Friday, October 15, 2010

Quitting smoking... as a metaphor for other things

What constitutes a long time smoker? Five, twenty, thirty years? Maybe only two days is too long? Whatever your perception may be on the matter, it's a nasty, disgusting, delicious habit. Why would anyone ever want to pick up smoking? Why would anyone ever want to stop? It is so horribly awesome I can't stand it.

I had been smoking for over a decade. It all started around my transitory period from good girl to rebellious "enlightened" punk. Ok, I was never horribly rebellious, enlightened or punkish, but I liked to think of myself as such around that time. Well, how could I not? A girl of 17 just starting to discover Kafka, the Dead Kennedys, vodka and cigarettes is bound to jump to such conclusions. Quite sad really.

Cigarettes were the icing on the proverbial schema shifting cake. They were the diamond necklace to my new LBD. It was the new designer label affixed to my new life. I was Larah McKay: philosopher, bad ass, smoker.  To be horribly honest, I originally started smoking to gain more commonality with *the one who shall not be named*.  It was quite possibly one of the most pathetic symptoms of idol worship I've ever experienced, of which I am still suffering the consequences.  Now that I am older and "considerably wiser" I have realized that maintaining this sort of disgusting behavior is not becoming of a lady my age.  Certainly, the health benefits of quitting smoking are marked and numerous, but the paradigm shifting benefits would be vast beyond my imagination.  Quitting smoking, in a way, would be severing one of the last remaining ties to the gentleman... and is probably the reason why I have found it exponentially difficult to let it go entirely.  I've tried to quit earlier this year, but gosh darn it, I like it.  I liked having at least just one remaining tie to him.  The smoking and the clutching of my affections towards him have become so ingrained into who I was for over a decade, I found it hard to scrub out these stains from the fabric of my being.  And I liked it.  I liked that it was part of my being.  I didn't want to let these things go, because then, who was I after that?

The recognition of the reasons for not letting go is itself progress in the quitting process.  I've already tried to quit once, for these very reasons, and though I have fallen off the wagon, it's not too far ahead to jump back on.  In fact, the time to hop back on is drawing nearer and nearer.  I feel that woman who decides to jump back on the wagon will be a very wise and resplendent lady, indeed.  I very much look forward to meeting that lady.  She is definitely a woman deserving of my future idol worship.