I was composing a whole post on making choices and morality, but for some reason it did not feel right to me so I scrapped the whole thing. I found my old journal that actually documents a little of my first experiences with smoking. I thought it was long lost. I was actually once again surprised at how guarded I was in my writing. Maybe I was still scared that someone would find it and read it. Maybe I was scared that writing it down would make things more real.
From even before I bought my first pack, having inhaled maybe about a cigarette’s worth of puff’s off of my friend’s cigarettes I was having thoughts like this:
I don’t know why, but right now I really want a cigarette. From the way I want one, you would never guess that I don’t smoke.
These thoughts perplexed me… even then.
Later, after I had purchased my first pack I actually said the following which I thought was quite profound for an 18 year old:
I live in a world of doublethink- where I think two contradicting thoughts at the same time and believe them both. Smoking is so bad for me, I don’t really like doing it, but at the same time I do. My favourite part has to be watching the smoke come out of my mouth… and it has to be smoke that I have inhaled or it does not look right.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘doublethink’, it comes from George Orwell’s book, 1984 and I have given the most simple definition of it above (bolded part). I remember reading the book and thinking it was a really clever term since it applies to many things in life.
My thoughts regarding smoking often contradict themselves as I noticed many years ago. Although I do not think I hate smoking as much as I did then, perhaps because I’m getting more accustomed to it and perhaps because I have found a brand that I like. But there is still a lot of contradiction going on in my head… although I’m not sure that is it textbook “doublethink” or exactly like what is presented in 1984- but similar.
I’ve deemed this a “smoking week” as I actually have time to indulge and it is getting warmer out. I am getting bolder with my smoking in the sense that I am not as careful as I used to be. Yesterday, I smoked in the backyard shelter as I knew no one would be home for awhile. Today, I “went for tea” which meant I went for a smoke, picked up my tea and headed home right away even though there was a good chance that my roommate would smell it on me. Maybe I want someone to catch me… although I’m not sure what I would say if they did. I like to think I would be bold and say- “so what, it is not like it is illegal?” But I would probably act just like a teenager caught red handed by their parents.
At this point, I don’t feel like I am going to regret my decision to smoke. I’m actually the most at peace I have been for awhile. I never thought I would say that since I always thought that smoking would throw my life into upheaval- but I think, like with everything else in life, there is peace in balance. Maybe it is doublethink at work and I’m now living a life of “controlled insanity”. I’ll take the controlled insanity, if it gives me peace.