This one is a guest post by my friend Ryan. He sent me the blog in a letter, and I typed it up to post here. Enjoy!
I'd like you to ask yourself a question--why are human beings resistant to change?
Sometimes we fight tooth and nail to oppose change. Sometimes, though, change can be a beautiful thing.
There are 2 stories that come to mind when I think of change. The first is longer than the second so bare with me. I consider myself a romantic. Yeah, I wear my heart on my sleeve. Some would call me a sucker. I don't care. That's just me. Having flings and all that is fun, but I'd rather share more. When I was in high school, i got a job at a fast food place. The first day on the job, I walk in and when I meet the eyes of another girl who was working there, it was like gut punch. You know, that instant connection. Come to find out we went to the same school and everything. We were both seniors. At the time I already had a girlfriend. I've always been the faithful type of guy. I wouldn't leave her for a girl that I may have had a stronger connection with... Did we flirt? Sure, I'm not going to lie. But, it never led to anything. I ended up not working there very long. We saw each other around school.
Time goes on. I graduate, go into the Air Force, and get out after a couple of months. Long story for another time. When I got back in town, I ended up going to the place that the girl (now woman..Hey we were 18!) from the fast food joint was now working. I see her and BAM, there's that connection again. It never went away. So began the whirlwind romance. I fell for her quick, and everything was great...in the beginning. As time goes by, I ask her to marry me. She says yes. Granted there were people in my life (my mom, sister, etc.) who told me that she was no good for me. I didn't listen because I thought I was in love. She started to become verbally abusive. I let it happen because I thought that she loved me. Why didn't I make that change and just leave?
The change came when I decided to leave her. She got physical and not in a good way. At the time, I had recently coughed up blood due to what may have been cigarettes. She told me that I shouldn't smoke. So, I'm outside at our apartment smoking a cigarette. She notices this, comes outside, and slaps me in the face. I'm stunned because I've never been slapped by a woman. I have never hit a woman nor would I. I was raised to respect women. Anyways, she goes inside, comes back out with a glass of water, and throws it in my face. Seriousy. It wasn't enough that you slapped me?? That was it though. I was done. After she tried to apologize, I accepted it with a straight face, but I was finished. That night when she went to work, I packed my stuff and left. let me tell you it was probably one of the most freeing things that I ever did.
Like I said, long story, but it's crazy that it took me that long to leave, that it took her getting physically abusive to make the change that needed to be made. It was well worth it.
The second story is more of a personal change that I made. You want to talk about change-how about having the freedom of choice everyday as a free person to then become incarcerated. When you make bad choices, bad things can and will happen. Circumstances place me in incarceration, yet I never realized how my choices affected those who loved me. It was never fully realized until I got my first visit in prison by my parents. When my parents laid it out for me and told me from their perspective how my actions affected them, it hit me hard. I don't cry very often, but damn if that didn't make me break down. They weren't telling me this to hurt me but to help me. It made me realize that I needed to make some changes. I wasn't nor have I ever been a bad person, but it made me look deep and think about what's important.
Let's look at another example. I can't even count how many times I've heard people who say they hate their job. Hell, I've been there. Most people say they can't quit or they won't do this or that. I'd rather work a job that I made less money at until I found something that made me happy. It's all about choices and making that change.
There are so many situations in life where we get comfortable. We like routine. Why? Because we're used to it? That's a crappy excuse. After being incarcerated for a period of time priorities are made clear.. Freedom is life. Some people say they have been meaning to do this or that but don't. Why? Because you're too busy? That's just a crappy an excuse. No matter what the reason, time can be set aside to do anything. It's all about choices and making that change.
I'm not trying to sound like some self-help dude or something like that. Freedom is precious. Make those changes in your life and do something. We live this one life. Yeah, we have to survive, but you can and should live life to the fullest. Accept no substitutes. You would be surprised how sometimes the smallest change can make a world of difference. Humans are resistant to change, but screw that. Open your mind and do it. What are you waiting for?
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
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