Sunday marked 1449 days without a drink, or 207 weeks, or one week shy of four years.
I mentioned that to my sister while I was walking back from Boston College after my workout--been going at it hard enough lately that I have an outbreak of heat rash on my side. She texted back and said that she thought I could make it, if I wanted to. By which she meant, I am also free to have a beer or whatever if I please. No one actually said anything to me in the past. There was no, "this drinking is out of control, it's too much." I said that to me. I knew that what I was doing to my body, with the levels of stress I have, with what I am facing, that if I put that added pressure on my heart, kept my blood pressure high, carried that excess weight, that I wouldn't be physically healthy enough to do what I needed to do, to get where I want to get. Where I must get. Upon which I believe so much depends.
But I said something to her that is maybe useful in other matters, and one can extrapolate it as one sees fit.
I never assume a day without a drink, just as I never assume being able to do a single Monument climb (well, back when it was open). If I had climbed ten times the day before, that does not mean I will be able to climb a single time that particular day. That's how I try to look at things.
By the same token, just because I am hated and poor on this day, does not mean I cannot have millions the next and be poised to impact lots of aspects of the world. I am me. I am not like anyone or anything there has ever been. I am a force of nature in the form of a human, and I will arrive at my day.
Every single stair, every single mile walked, every day without a drink, every single work written, is a part of what is going to get me back into my house in Rockport, what is going to help me get past the evil system that is publishing, do what I believe I can do for the world.
I tell myself that on these lonely days, these days of complete isolation, which have now stretched to over eight years, when it is just me at the desk in this awful apartment, writing for hour upon hour, knowing the work will be suppressed by an industry, what I tell myself four miles into a walk, the tedium of once more going down the entirety of Beacon Street, through Boston, Brookline, Brighton, Chestnut Hill, what I tell myself as I hit the bottom of those stairs and immediately beginning running up them for the eighth time, ninth time, it's what I tell myself when I begin work at four in the morning on a Sunday. That's how I live my life right now, how I think.
My future is made of what I am doing right now. These days, these steps, these miles, these pieces, these works of art, this growth, this innovation. Everything I will have is because of these days and what they are comprised of, what I drive myself to fill them with. All of this is the fund of my future, inseparable from the reach and impact I will have.
That's what I tell myself, that's what I remind myself--because I have to, I couldn't do it without that reminder, like a push in the form of a mantra, it is too much of a grind otherwise over what is now tens of thousands of hours of this, it is too hard, it is too lonely, it's too easy to be obliterated under the weight of how hard this is--and I keep going. I add to that bank. I never assume that what I did yesterday I am guaranteed to be able to do today, and I never assume that what has been so hard for so long cannot change within a single day.
Every single stair counts.
Now let's make some fucking art for the ages.