What Traveling Through Whiskey Country Taught Me About Being Myself
Look at that beautiful booze
When you really think about it, the advice we most commonly give each other – the sort of panaceaic wisdom that is a supposed be a balm for any and every situation – is also life’s most confounding.
“Just be yourself?” What does that even mean? Far as I can tell, life is pretty much an experience in not being yourself. From fitting in in middle school to trying to look cool in high school to making friends in college, you’re anything but. You’re always trying to temper or twist how you are, changing your outer appearance and inner disposition. All in some futile attempt to make yourself what you want to be. I don’t mean that in like the self-improvement sense. Something more sinster and less healthy to your well being.
I’m almost 32 and, while I wish I could say it goes away, it doesn’t. I just moved to Brooklyn, and it’s like starting middle school all over again. Although I rolled into a group of already existing friends from my freshman year of college, I hadn’t seen any of them since I transferred and all those old fears came back. Do these people like me? Do they really want to be hanging out with me? Do they like me or do they just feel obligated to? Like I said, the worry never goes away.
In that sort of mindset, a couple months ago, I got to go on a press junket to tour the Wild Turkey distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.
Look at the big turkey!
It was one of those fantastic, bourgie, all-expense paid trips where you’re treated lavishly, almost like royalty. The objective of it, obviously, was to make everyone on it (a bunch of media types) tell you readers reading this to drink Wild Turkey. I’m not gonna tell you do to that, because that would be counter to what I learned.
(Not because the booze was bad. On the contrary. Wild Turkey is very, very good. Just… you’ll see.)
Whiskey, bourbon especially, is all the rage these days. So much so that there’s an actual shortage afoot. It wasn’t always this way. Other spirits used to dominate. So why has it exploded in such popularity for seemingly no reason? To me, and this is solely pure speculation, I think it’s because everything’s so unreal these days. Not in an awe sense, but in a fake sense. Just think about your job. You can barely explain to someone what you do, let alone point to any tangible crap you produce. You don’t work a hard day. Not in the slightest.