The Paths We Choose

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When I was 18, and knew everything, I sometimes followed a path I knew was a dead end, but I did it anyway. I justified the choice by reasoning I was smart enough to change it when the time comes, and I’ll know when the time is right. What I didn’t realize is how I had changed all the starting points of all subsequent paths. What would have been an easy path to follow, could now be gone or next to impossible to find again. At this age I didn’t listen to my instincts. I thought I had life figured out. Wrong path.

In my 20’s I started to see a connection between bad things happening and my “Gut” feeling beforehand. I took chances with my life that could easily have ended badly. I was at a persons home in Portland Maine one night, and we were high on a drug called Acid. It is a very strong hallucinogenic that can cause you to do very crazy things. My friend and his brother in-law were arguing in the kitchen. I heard a scream and looked up to see my friend laying on the floor holding on to his stomach, blood pouring out onto the floor, and the brother in-law standing there with a chef’s knife in his hand. I was so high I just sat there, not realizing what I was seeing. Was this real? It was, and Billy almost died on his kitchen floor.

Another friend with me jumped up, ran to the kitchen and tackled Joey and beat him so bad HE almost died and had to go to the hospital before jail. This should have taught me that drugs, drinking and anger lead to dangerous situations, but I still let peer pressure and my inexperience control my actions. Wrong path.

In my 30’s I got away from the very strong drugs, and tried to think about a career. I had been working for a turf management company and I was rising through the ranks rather quickly. The manager and I were the same age, and we grew to like each other, or so I thought. I left the company when I moved to Florida, but he hired me back when I returned.

When I separated from my wife, he paid to move me down to his corporate headquarters and set me up in an apartment. I was so taken by his generosity that I put all my personal life on hold and gave him 110% of my time and effort. At the Christmas party that year, all I hoped for was some recognition for my efforts. Nothing, not a word. I was crushed by the fact I was so blind to him using me to further his business. I left shortly thereafter and never looked back. Wrong path.

In my 40’s I finally understood what was holding me back. I started to pay attention to my instincts. I stopped all the drugs and dropped all the friends and places that were a part of my poor decisions. I started to see the reality of the wasted time that I could never get back. The years of futile efforts that did nothing but make me miserable. When my parents needed more help, I saw an opportunity to “Make Amends” for some of my bad decisions. A way to repay them for doing their best to understand and support me through my troubled times. They didn’t know what I was going through, but they just cared and that helped more than they know. Right path.

While living in Strong Maine, assisting my parents, there was an evening my mother said she felt real bad, like she never had before. My instincts told me to take her to the hospital, but she insisted she would be OK and went to bed. I will forever have to live with my decision of that night, as that was the beginnings of her stroke. She could have died that night. I ignored my instincts that night and went to bed. Wrong path.

I wrote most of this post sitting in a restaurant. When my emotions took over, I had to leave. I’m sitting in my truck now with Vinny my sympathetic partner, and tears are streaming down my face. When you read this Mom, I just want you to know that I love you and Dad very much. I thank you for understanding and never letting go. I want you to know I’m going down the right path now, never to go back. When I sail under a clear sky, the sun shining it’s life giving rays on me, you and Dad will always be with me. Right path.

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20 thoughts on “The Paths We Choose

  1. We only hurt the ones we love.. A quote I strongly disagree with because of my own wrong path decisions.. When we selfishly blind our own minds and ignore that gut feeling of right and wrong, we aren’t loving anyone.. Even though we think we do..
    I believe the correct saying should be,
    You only hurt the ones who love you..
    I’ve got a ton of hurt I caused my parents and others..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thing with parents is. Good parents. They forgive. They erase and move on from the bad and they are unerringly proud. Your mum and dad are those good parents. They know that you regret but they really really want you to have the life you deserve. That you are working towards. That they will always be part of because they are the sum of you. Regret is a good thing if harnessed to take you forward. don’t let it rule you. Cry your tears, wipe your eyes and remember you are the pride of your parents. You are.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The thing is that you have found the right path for you! The RIGHT one. And because you’re journeying there now, embrace it and FORGIVE yourself. Don’t forget we all f*ck up and royally. We all hurt people who love us and whom we love. We make bad stupid decisions, because (to me) how would we see the good choices when they came along, if not for the experiences with the bad ones. And one of the steps to finding peace and being in tune with that inner voice is forgiving. And to me? Forgiving ourselves is the hardest one to do. But it’s worth it. Just like taking the right paths. Good days ahead for you I bet.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You have had a hard, sad life in many respects and bravo for getting back on the right path. You shouldn’t have regrets about your mom because who knows whether the outcome would have been better if you went to hospital? All that matters is that you loved them and that love was returned.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, what an emotional post my friend. Don’t have regrets about past decisions, it is the decisions you make today that matter the most. The ones in the past are what made you the great man you are today. I certainly appreciate your honesty in this post and hoping your day is a good one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have tears in my eyes as I’m writing this. I felt your pain but I can also feel that you’re now on the right path. It’s never ever too late and all you can do now is move forward and take each day as a blessing and new beginning. I wish you well my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

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