturdays and Sundays. I guess no one wants to work out when they can spend their weekend in a bar.

I think I have always tried to be different because it was easier than trying to be normal. So being the rebel who abstains from drinking should come naturally for me.

Yesterday, I was woken up early by voices in the house. I am renting a room and until now, there is only one other housemate. The landlord was going to show the house for prospective renters for the empty room. I was annoyed she did not call or text me a warning. I walked into the kitchen and grumbled “good morning” at 4 pm.

She laughed “oh still sleeping?”

I told her yes because I worked last night and work tonight. I then told her I would appreciate it if she told me when she was bringing people to look at the house. I might be in the shower or sleeping. She told me she will let me know the name of whoever rents. I hope she warns any new tenants that I sleep during the day. I would appreciate the house to stay quiet like it has the past two months. I do not have a normal schedule. I will move elsewhere to accommodate my abnormality.

I watched When a Man Loves a Woman. I can not believe I never saw the whole thing. I remember seeing the beginning with my mom. Maybe I got bored with it? Maybe she changed the channel?

I cried a little. I related a lot to Meg Ryan’s character. Her drunk and fun side. Her drunk and sad side. Fighting with those who loved her. Forgetting promises. Letting people down. Promising to drink less and then getting drunk. I remember waiting until night to take all my beer and wine bottles to the recycling. I would borrow a cart from the doorman to cart boxes of my bottles to the bin. She would wrap hers up in newspaper.

I also thought I am glad I never had kids. I have friends that said having babies made them cut back on drinking and partying. I would not have stopped. My journal entry April 19, 2007- “I think I am so bad that even being pregnant wouldn’t stop me from drinking.” I would have ruined more lives. I have many reasons why I choose not to have children. But gonna add this to the list.

I always felt not normal for not wanting kids. But maybe normal is overrated.

Mistake # 79- I was drunk at home on a Thursday night. I was scanning an online dating website. I started chatting with a Kiwi guy. I invited him over. He lived an hour away but he drove to my place.

He was very cute. I thought he looked like Jason Statham. We drank. We had sex. The next morning, he called out sick to work. I had the day off.

I made mimosas when we woke up the next day. We decided to go out for more when they ran out. I was living downtown and walking distance to many bars. We walked to an Irish pub. We were disappointed they did not have a breakfast or brunch menu. I forget what I ordered but I remember he insisted on eggs. I remember he paid extra to have something not on the menu.

He also ordered us shots that he said were from New Zealand. I think they were called “Wolf Pussies”? They were creamy and good. I think butterschnapps and Jaeger was in them? Since they were something he had to specially order, they cost a lot too. And we had 4 or 5 each. Plus a lot of mimosas. The bill for everything came to $150.

We went back to my place. More drinking. More sex. We started to call the day “Downtown Drunk Day.” We joked that we should do this every year.

We “dated” for a few weeks. But our dates involved him coming to my place, getting drunk together, and having lots of sex.

The one day, he couldn’t come over because he was going to a movie with a friend. That friend turned out to be another woman from the dating site I met him on. He said he wanted to try something serious with her. I was too much of a party girl. He wanted someone that wanted to settle down.

I told myself I was too much fun for him. But it seems, I was not normal enough for him.