I was inspired to write this by a great song on my Brett Dennen cd that I recently recieved for Christmas. And I was thinking about the words and it just sent this signal to my hands that started moving rapidly across the keyboard and typing in these words.
It made me look back at my life, and when I really started to mature as an individual. I had grown up in a household that forced me to deal with a lot of real issues, and I had chosen a lifestyle that was going to force me to make some major decisions soon. Drinking and doing drugs had always been my way to deal with lifes problems, a way for me to get a release and see everything from a happier life. I was never actually happy, just tricked into feeling that way by the drugs I chose to take.
My life was a wreck. I constantly looked over my shoulder, was paranoid all the time, and for more reasons than I understood at the time. But I remember waking up one day, and as funny as it is, the last time I was arrested as a kid, and saying to myself that I needed to clean up my act. Get my life together because as long as I shoveled off responsibility to other people, nothing would ever change. So I decided I was done. I wasn’t going to drink, or do drugs, or gang bang anymore. I made that commitment to myself, and then I made it to my Mom. All of it went to hell later on, but it also led to the opportunity I would get from the DA and let me get out of a serious drug conviction before I turned 17.
My life changed that day. It was never the same again, nor will it ever be. I started to realize that things were going to get better, that the mistakes I had made were forgivable and that I would be able to fix everything with time. Even today I have to say that to myself, because even today I face challenges from my past. I know that there are things in my past that will never be forgiven by the people I did them to, and I have grown to accept that. The only thing that I can do now is have a positive impact on the lives of the kids that I serve every day. And it is leading to some interesting choices else where in life.
More on the other places it has effected me later. But for now, I leave with this. If I had not fallen and fallen hard, I would never had had the courage to get up and walk again. Because the greatest teacher in life is your own self embarassment. I embarass myself daily, and I learn from myself daily. I hope to for the rest of my life….