I am a survivor of life changing obstacles and near death experiences that have shaped and molded the person I’ve become today. Life is precious and so fragile. We undergo many great feats as well as losses. We can raise above all the setbacks, negativity, and punches life throws our way if we can take each event as a life lesson. We must learn that strength comes from the struggle and growth starts with the decision to move beyond our current circumstances.
The loss of your parent (s) while you’re a teenager is an extremely emotional time filled with confusion. So many different thoughts come to mind; they make you feel like an empty, abandoned child with no sense of direction. Even more challenging, is when there is no father figure around to be a role model to a young teenage boy. Eventually that empty feeling is replaced with anger. Anger toward feeling alone in this world and entering the foster care system just to become another troubled youth of society.
The choices we make during stressful moments will either be in our best interest of our future, or they will eventually produce consequences with which we’ll have to deal. At difficult times in life, we often don’t make the best decisions. A young teenage boy will often see the local gang in his neighborhood as family. They will make him feel like he belongs and give him a sense of purpose, from here on out it only gets worse. A homeless child running with a gang, participating in illegal activities to make money (survive), running from cops and dodging bullets from rival gang members is not a healthy environment for a young man. The deeper hole we dig ourselves into, the higher we’ll have to climb out.
With all the madness that can build up in our heads, we need a place to empty it and replace it with positive energy. The reckless teenager found this place in juvenile hall and was removed from the madness that took place on the streets. In some strange way, this place felt like a vacation to him- from homelessness and hustling on the streets to having an assigned room, three meals a day, a shower, clean clothes and a bed! Rather than picking up a bottle of liquor, he picked up the bible, did push-ups everyday and tried to make sense of all the events that had taken place since his mother’s death. When all the outside distractions are removed, it allows one to think clearly and open one’s mind to change. The young troubled teenager had developed into a young man at an early age during his five-month stay at juvenile hall.
It’s important to replace old habits that were only a disservice to us in the past with ones that will brighten our future. I was once that boy and filled my emptiness with passion for fitness and the awesome community it came with. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to excel beyond your best because growth is never-ending as long as you remain on this earth.
The Comeback Kid