By Ford Serna
“It’s about having an idea of the man you want to be and then aligning every decision along the way with the man you choose to be.”
I used to have these hopes and dreams of doing things far better than my family ever could have achieved. I was going to be the one to graduate high school; to go straight off to a four year college. I felt that for so long my family made me out to be the failure in the group. I wanted to escape the small box they had put me in. It wasn’t long after high school that I dropped all those hopes of being something more. I traded it all in for my first shot of whiskey and my first joint. I had discovered the life of the party.
Soon my world became smaller and smaller with my bad habits. Friends stepped away and I was fired from jobs. Homeless, rage built up inside me and all I ever did was lay on my couch wishing I could go back to that teenager with the once bright future. I thought that maybe if I just ran away to somewhere no one knew me, or maybe if I dated this one guy who had his whole life working for him, that maybe I too could get on track. That maybe I could have the life I always dreamt of. It wasn’t until I woke up from the chaos of breaking his heart with all my problems, that I finally came to terms with the fact that I was no longer in control of my life anymore. I was so far away from the person I thought I could have been.
In hindsight, I’m thankful for that day. It was the bottom of my well. I had boxed myself in so tightly, that I couldn’t see the truth anymore. I made my first decision that day to change everything I thought I knew about myself.
The first step of many was just to say that I had officially kicked my own ass. In the last three years, I have expanded my world so much. For so long I sought to escape the plight that was Sacramento. I met a group of friends who showed me my hometown in a whole new light. I became a student of life. I was shown how to be a responsible employee, a friend that works at keeping friendships; I went back to school and for the first time I traveled outside of the California borders. I got to visit cities I thought would be impossible to ever see just by looking out my bedroom window. I was given the most amazing gift of seeing my grandparents again who lived across the ocean. Previously, I swore I would never have the money to fly to them. I became confident in the man I was becoming.
My greatest decision I got to make was to have a genuine human adventure. I was happy and comfortable in Sacramento, but knew that I wanted to experience life in a new city. I moved to Seattle and have begun a new chapter in my life. At this point, one year has flown by. Although I have not completed everything I set out to do here so far, I know that it’s all just a decision away. I can choose today what I want in my life and how I want it to be. From the small box of problems and mistakes that I had crunched my life into, to the broad and roomy world that I get to live in today, there’s so much life to be explored. I’m excited to embrace that life with and open mind and a full heart.