As I said in my rule on refining, I am going to be setting a theme for each month. Last month was love and relationships. As much as I LOVE writing ooey-gooey, #allthefeels, bleeding heart posts about all of the things that love means to me, I am ready to try at a different subject.

Love is as easy as it is impossible to write on. It’s one of those aspects of life that is simultaneously trite and overly discussed, but also mystical, complex, and ever-changing. When writing about it, that makes the whole subject elusive, broad, and easy to become inauthentic sounding.

I thought I did an okay job of covering some areas of Love that we don’t always talk about. Some of the posts I felt were a win, and some of them actually did probably veer on the side of being inauthentic. Bummer, but that’s why you keep going and getting better.

For March, in honor of one of the biggest debauchery-filled weeks America has to offer (Spring Break, aka SXSW in Austin), as well as the drinking holiday of the year, I decided to cover VICE in all of its guts and glory. It also happens to coincide with the return of the “Vice” TV show on HBO, which you need to go watch if you haven’t. defines vice as:

1. an immoral or evil habit or practice.
2. immoral conduct; depraved or degrading behavior: a life of vice.
3. sexual immorality.
4. a particular form of depravity.
5. a fault, defect, or shortcoming: a minor vice in his literary style.
6. a bad habit, as in a horse.
7. (initial capital letter) a character in the English morality plays, a personification of general vice or of a particular vice, serving as the buffoon.

And, Wikipedia defines vice as :

“a practice, behavior, or habit generally considered immoral, sinful, criminal, rude, depraved, or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a negative character trait, a defect, an infirmity, or a bad or unhealthy habit (such as an addiction to smoking). Vices are usually associated with a transgression in a person’s character or temperament rather than their morality.”

So, basically weaknesses, bad habits, and egregious actions or attitudes against others. I can take that on. When someone asks me to define my strengths and weaknesses, I almost always find it easier to elaborate on the latter. Making some rules around what I consider to be my shortcomings, character defects, weaknesses, bad habits, bad attitudes or views, and the like will be good. It’s an exercise in humility and a good way to clean out the garbage in my head surrounding “Vice”. It’s also an important part of self-actualization, and recovery/sobriety, to review these aspects of ourselves using honest self-appraisal. Not good or bad, just honest.

As far as vices that will kill you are concerned…if you have one, take the advice I was given on the subject, “Get rid of the ones that will kill you first.”

Here we go…