Thursday, August 6, 2015

What do you do when you hit that cut-off age? Chapter 1

When we are young, the possibilities are endless. The youth have the opportunity to be anything they want and with the right guidance, they can become that which they desire. What happens to those choices as you grow? As you grow from very young to teen or early adulthood, the decisions you make determine which way your life will go, but at an early age, you can still choose to change those plans and detour onto another path.

If you were to go into a school today and ask kindergartners or 1st graders what they want to be when they grow up, you may hear scientist, police officer, fireman, lawyer, doctor, etc… 

What these children don’t comprehend at such a young age is that life choices will eventually come into play and those dreams will become less and less possible to attain. They may become bored with school and shrug off daily school work or they may grow into pubescence and let their hormones take over and get into fights over girls. These actions, while minor, can have drastic impacts on who we become. Depending on the punishment, the child may resort back to their good natured selves and continue on to lead a path in life that rewards their decisions, but, if the opposite occurs and the child resorts to a rebellious nature, then the pathway ahead has just become very narrow and the only way to widen the possibilities is to be impacted by an external source such as community leaders, religious leaders, etc…

So, at a young age, there is still that chance to be successful; even at early adulthood, there is still a chance, but what happens when the child enters their early late 20’s or early 30’s? This is when every life choice can come back and bite you in the ass. I for one know all too well how destructive life choices can be. At 18, I enlisted into the Marine Corps and although I did quite well in boot-camp, it was when I got to my first duty station that I was about to find out how immature I was. I married early, at the age of 20, because when you are stationed in the desert, the only thing to keep you busy is meeting girls. I made a mistake. If the Corps had wanted me to have a wife, they should have issued me one.

This spouse of mine was 17 and pregnant. Me being the person I was, I was raised in the south where you did not bring a child into the world without being married. So, what did I do? That’s right; I got married for the sake of the child. Here is an example of one of those life choices I was talking about. A few months after I was married, I came to discover that my then spouse was a crystal meth addict and she was using while pregnant. Me being a southern boy, I didn’t know what meth was; only that it was a drug. I quickly found out that it was a nightmare. She began leaving late at night to have affairs and leaving me and the baby at home alone. I would wake up for work and would have to go in late because she couldn’t get back to the house early enough. Anyway, one thing led to another and I was eventually discharged from the Marine Corps for (Pattern of Misconduct) Regret #1.
20 years later, that regret has come back to haunt me. I was recently hired as a security officer for G4S which employs 600,000 people worldwide and I was ecstatic. Two and a half days into training, I was called to the side by Human Resources letting me know they had to rescind the proposal for employment because of my military discharge, even though it wasn’t “dishonorable”, which is what the application asked.

As we continue in life, other choices may inhibit where we go or how successful we are. In April of 2000, 5 years to the day of my discharge, my now current wife and I lost our very child. She was a baby girl who we named Alexis Nicole. She was born and lived for two and a half hours and then passed slowly in our arms. This was not regret. This little girl was loved so much before she was born that I figured God needed her back right away because she had done what she was supposed to. However, I did not think this way right after her passing, my mindset was completely different. Here comes Regret #2.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had become engulfed in my emotions and they were designating which path my life was about to take…


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