Ive had many people ask me how I changed and how I got out of that lifestyle to become the man I am today. Let me tell you it didn’t happen overnight. Im still fighting the labels of a criminal and its been 15 years since my last court case.
At first I did a lot of the big talk with no action. I would always say I’m moving out of town, I’m getting a job or I’m going back to school, but I never did it. I said it so much even I got sick of hearing my own empty promises. The problem with this was when I was actually ready to change everyone thought I was full of shit once again. I had to stop talking about it and just follow through. I was finally ready to change my life, but now I had to prove it because no one believed me. I had a court case coming up that could put me away for a while and that was the last thing I needed. The courts asked for a pre-sentence report from my Probation Officer so it bought me 6 months to get my shit together.
I walked away from my old life and my old friends. I swallowed my pride and worked 2 minimum waged jobs in my home town, biking to work and back. I rented a small room meant for students and spent any spare time I had trying to win my girl back and be a part of my kids lives. I had one last shot and there was no way I was gonna fuck it up. I stayed on the right track until court.
The judge told me before I left the courtroom that if he ever saw me again he would give me the maximum sentence. That was the last time I stood before a Judge.
(Newspaper clipping, 2003)