Storytime... (KISS)

...the twisted little way I have of writing...

Friday, September 24, 2010


What I'd like to explain here is not what happened or why. I believe there are more important things to discuss here and in an attempt to remain brief I truely hope you will be both interpretive and understanding. For example, it is extremely important to me to point out to you that I had once in a life that seems now foreign to me, defended the concept of carpe diem. Seize the day, live for the now, tomorrow may never come... all contrite and misleading. I have learned, in the past year, since the incident in question, that having no plan for the future is exactly the same as having no future at all. And I have more than vowed to change my ways, I have taken many steps to correct my own errors in judgement, and wrongful mindset. What I want to be understood here is what happened, happened. And whatever one's interpretation of that may be; it was a mistake and a deeply regrettable one at that. What matters now is that where I was in my life was not and is not where I am going with my life. While where I am now is neither, it is not where I was and it is on the way to becoming the role model I wanted to have when my life had taken its turn for the worse. Who I was, over a year ago now, was a despicable person deserving no mercy. I have no idea when, but I'm striving to put together within the next few years, the pieces that make up the life I want to lead.


Who am I?
I am the kind of person who gives what I have to help others, even if it is the last of what is mine. I am kind, gentle, stern when I have to be. I have principals and a sense of honour. I am the kind of person who sets my mind to something and gets fixated until I accomplish. Unfortunately I sometimes have fixated on that overwhelming feeling that accompanies a failure.I am now also the kind of person who, when I realize I have a shortcoming, I take steps to overcome it. I used to meditate when I was a child as part of martial arts classes. I've a new mantra I share with myself daily now: Try, fail, try again, fail better. I will never stop doing better now, despite what failures rock my enitre microcosim.
What am I?
I am a reformed criminal. It's difficult living in the shadow of such a recent mistake. I already know where I went wrong and am already determined to change my life for the better.I am frustruated because having a record now excludes me from many of the things I had wanted to do with my life for the next several long years. It has become even more difficult, worse in a recession, to find a basic and menial job with which to finance basic needs and a desire to return to academia. I am misguided, but was moreso. I used to think life was difficult, I have found it can always get more difficult and often will for no reason. Every day I remind myself how lucky I am to have the support I have needed to pick myself up, change for the better and make strides towards the improvement of my situation.I am now a productive member of society holding down two jobs. One as a referee or judge at a local sports facility, it is honing my sense of reason and allowing me to view my own life with a bit more productive scrutiny. The other one a result of recent volunteer work I have been dedicated to. I have a third; seasonal job, beginning shortly which can provide me with productive work through May or April. A fourth job of a similar nature I believe I have lined up but I'm not one to count my chickens.I am a volunteer for several causes, some big, some small, all dear to me. When I had started to run with a more questionable crowd it was under the pretense that I was following the only work I could find. While I was able to make an honest living, enough to pay my bills, problems arose with the company I would keep. Now I volunteer to set up what can be described as pop-up businesses and thereby help to provide gainful employment, even if temporarily, for those in need.
The turning point, I believe, came when I was in jail. I looked around at the kind of people I was now and forever going to be cast into the same classification with. I realized there are some poeple in this world who are far from the version of civilized I had once felt I'd known. I had role-models in think-tanks who I wanted to be just like someday. I'd briefly forgotten the lessons they taught me when they died and the catty squabbling over a meaningless remote control to the tv, reminded me that I musn't give up on becoming a better person.There are however, some people for whom (I can imagine) a swift and prolonged removal from society would do both a bit of good. I dare say I am not that kind of case.There was a time however, that I would think on the roof and meals associated with incarceration. I do believe I was wavering into bad society at that time.I no longer take for granted the utter satisfaction of work, self-worth, and earning for myself a stable enough living to provide food shelter and save for furthering my education.
Where am I?
I am however caught at another juncture in my life. I do have health issues which have been with me since childhood as well as new ones which had been brought to my attention approximately five years ago. With regards to my asthma, I never think about it anymore, unless I go twelve hours without my medication. It is like the billboard says, a fish out of water. But while in college there was the discovery of some cervical growth. The word cancer was wispered at best. It was deemed benign and I have had no problems. However with a thinner and thereby more vulnerable cervix and a new-found plan to spend the next five to fifteen years getting my life on track I decided to take precautions and had an IUD put in. The pain associated with monthly hormonal and muscular changes has increased to crippling levels and in conjunction with my doctors, we are striving to come to a solution that is congruous.I have not, nor will I give up on making strides towards the person and the life I want to be and have. I have met with obstacles in the past year. It has been difficult to say no to once valued friends and exclude from my life persons I had valued, but I have not wavered in my dedication to personal and situational improvement.
It has been with great difficulty that I have made changes to who I speak with, where I turn to, and what I believe in. Nothing woth doing seems ever to be easy. But I am doing better and with purpose and reason.I don't have a clear view of the what exactly the future will hold for me. but unlike i'd lived in the past, with carpe diem always at my ear, I at least have an idea and a goal set by which to guide myself into the great unknown with confidence, fortitude and perserverence.What I want to be understood here is what happened, happened. And whatever one's interpretation of that may be; it was a mistake and a deeply regrettable one at that. What matters now is that where I was in my life was not and is not where I am going with my life. While where I am now is neither, it is not where I was and it is on the way to becoming the role model I wanted to have when my life had taken its turn for the worse.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To whom it may concern:

