Friday, June 3, 2011

30DC: Week 3

Before I get to the challenge: today, I am going on an interview. This is only the second company that has taken a look at my resume and asked me for an interview so I am hugely excited about this opportunity. Any prayers or well wishes you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated. 

30-Day-Challenge

I grew up in a strict Christian environment. My grandfather was a recovering alcoholic and alcohol was strictly off-limits for any family gathering. We didn’t drink it, we didn’t talk about it. I grew up believing alcohol was bad. Drinking was bad. Getting drunk was the stupidest decision one could make.

A month before I graduated from high school, I had a sleepover with two friends. One of the friends’ parents bought us wine coolers and alcohol to make strawberry daiquiris. (This still astounds me. I would never buy my underage child and underage friends alcohol.) I enjoyed the wine coolers and had a very strong daiquiri that I drank for the simple fact that I was with friends and we were drinking. I was a little tipsy, but that’s about it. We met for a second time after graduation for the same little “party”.

I didn’t have another sip of alcohol until I was 21.

After those two sleepovers with friends, I still had a bad view of alcohol. I still considered it “evil” and something “Christians did not do”. And then I became a blogger. I started reading blogs of people all around the world. People my age. People who are Christians. People my age who are Christians who drank. They talked about beer and wine and fruity drinks. What was this? Christians are drinking now? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?

And then I realized something: alcohol isn’t inherently evil. I grew up believing that because of what it can make people do. How it can affect people. How it can become an addiction. But for the majority of us, alcohol is just something to have at a party or after a long day at work. It is perfectly OK to drink alcohol. I had a twisted view of the substance for the longest time and it’s taken a while for me to release all my restrictions on it.

I’m still not a big drinker. I don’t really like the taste of alcohol, so I rarely get a drink. For example, I only had two drinks on my cruise and in both cases, asked them to go light on the alcohol. I could go the rest of my life without alcohol and be perfectly fine. It’s not something I have to have, but it’s a nice divergence from my normal drinking habits.

My views have changed as I’ve grown older. While we still don’t have alcoholic beverages at family functions, I’ve learned that drinking beer doesn’t make you a bad person. I’ve learned that it’s OK for me to drink. God won’t love me any less if I do. It’s not a sin. And while I’ll never be someone who reaches for the wine glass after a tough day (it’s more of a Coke bottle and candy bar), I am the girl who will reach for a delicious fruity drink to celebrate and not feel bad about it.

19 comments:

  1. lisasyarns6/3/11, 9:08 AM

    I definitely don't understand the belief that Christians shouldn't drink.  I understand that you shouldn't drink excessively, but I just think of the wedding at Cana and how Jesus turned water into wine...  So it doesn' tseem possible that he thinks it is evil in my opinion!

    I am not a big drinker, but I enjoy certain drinks like a glass of wine, a well-made margarita, or a daiquiri made by my mom.  I rarely drink to the point of feeling sick.  That is just not me.  But I do enjoy social cocktails and it does tend to sort of put me in relaxation mode!  Which is something I need these days!

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  2. Alcohol is like a lot of things - fine in moderation. I have quite a collection of drunken memories from college (and even after college) but as of late, I've decided I like my life a lot more when I'm sober. I still have an occasional glass of wine, beer, or cocktail, but I drink it because I like the taste and I drink in moderation. I actually want to enjoy my weekends and not spend most of it suffering through a hangover. I still have friends who aren't satisfied with drinking unless they're drunk as a skunk and it's just not me. Drink socially. Don't drink to be an idiot. Drunk is not a good look on anyone.

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  3. KJHartenstein6/3/11, 9:50 AM

    When I was in HS I seriously though I would NEVER drink.  There was a group of 7 of us and 4 of those girls started drinking around junior year and the other 3 of us just drifted away because we couldn't believe they'd do something like that.  I think it was more the very underage drinking that was so upsetting but our friendships were never the same.

    Right about the time I turned 21 I started drinking more.  Honestly... I don't see what the fuss is about.  I will drink at parties and what not because it is beyond annoying to be in a room of drunk people when you're sober.  However, I don't care if I never get drunk again. 

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  4. I definitely grew up in a similar environment. I never thought it was a sin to drink, but drunkenness I view with a keener eye. I didn't have a drop of alcohol until I was 21, not because I'm a super goody goody (although I am, ha!) but because a) my college was a "dry" campus and b) I have seen first hand how alcohol abuse can completely devastate a family. I personally (thank God) don't have any issues with alcohol but I could take it or leave it. And I think that's the best place to be! 

