I hadn’t done anything notable, since graduating from high school. As a matter of fact, I skirted through high school with the absolute minimal amount of effort required. I hated school yet teachers loved me. I was a great learner. I didn’t get that at that time. I barely turned in assignments or did coursework. I used tests to keep my grades above failing. I felt I had, “better things to do than school.” I also felt low of myself. I thought I had no greater potential to contribute to the world. So why even try?
I got tired of feeling this way, at around the age of 21 years old. My friends only cared about women, partying and getting high. I grew bored. I wanted change. So I went to the USMC recruiters and signed my rights away to the Government. Before I was to leave for basic, My recruiter needed to assess if I was a viable recruit candidate. He gave me a preliminary-ASVAB test(Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). I scored a 95. My friend who came with me, failed and they disqualified him on-the-spot. My recruiter handed me a sheet of every job in the Marine Corps for enlisted men, and said, “Take your pick. You’re the highest test-result I’ve had. Sure you didn’t cheat?” I chose ambassy-guard. That would help me become an FBI agent, my dream job. Two weeks later I committed a felony-crime. The Marine Corps dream disappeared, and I then faced a far graver-situation.
After weeks in county jail and months of litigation, I plead guilty to having drunkenly fired my .380 auto into a vacant parked car, disposing of the pistol into a lake and overall being a huge douchebag for most of my life. There I was financially and emotionally draining my parents, facing 15 years in prison and being looked upon as an armed and dangerous criminal. My life needed desperate change. To this day, I believe that committing that felony: has still been the greatest mistake of my life. I learned a lot about myself from that crime.
I was forced into probation after sentencing. The courts rightfully threw me into every program available. I feel the prosecutor disliked me and wanted me to earn the privilege of freedom. My prosecutor is now one of my heroes and greatest influencers; Fore he made my journey difficult and tedious. I went through rehab and substance-abuse classes, anger management, 500 hrs of community service and so much more. From all of that, I learned how to dissect myself and observe my feelings and question myself before acting.
“Why do I do things, as I do them? Why do I not seek alternative routes? Are there options that I have missed and if so, what might be different of the outcome?”
I carry the curse of my mistake with me always. My curse is also a gift. I feel I am a keener observer now. I am never complete. I am always trying to improve now. I practice living by a rule:
Expecting nothing yet prepare for everything.