From Scrolling Buzzfeed to Launching a Business—How Going Alcohol-Free Gave Me Drive
By Karolina Rzadkowolska
Flashback two years ago. I had finished my MBA degree, which coincided with a promotion at work. I was getting myself out there, going to networking events, engaging with the community, and going to Mexico a lot to learn about binational affairs and innovation at the border.
It was hard to say whether or not I was ambitious. I wanted to be recognized and rewarded but I also refused to sell out my life to 60+ hour workweeks or having my career take over. And while I definitely had huge dreams when I was younger, I became a lot more jaded with the reality of settling. I was passionate on the job (it’s hard not to be when you work in higher education), but closed the door on mapping out what I really wanted and personal growth at home.
Let me paint you a picture. I would come home from a thrilling but stressful day at work and check Buzzfeed for, I dunno, an hour? Make and eat dinner and then retire to the couch to watch TV. Plus more Buzzfeed mindless scrolling. If it was Thursday or Friday, wine would be involved too, and with all these competing distractions, each pastime heightened my disinterest and boredom. It was a loop I played out over and over again. Turn on at work, rush around. Turn off at home, disengage and numb. There were moments I was compulsive about reading all the Buzzfeed stories, quizzes, and nonsense to keep me from really thinking. One time I even got a ticket for being on my phone while driving (though stopped at a light)—the culprit, Buzzfeed of course.
Though, this isn’t a story about my addiction to a media platform, but rather the gaping hole in my self-development. Yes, I also read a lot of books, did yoga and meditated, but I had little “ing” to discover what I was truly happy doing or how I consciously wanted my life to go. I was great on piling up little distractions and failed to see how my everyday habits were shaping my life.
How often do we stop ourselves and ask,
“Is this how I want my life to go?”
“Does this make me ultimately happy?”
“Am I fulfilling my potential?”
Those are the last questions I would have wanted to answer.
Flash forward to today and everything has changed. Buzzfeed has been given the boot into “things that no longer serve me,” as has alcohol, but you knew that was coming, didn’t you? When I removed the numbing agent, the potion that kept my attention “living for the weekend,” I was able to find so much peace within myself. I rediscovered what I actually enjoyed doing and what gave me joy. I found intentionality that allowed me to focus with clear-cut ambition to build the life I really wanted. Not one of stressful days and poor attempts to soothe with Buzzfeed, wine, and TV, but one of seeing out my full potential and actually showing up.
This new direction inspired me like a dream sequence. All of a sudden, I knew what I was meant to do. My drive and ambition kicked into high gear to start a platform for alcohol-free living, followed by a podcast and writing a book (in progress). And today I’m so excited to open the door to my new business. Euphoric Alcohol-Free is a space designed to transform our relationships with alcohol for happier and healthier lives. I offer guides and resources, like how to socialize sober or how to have an amazing month off alcohol, an intro course into questioning the drinking habit, and my flagship 60-day Become Euphoric program to discover your best life yet (program and discount pricing available until February 28). It has taken me so many dedicated hours, so much learning and engaging, so much skill development. I grew my identity in a way I never would have imagined.
It feels weird to write a post self-congratulating me on my business launch—isn’t that a little egotistical? But you know what, this never would have happened if I didn’t quit drinking. This never would have happened if I continued to stare wistfully at other people’s lives but do nothing to further my own. Quitting drinking was a huge call I needed to rediscover my potential. Screaming at me:
“STOP SITTING ON YOUR HANDS!”
“GO OUT AND TRANSFORM THE WORLD!”
I would have never felt this drive to do more had I not given up on the distractions and listened to my inner guide (the number one thing that got me to quit drinking). I don’t want to sit on the couch and drink wine and endlessly scroll on my phone while not remembering TV shows. I want to see what I’m capable of.
Footnote: plenty of phone time and TV watching is still part of my life—A okay with me if you’re actively building the life of your dreams.