A few months ago, I was a machine. Every move in my day was calculated and I felt that I was a model of efficiency. Looking back, I could see that I was efficient because it was a life void of anything beyond work. Out of work, I had hours to spare with nothing to do except to make up tasks and carry them out.
Then came the tipping point.
Family trips, work, job interviews, clothes shopping, mailing documents to foreign embassies, and a multitude of other items. All this has lead to me feel as efficient as a child’s scribbled drawings.
A Scribbled Time
Sometimes, like the deep drawing pictured above, we hit a period or two when we become personally like the jumbled lines. We are not in a place where we are acting like ourselves or we have compromised our beliefs. For some, this can be the start of a long, downward spiral.
In my first year of high school, I found myself sliding quickly into a place where I did not want to be. My personality had changed. I grew my hair out. I was hanging out with a crowd that was frequently finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. There was a lot of drugs and a lot of underage drinking.
I had stopped surfing in contests and my behavior in the water was appalling. I was very frequently dropping in on adults and due to my increased size and my anger; I was often engaging in verbal and physical altercations with my fellow surfers.
I was in piss poor shape on about every level.
Straightening the Lines
I wish I could say there was a defining day where I felt the hand of Jesus touch me and his voice told me to change. But what really happened was a slow process of me seeing things for what they were and a feeling of guilt that weighed me down.
Finally one evening in a room with a bunch of friends who were smoking weed; the curtain was parted. I knew at that dull moment that this was not for me. Why did I say dull? Because watching a bunch of people doing nothing in a room but listening to classic rock and giggling was more than I could stand. Especially when I wanted to be walking on a beach in a foreign country. Paddling out over a colorful coral reef. This was the furthest from living that I could imagine.
So at sixteen years old, I decided to begin a process of losing my friends and losing my anger. It took a while but it happened. In fact, it actually took until my senior year to get my education back on track.
Being a manager, it is crazy to me how people just repeat the same negative behaviors over and over and they can not seem to break their dependence on chaos.
I used to hate every day I woke up because someone was going to be on me for a missing assignment, or for doing something wrong. Pretty telling statement.
Once I changed my tune, the stress and negativity was lifted off of me. My teachers were so happy that they started working with me to help me catch up. My parents were happier. The police were transformed from the a-holes that were watching me to just people doing a job.
The end result was that I became happier and doors opened up for me.
And for my old friends?
A recent dinner with some family members revealed that for them things never really changed. Some are drifting about, some are dead, some are using people after being in and out of prison.
They never could get up and leave the bedroom. Their lives are always scribbled lines.