Along the Way. . .
Experiences, Insights & Humor on the “Long Road Home”
By Steven Maisenbacher
OK, I’m pretty ticked off at the moment and I’ve let a particular issue fester for a couple days. Actually the problem has been building for years, decades in fact, but recently it has started to play so important a role as to be a detriment to me.
When this “gremlin in my mind” invades even my subconscious and manifests itself in my dreams, ESPECIALLY DREAMS OF BEING FREE AGAIN – and I hardly ever have those (twice in the past few months) – then I feel I have earned the right to put it out there for all the world to see, just like I’ve revealed the depth of my guilt and my regrets, I will and must also stand on my faith and my wonderful plans.
So, naysayers, let me get it done – news flash: YOU DONT KNOW ME OR WHAT I CAN DO.
So, I’m wrong? Ok, what’s my favorite color, or band? Who is my favorite author? and who do I wish to one day be able to meet and why?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Now let me tell you a bit about what I can and can’t do: I can teach myself to read. I can teach myself to be compassionate and caring, I can be goal oriented and driven. I can teach myself that the world without drugs or alcohol is much better to me and for me than otherwise, and I can actually deal with sobriety and functionality on MY OWN TERMS.
I CAN THINK ABOUT MY PAST, AND REGRET THE THINGS I DID, NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY COST ME BUT BECAUSE OF THE HURT AND COST TO OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLE!
THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE IN WHO I AM NOW AND WHO I WAS. I may not be able to convince you, but still I must insist that you PLEASE DO NOT GET THAT FACT TWISTED.
I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m that strong, I’m strong enough to walk down 38 years in federal prisons and keep some semblance of sanity, learning and teaching what I have been taught, all the while doing so because it’s the right thing to do. I can aid and encourage others, help them believe in themselves and help them accomplish their dreams.
Man, I AM going to go back to school – just because I can and want to in order to do what I intend to do with the rest of my life – help others or at least try.
So don’t try to pop off some moral high horse and think I can’t. I can and will.
The next right thing is what keeps me from being the me I was and will never ever be again. I will never allow that. and that’s something else I can do – continue to grow, refusing to take (or submit to) an attitude of superiority or arrogance.
See, I know this reads kind of arrogant, but that’s because you don’t know me. Case in point, this isn’t arrogance; it IS defiance. I will spend the rest of my life defying failure. I will do whatever it takes, stay on hold on a phone, or stand in a stupid line, or get shuffled thru a zillion options till I get connected to the right one.
I’ll stay the course and deal with the hassles, I’ll wade thru the bull just to get to the office of admissions. Yes, I’m gonna need my class schedule. I’m gonna need at least an associates in arts in social sciences to become a counselor, either drug and alcohol rehab or juvenile. But I will get it done! My life will not have been lived in vain. MY LIFE WILL HAVE MEANING.
So for all you dream haters, save yourselves the hassle. For all who think you know me but don’t, stand back – I’m on to what I believe is the next right thing whether you believe in me or not.
And just so you know, my favorite color is red, my favorite band is “Dream Theatre.” My favorite author is Conn Iggulden and I’d like to meet Bill Bryson because of his ability to bring even astrophysics down to earth. I’m interested to know how he is able to translate all these amazing facts into a format that can reach a man like me. I didn’t make it thru 5th grade but I appreciate brilliant writing and the man’s quirky sense of humor with a little twist of smart aleck thrown in is so cool. I’d like to meet Bill Bryson and talk for an afternoon on a park bench maybe. Now you know.
So, maybe you could learn a lot more about who I am right now and the others in the world you might care about if you weren’t so caught up in you.
© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher, December, 2021