Today marks the beginning of a new year. 2018 has come to an end and the new year is here. 2019 here we come.
In my last post I broke down my hatred for the word “like” and revealed that for 2019 I would resolve to quit saying the word. For today’s post I am going to return to an old resolution of mine from 2013, six years ago. On this date, approximately right after midnight,
I smoked my very last cigarette.
I will always remember that night. And not so much because of that I quit, but because of why I quit. I was at my friend Josh’s place. Josh, Ryan, Niki, and I were meeting up to have our own small New Year’s party. We heated up the jacuzzi and were just hanging out talking about how the year had gone. We were all high school friends but at this point all of our lives had started to take their own directions. So we were having a good time catching up.
Now, when we were in high school we weren’t the cool kids. I wouldn’t say we were total losers either, but we definitely weren’t the cool kids. And naturally, we always kind of wanted to be. (Most people do btw, in case you didn’t know nerd)
But at this point, we were older. I was in college, Ryan was in the Air Force, and we were all trying to show how we were cooler and more mature. Naturally, a few of us had started smoking. The time-old formula for pretending to be older by picking up a bad habit. Josh was smoking Swishers and he offered me one. I scoffed and said something stupid like,
“Bro please, let me show you what to really smoke.”
I then preceded to get up out of the Jacuzzi and went on a mission to find some Nat Sherman cigarettes. These were my favorite cigarettes and only because there was this Senior named Matt Nolan (yes his last name was my first name; which was probably why I liked him so much) when I was a freshman who would hang out in our dorm patio everyday smoking and talking philosophy.
He was intelligent, suave, and he reeked of cool.
I wanted to be just like him. Super smart, super suave, and of course super cool. So I ended up starting to smoke in my second semester of my freshman year of college. Now, I always knew that this was a stupid idea as lung cancer killed my Grandpa when I was 11. He was a chainsmoker ever since he was 12 or so until his middle to late 30s. It finally caught up with him. He was a tremendous man, it was such a tragedy that he died when he did, especially with all the family fall-out that happened after as he was the patriarch that kept everything together. And all this happened because of smoking.
Such a shame.
But nonetheless the allure of cool had such a hold on me that against my better judgement I picked it up. I would smoke with my friends on campus and hang out and we would have good times; but I always knew that I really needed to quit sometime.
Well that night came on New Years 2013. At this point I was driving to a local liquor store to by the cigarettes that I wanted. I had to go to a specialty store because normal drug stores didn’t carry Nat Shermans. Only smoke shops and liquor stores tended to have them. I get to the store after 20 minutes of driving and they didn’t have them. I ended up buying Benson & Hedges cigarettes instead as these were premium cigarettes too, but to be honest I hated them.
This is where it started to hit me. I left the party with my friends to buy some stupid cigarettes, and then when the ones I wanted weren’t available I bought a brand that I actually hated. All because I wanted to be cool.
Such a shame.
I finally return to the party and make my so called grandiose entrance and proceed to then give out the cigarettes and talk them up. The experience was not that great, and after smoking them I started to feel sick. Happy New Year.
It was also becoming apparent to me how sad I was becoming. Doing all this smoking and etc. was just to put up a dumb appearance to appear cool. And to people that were good friends. The kind of people that you should never have to put up appearances for. But I am glad that it all happened. Because the next morning I woke up and I felt like crap. This was something I had become used to from smoking cigarettes too often, but on this morning it was different. It finally got through my head.
Smoking was making sick, it was costing me money, and it was making me be a fake person.
To hell with it.
From that point on I have not smoked a cigarette. And on this day January 1st 2019 I have been going six years strong. And I am proud of it. Now, I will be honest, I never smoked a lot. Quitting was not as hard for me as it is for others. I stopped smoking before it really was getting out of hand. Thank God.
This is why I encourage you all who smoke to quit. It is not a matter of if you will want to quit, it is when. I do not know a single smoker to this day that has not tried to quit. The jury is out. We all know that it is bad for you. In so many ways. It’s expensive, it makes you smell (something you don’t notice once you smoke regularly), you become addicted (physically and mentally), and more.
Quit now before you become like my Grandpa who had chain smoked for decades, only to have it still kill him anyway.
I urge you all quit smoking. For your sake. Quit sooner than later, and trust me, you will want to quit. Even though right now you might want to, trust that you will. And if you don’t smoke, great. Don’t start. Then you will never have to go through the stress of quitting. I will be honest. There are still days where I would like to smoke. I know that in the moment it would be fun. Nice and relaxing cigarette and a good conversation with some other people at the same time? I would love that. But I know that I would hate to be addicted. And even more so for it to kill me like my grandfather.
So I choose not to smoke, and to remain steadfast. And here I am Six years later. Good luck with your resolutions everyone. Stay strong.
Keep Smiling and have a Happy New Year,