San Quentin State Prison
“Lost” – This is the starting theme of my first blog post, and it seems relevant to how I became incarcerated. In my process over the next few months, I hope to end with the theme of “Success,” but before that I will have to go through a journey, which will take me down the winding road of different self-discovery. But let’s start at “Lost.”
To use a metaphor for my life, I would have to describe it as being a lonely sailor fighting the storm ravaged sea, bound to the helm, lost without a compass. A compass would have helped guide me through the rough waters in my life or steered me clear from the rocky shores of the life I had chosen. So much of our lives are spent staring at the sands of the hourglass when most of us should have kept our eyes on the pointer of life’s compass. I would have found my direction sooner in life, if I hadn’t thrown away my compass so long ago.
I wasn’t always lost in life; I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. I must admit, I had a wonderful childhood. Unlike many who are incarcerated, I am fortunate to have had a sheltered, carefree childhood. I wish that many of my brothers in blue had the same opportunities as I did. I am sure they would have done great things in life, unlike me.
I had wonderful people around me, a stable foundation, and a moral compass that kept me out of trouble. I was ambitious in school. I joined leadership groups, attended church functions and ran for student government positions. In my spare time, I surfed or skated. That was my life growing up. I kept myself on track with these things. My compass was steering me in the right direction. But slowly the dark clouds of doubt started to cover the sun in my sky. The storm started to set into my life and instead of trusting my compass; I took my eyes off the pointer and tried to see through the fog.
One by one; the once full mast of my ship began to tear, leaving me adrift on the sea. With each storm that my life encountered, my life was unable to weather the storms. My ambitions and goals turned into blame and pity. I raised my compass to the sky and cursed my life for not giving me what I thought was promised. The rain came down upon my life harder and the howls of negativity swirled all around me. In anger, I threw my compass into the storm, losing my way in life.
I wasn’t strong enough to weather the storms and slowly everything around me began to crumble. I truly lost my way, my confidence and my family. With all of my God given talents I should have been able to overcome all the obstacles in my life. I should have taken all those hours at leadership camp; the countless hours spent attending motivational speakers and success as a child into my adulthood. But where did it all go wrong? Well, if I truly was aware of it than I might not be in prison. I don’t have all the answers to my questions my friend, however, being in prison has given me a whole new insight to my life. I am truly blessed to have come to prison, but especially to San Quentin.
This loss of freedom has given me a deeper understanding in my life of what is important and how I must rebuild on the good things in my life, to use my talents I know I have. To be honest, I am lost. But on my journey back to the real world that lies beyond these walls, I will rediscover myself. I will be found, I will be successful and I will help others. Thank you for listening.
All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. This program is part of The Last Mile San Quentin. Twitter: @TLM