I can't even count how often my friends comment about how I'm "not a normal 21-year-old girl". The faces I get from other people when I tell them that I'd never taken a sip of alcohol until I turned 21 are shocking. I never had a strong interest in drinking or even trying it. To me, being drunk didn't look fun. The vomiting, not being in control of yourself, and not being consciously present in reality scared me. I was more interested in how people reacted to alcohol instead --sometimes it's funny, other times it's not.

I never shame anyone who drinks or gets drunk. Everyone is in control of their own life and shouldn't get judged for making their own decisions. But I get judged for not drinking because it's not "the norm" for teens and young adults. Every time I go to a party (which isn't often), I always turn away drinks, end up being the DD, or holding the door open for the rest of the party-goers.

I never understood some of the reasons people have given me to justify their drinking habit. One common one is, "If you don't drink, you have a boring life." Another common one is, "Not drinking means you're pretty boring or you don't like to have fun, right?"

Yes. Having fun is the worst.

That is absolutely ridiculous.

I have an awesome life. I travel, have an active lifestyle that I LOVE, get to enjoy the little things that have big impacts on my life, and get to maintain relationships with those close to me. I have never felt as if I were missing out on something.

Moderation is OK. For anything.

I realize that you don't have to get drunk to enjoy alcohol. That's another reason why I never shame anyone for enjoying it. So why don't I get the same respect for not enjoying it?

The scene is always the same every time I get offered a drink:

"Here, try this."

"Take a shot."

"No, thanks."

Some people don't drink because they've seen a loved one go through an addiction and have simply chosen to take a different path. Others don't drink because they just can't relate, or for other medical/personal reasons.

You do you, and I'll do me. That should be a good enough for you.