Authentic Recovery Starts with Your Authentic Self
I was just like any other person that grew up in a family of educated, middle class people. I do not consider myself privileged, but I know that I am. I was intelligent because of the family in which I was raised and the attention that my parents gave me. I never had a second thought about whether or not I would graduate with honors or attend college. I just would. It wasn't an expectation; it was reality. It would happen. I would achieve. I would have an education and a career.
I did not skip a beat between high school and college. Straight into a scholarship, graduated in 3 years and was a high school math teacher at the tender age of 21. Opportunity and achievement was mainstream for my family. I am thankful and lucky for this. I liked being a math teacher. It gave me value and a paycheck. But, I did not have a true unshakeable desire for it. I had never taken a moment of introspection to figure out what made my heart beat. I never thought, "I am doing it. I am living my dream!"
So, like all idealistic 20 somethings, I started looking for my passion. I found it in the form of traveling and people-not a secular portion of people. I found my passion in the form of all people. The kindness of humanity. The beautiful dissonance in different cultures. The excitement that eating a different spice or drinking a local glass of wine. The joy in eating a different type of donut. I love donuts. Fried bread and sugar. Delightful. Donuts exist in different forms all over the world, and I love all of them. Churros and Beignets are my favorite. As fate would turn out, 43 countries later, I gave up wine, which makes my world a little less full of flavor, but a lot more full of sanity. It is a good compromise. You'll have to pry donuts out of my cold dead hand, though. (I used to say this about wine.)
Bottom line: I gave up what was expected of me and I found myself as a flight attendant. My eyes opened; my heart became bigger. I developed a deep love for my life. In recovery, this has been my biggest rock. Having a clear understanding of your wants makes everything easier. I do not wake up with regret. I wake up looking forward to my life. If you find your passion, you find your path. It makes all mountains easier to climb. Authentic recovery starts with your authentic self.