Your Honour,
My life as a criminal is over, as a productive and respectable member of society life for me has only just begun as it is clear, at least to me, that this path of growth and self improvement is one I will continue down.
I set out to write to you about how the past year of my life has been a complete turn around for me and I have found that there aren't words poignant enough to express the deep regret I feel about what happened and my actions. I look back and see a completely different person, except for the part of me that was at times both passionate and altruistic.

What happened, happened. And whatever one's interpretation of that may be; it was a mistake and a deeply regrettable one at that. What matters now is that where I was in my life was not and is not where I want to be with my life. While where I am now is also neither, it is not where I was and is on the way to becoming the role model I wanted to have when my life had taken its turn for the worse.
This is merely my plea to you to be both understanding and merciful. As for what happened: a memory, an experience, (a bad one at that) and a stepping stone. I remember hearing an old saying about how a person is born with two bags, one full of luck and another bag labeled experience and it is empty and how the trick to life is to fill the latter before the former runs out. But unfortunately another old adage also rings true: how good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. My point is that I was both young and inexperienced and this experience has taught me many valuable lessons I will pull from to guide myself more successfully through the rest of my life. I feel confident in saying that I am ashamed looking back and hopeful postulating about the future. As with all stepping stones, I think a fair amount of shame goes into every person's life as a means by which to strive for better. So please, allow this young life a mistake. Illegal activities may be a part of the world we live in but I now see the sadness in that sorry fact and I assure you, such dubiousness will not again have a place in my life.
The consequences of my actions are already deeply rooted and shall weigh heavy on me for the rest of my life. I have no excuses, just remorse. Remorse and a wish that such a youthful stupidity as a first offense were not so devastating for someone already trying so very hard to make a decent and honest start to life. Job prospects, already drying up due to a slumping economy, have dried up entirely in light of the felony I now have on my record. Paying off my college education has been tough, though I haven't missed a payment yet.
What seems to matter now is what has been gained and what can be gleaned from this whole ordeal. Where I was at that point in my life was not a good place, was not where I ever want to be again. I lived a life I would not want to be endured by weak or strong minds as 'the only option.' Living on the road, following work, I thought was a good path. There were "interesting people" and "lively experiences" not to mention the "good pay" one got for the long arduous hours and sleepless night wondering when the next time you'd be able to shower would be or when you'd next be woken up to fix hydraulic equipment to meet safety regulations since the inspector would be coming for a surprise visit in the morning. I was stupid to have glorified that life in my head. It was a grueling menial life full of endless days of arduous physical, psychological and emotional turmoil.
I remember one night, working crowds of people for the profits I never saw, feeling giddy about the smallest things. It was truly a joy to me to make others happy simply by having them play a game and encouraging them to try until they succeeded. I never realized it then but it was my own lack of happiness I was replacing with theirs, my own lack of accomplishment I was seeking empathy for. People, more specifically, making them happy, was my true addiction. And when the inevitable realization of failure set in, I didn't know what to do. I have since found a better thing in life. I should have picked myself up and tried again. I recently heard an anonymous quote that I'm sure will stick with me: "Try, fail, try again, fail better." and to me this means one should not worry about failures or pending disasters, but should instead do one's best to use knowledge and experience to avoid making future failures repetitively disastrous.
