During college I use to smoke quite a bit. It started out as a social thing and turned into a 2-3 pack/wk habit. Let me be absolutely transparent. I started smoking because it was cool. It felt taboo, rebellious, and a bit romantic. If you wanted to convince my Cubic Zirconia wearing, 5lb Cross Necklace donning, Backward Flat Brimmed Hat rocking, Peach-fuzzed goatee faced self it wasn't; YOU WOULD LOSE. Let's be honest, I felt like James Dean.
Unfortunately this image, captured with my Razor flip phone was reality.
The first date I took my wife Raychel on is worthy of its own post, so for the sake of this post here is an applicable excerpt from that date.. This is MY account.
Bryson (innocently) Do you smoke?
Raychel (disgusted) No. I would never date somebody who smokes.
Bryson (with confidence) Yeah. Me neither. Grr-osss.
I still remember coming home from that date with butterflies. I remember coming home and talking to my roommate about this girl who made we want to like "change" and I was like "okay" with it. This was back when I like said "like" like all the time.
Since that date I haven't smoked a cigarette.
While I wish I could say their was some nobility in my decision there wasn't. Perhaps the lust of my youth, the excitement for a new potential relationship, or just plain impulse led me to quit. Whatever the reason something about Raychel made it seem worth it.
It wasn't until much later I would learn that Raychel had a rare lung disease that is progressive. The thought of intentionally inhaling poison into my lungs while the woman I love struggles to draw a breath would break my heart. My quitting smoking wasn't done in a redeeming way, I wasn't trying to be a good example, it wasn't even an attempt to reconcile misbehavior. It was for a girl.
While I still enjoy an occasional cigar (if you don't understand the difference between a cigar and cigarette please watch this, spoiler, neither is good for you), and I still really enjoy the smell of cigarette smoke, I have absolutely zero desire to indulge the habit once more.
As I look back on my experience I wonder what "I Quit" you might have conquered. Better yet, what "I Quit" might you need to move past? I encourage you to start a dialogue, find a support network, & MANUP!
Share your story with me below. Would love to keep you in my thoughts.