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  5. I had a couple bad experiences when I was 15-16 with alcohol- not myself per say, but I saw friends get really messed up and sick on it and that just did not appeal to me at all. My mom has almost never had a drink in her life and I just caught that from her. It's never interested me, and my friends constantly pressure me about it and make me feel like it's a bad thing and for the life of me I can't figure out why. I have a drink if I WANT to, and because I enjoy the taste of a nice fruity drink- not because people want me to get wasted. Totally agree with you on this one! 

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  6. The way I grew up, drinking had a very negative connotation to it - my grandfather being a recovering alcoholic and my dad being a mean drunk. So it's hard to find anything good when that's what you grow up in.

    I'm just happy I've learned to see that's not the only way it has to be and change the way I think.

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  7. Hangovers are the main reason I have never been drunk. Like... who WANTS to go through that? Ick. I *love* your last three sentences. :)

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  8. I was the same way in high school (until the end) but even after I drank a little, it still held little appeal to me. I saw how it destroyed people's lives and didn't want a part in that. (Plus, with my grandfather AND father being alcoholics... well, that's a little scary!) But now I see it's OK to drink but I am JUST FINE having never experienced what it's like to be drunk. 

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  9. lisasyarns6/4/11, 8:40 AM

    I can def see how your exposure to alcohol at a young age impacts the way you view it as an adult. I am sure I would be the same way if I had had similar experiences... So that is totally understandable.

    I grew up with Methodist grandparent who think alcohol is the devil and o guess I just don't understand their view on it. I know it is the equivalent of the devil for some people but for me its not and having an occasional drink shouldn't make me a bad person in their eyes. But to each their own, I guess!!

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  10. KJHartenstein6/4/11, 2:15 PM

    My mom's an alcoholic so I totally understand that fear. And my brother got
    a DUI last year so that scares me for him. But I definitely don't like
    alcohol enough that I ever think it'd be a problem for me. A bottle of wine
    lasts me weeks. It's definitely a different thing for those of us that have
    seen alcohol ruin lives.

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  11. It really is! I'm very thankful I have no issues with it because all the odds were stacked against me. For me, it's nice once in a while on special occasions but not something I need to drink regularly.

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  12. I'm really glad you don't let them talk you into drinking more! I don't understand, either, why people want others to drink when they just don't want to. It's your own personal decision!

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  13. So true! I'm beginning to see how close-minded this view really is and break away from it. It's still hard to fully step away from the mindset, but I'm gradually beginning to realize alcohol is not a sin. :)

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  14. Girl after my own heart!!!  I'm so deliriously happy that I've found someone else who does not like the taste of alcohol.  Beer? Disgusting.  I prefer the light and fruity drinks (which I guess could be bad, if I were really drinking it up?).  I think my favorite alcoholic beverage ever was a frozen strawberry daquiri.

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  15. Your perspective on alcohol is very interesting! I was just talking about drinking with my sister yesterday and was surprised to hear what she had to say. For me, I also don't like the taste and never crave it so I don't drink. It's funny to me that it is such a big thing for so many people, but that's just life!

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  16. I was raised to be scared of alcohol, I feel like, even though my parents are avid drinkers. They don't go overboard with it - I've never seen them drunk - but they are all about having there afternoon/evening/night-time beers. Whatever, I don't judge. But I just turned 21, and my parents' reactions to that practically made me regret turning one year older. Turning 21 was, for me, supposed to be this equalization among my friends and I - all of them are older and drink when we go out, while I slumped in my seat and sipped on my water. Whatever, that's fine, too. But since I "came of age," my parents have restricted me from having a drink with friends when we go out to eat and then driving back to my apartment. I understand there concern, can even sympathize with their wishes for me to not drink and then go drive, but the fact that they don't even give me a choice in the matter makes me feel like a child, which, naturally, I hate. I don't know, I've never heard of anyone else's parents telling their daughter/son that they're not allowed to have even one drink and then drive back to wherever they live. Especially if that daughter/son has proven to be a responsible human being up to this point in their lives. Maybe I'm not being understanding enough. If you ask me, the problem with alcohol in this country started with prohibition, which in my opinion, was a mistake, but I won't get on that soapbox...

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  17. I love, love, love strawberry daquiris! They are probably my favorite. But I agree with you: beer is disgusting. I don't understand why so many people love it!

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  18. I never crave it either. It's really a take it or leave it thing for me. 

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  19. Ugh, I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I do know my mom was very against me driving after having even one drink when I just turned 21 so maybe once they see how you handle liquor, they will become more understanding? I'm not sure, but it might just take some time.

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