i’m a woman of few vices. jack and coke in one hand, cigarette in another, good food in my belly and i’m a happy girl. sure, i have a few too many pairs of shoes, and i can’t resist anything covered in chocolate, but i’m a pretty wholesome gal when it comes down to it.
webster’s dictionary defines vice as “moral depravity or corruption” or “a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming.”
i define vice as “it’s bad for me, but hell if i’m gonna stop cause it feels so damn good.”
i like my vices. i find comfort in them, knowing that when life gets bad, there’s always hershey’s. or marlboro. or jack. they form the net below my tottering psyche, so that when i peer into the abyss, the interweaving imperfections blur the darkness below. not much, mind you, but enough so that it doesn’t look quite so deep.
i could try and tell you that these “defects” are not really “defects.” i could try, but i’d be wrong. and i hate being wrong. ah, pride. add it to my long list of “shortcomings.”
for the sake of argument, let’s do away with it all. clear up my lungs. restore my liver. reduce my belly. any and all sins of omission, dereliction or neglect, consciously committed or not. and the red shoes, too. what am i left with? a perfect little girl.
that’s right. i’d rather die sooner than later and have some fun along the way than commit what i believe should be a cardinal sin: perfection.
i have no desire to precision-march through life, never digressing, blinders on, earplugs in, steadfastly moving forward to an unattainable goal. cause that’s what perfection is, folks. the oasis in the desert that vanishes just as soon as you think you’ve reached it. and, parched for water, the sand starts looking pretty good.
we’re human. we fuck up. honest. all of us do. none of us are beyond reproach.
granted, my argument is painted in broad strokes. it’s never right to hurt someone else. if you’re engaged in activity that is harmful to others, that’s not a vice, that’s a sickness. but hell, screw yourself up as much as you want. what’s the point of trying to get everything right?
don’t get me wrong, life is about challenges and opportunities as well. it’s all good to strive to better yourself. but where we get messed up is when we strive for goals that are set by other people.
not skinny enough? not stupid enough? too honest? too passionate? fuck that. what do you want? who do you think you should be? at the end of the day, the only opinion that should matter is yours.
and it’s your imperfections that define you, whether you like it or not. your idiosyncrasies tell your story, make up the unique you that goes out into the world every day and tries to make sense of it all.
so, vices? bring ‘em on. accept them. revel in them. try some new ones on for size. you just might find yourself in the process.
i’ve gotta go. it’s just about time for my cigarette break.