sosa short essay submissions

One hundred and two days is my greatest accomplishment to date. In one hundred and two days, I have awoke to a life I was sleepwalking through. I have spent one hundred and two days living with a clear mind, a strong voice, and an open heart. I am one hundred and two days into a life of sobriety: the value it has brought to my conscious day-to-day living is immeasurable by any one account. However, I can measure the time I wasted drinking craft beer and tequila sours in bars til last call. I can count the friends I lost because of memories I still can not recall to this day. I can remember how many occasions my father was drunk when we constructed our parent-child relationship. I can still feel the sense of emergency and the push outward of my spiritual soul, cutting and separating from my physical being the last night I would ever drink myself into a stupor. Then I needed a filter to be brave, to take risks, and even to “be myself.” Now I am present each moment of life: a spiritually focused existence on a healing journey into the depths of living mystery. The decision to quit drinking alcohol removed me from a booze filled fog that numbed my senses to the intensity of life and restricted myself from full expansion into my highest form. I owe “my god” to sobriety. Ending the cycle of alcoholism in my family, choosing sobriety each time through every upcoming trial and error, will forever be my greatest accomplishment. And I am only one hundred and two days in.

Education demands heart and hopes for a willingness to admit and accept ignorance. It is from the dunes of unlearning, from the trenches of disillusionment, where individuals emerge as awakened and prepared for oneness with the world. Long before I attended college, I developed an internal understanding to feel shame for not knowing– under any circumstance, in any context, for any reason. Embarrassment of ignorance kept me from obtaining a richer experience of subjects both in and out of the classroom. Because I never said “I do not know,” I never knew. Now I have learned the way to grow is through adversity, through discomfort with the uncomfortable. You must be brave enough to meet yourself again and again. I am not afraid; fearlessly I approach the edge of my intellectual cliff to jump, and free fall into what knowledge comes next. But this shedding of past skins and sins did not come as my free gift with purchase; I continue to work and reshape my perception of what is and isn’t real and honest in life. Day by day, week by week, year by year, I do become closer to what is waiting. My education in the craft of creative writing and future possibilities in career opportunities are one in the same. Learning and education is what, I believe, will sustain me in life. The teacher speaks to the student, who then teaches another student. There are no bounds to this cycle of gifting and speaking slow.



About jjj

writer and poet. student and queer, they/them pronouns. 26 and learning. living in southern Oregon, with their partner and two dogs.
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