Where I actually wanted to be; a far off dream, seemed hopeless. It was a place where a warm bed, a solid roof, and a decent meal, are givens. A life where I can work with my mind and my hands, having knowledge and skill that is of value. I want to be able to afford the liberty to help those in need. I have a passion for both the homeless and for birds. I have lived with and had what I called friends among both and want to see myself one day providing sanctuary for them. Hopeless now seems such a strong term.
A roof and a real job; despite my dreams of providing sanctuary, seemed unattainable. Especially amid a recession. A year later I nervously laugh at my own short-coming of having been so near-sighted. I have two jobs now. A third and possibly fourth to start shortly. And the people I work with at the current two jobs love me as I'm sure they will at the soon to begin other two. I intend to stick with these jobs and with them fund a return to academia. I'm correcting a mistake I made my first round of education and selecting very carefully a career to educate myself before taking classes.
I'm currently paying off my bachelor's degree and am proud to mention that even as my payments have risen the past three years, I haven't missed a single wretchedly painful payment yet. While this past year has been the most expensive in terms of those payments it has also been the least painful because of my own dedication to a better life and a better way of living it. I've become determined to lead a more productive, conscientious life-style. I've been determined to find and hold steady jobs and to lead a more productive life. I have seen results from this change in personal goal foci and look forward to continuing to better myself.
Not only am I successfully paying my bills, I've a place I can call a home of my own. A roof, though shared with co-workers of mine that is consistent, earned and most importantly stable. Also I've found the time to volunteer to various causes. From little benefits, like Dodgeball for Zach and Relay for Life to hands-on, skill-oriented work with putting together a local seasonal attraction; something I've done with other companies as a paid partner before. I told you perhaps, of my volunteer work with a local haunted house. My work with them has earned me a paid position with the company which will be (of course) running through late September and all of October. It is my hope and theirs that I can be around to continue to have a greater hand in the success of running the event.
Where I am in my life, I admit is not anywhere near where I want to be; however I now have a plan. Where I am is nowhere near where I was. But I am farther from that dismal past with each day. I've taken many positive steps towards a stable life and have become a productive member of society. I have surrounded myself with positive influences and have involved myself with causes that give me purpose and hope. I'm doing my best to share that feeling of hope and feel now as though I am an integral part of something greater and very positive.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to plead with you.
Yes, I was stupid. As many of us do, I made an awful mistake. The remorse I feel weighs heavy on my every action. Impedes the most basic of needs such as getting hired to a regular job and climbing the so-called corporate ladder. Yet I have found other answers to my problems through supportive friends and co-workers and others, all of whom I can only justly describe as family. But jail at this juncture, now that I've done so much to make amends and fix my erroneous way? After I have found gainful employment such that I can work to pay off any fines deserved. I have spent time working for free that others may glean gainful employment from those hours I've spent. Knowing that it was following the only work I could find at the time which sent me on the road and into the den of so many persons with questionable values. Anything more than probation, hefty fines, even house arrest after I've gone so far from the terrible place I was in my life towards the reform I have already set myself to, would be ... as I can only think to explain it here ~ a bad end.
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