Taking the First Step… 12 Stepping Through 2017

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I just never quite got there.

Sounds cliché right? Writing: this “dream” of a career that you just cannot quite grasp, whether because you just are not good enough at it or the timing is just never right. For me, writing was always a passion more than a career choice. Something I was good at and truly loved, but something that was lacking the financial backing to make it seem real. So instead, I became a PhD analytical chemist. I know…stay with me.

So for the last few days of 2016, in a time surrounded by resolutions and heartfelt promises to do those things you always put off until you inevitably check in in December, I’ve decided to pursue writing. Or, in this case, pursue blogging. Put my thoughts out there into the viral world of the internet. I’ve written blogs very religiously throughout my 28 years, particularly in high school and college. But instead of ramblings in a diary, I wanted to make this more constructive. Purposeful. Meaningful, if maybe only to me.

I sat down and made a list of the things I’m passionate about that could translate into a blog, and realized beyond writing (check) and science (dork-check), I really didn’t have much. I’m trying to be a better cook for my boyfriend and me, but I wouldn’t say I’m any Julie-and-Julia, and I’m not sure how to talk about food beyond YUM. I love makeup Youtube channels (NEVER thought I’d say that), but I’m still a tomboy at heart and frankly I’m terrible at taking anything from the screen to my face. The Philadelphia Eagles are a huge part of my life…but does anyone really need another sports commentary on Carson during the off-season? I don’t think so.

Then it clicked. Last week I went to my dad’s 7th anniversary meeting for AA. I’ve gone to meetings relatively frequently since he started getting sober and know the group (and the principles) pretty well. I sat through the roundtable reading, the discussion, the stories, and nodded along with every single person talking through the steps. I could relate to every single sentence spewing from the mouths of the recovering and the recovered: the hope, the anguish, the willingness to give themselves up to something larger than anyone in that room. The need for so many things that could be replaced and fulfilled by a drink: acceptance, compassion, escape from thoughts, independence, even love. It hit me then: maybe everyone could benefit from the steps. Maybe they fit beyond the tiny church walls that typically protect the anonymous. Not because I’m an addict but because I am the child of an addict, because I am a human being, and because I am passionate about the power of Bill W and the principles. The 12 steps gave my father back to me…maybe this could be my way of giving back. Share my stories, and share the paths of the steps that could be used by anyone.

12SteppingThrough2017 was born.

There just so happens to be 12 steps. 12 months of the year. 12 “focuses” to discuss, evaluate, and really devote myself to living every moment of every day. Yes, there will be cooking, and make-up, and I’m sure at least one powerful rant about the birds. But I’m hoping that by guiding myself through the steps, even as a non-addict, I can make a really positive change for 2017. I’m hoping to take you along with me too, so sit back and carry on!

-Joanie

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