It was nine years ago, in a small New Jersey town located fairly in the center of the state that my life would change forever. Somerset County to be exact. A Polish town called Manville. For most of my life, around 20 years, Manville was home. I moved into town the summer I started fourth grade. I was a nerdy kid. Glasses, braces, a pony tail, and I was like three feet tall, weighed maybe 60 pounds. I had some cousins who grew up in town and went to the same schools. I was picked on because I was the new kid and the cousin.
For the most part my life was pretty normal. I played sports like baseball and soccer and had several good friends. We were active kids too. Always riding bikes, building forts, playing pick up games of football and baseball. Our favorite was the home run derby we would play on our dead end road. The power lines that connected the house to the grid was used as the home run fence. The neighbors backyard was a football field in the summer and a hockey rink in the winter.
Somewhere along the line of growing up and graduating into the real world of life outside of Manville, my world drastically changed. My fears would ultimately control my life and ruin a great part of the “college years” of my life. I went for a semester to a local community college and decided it wasn’t for me. The professors weren’t open minded and creative thinkers. They were puppets to the man working off a curriculum and following orders. As sort of a free spirited person, I had no respect for them and knew I wouldn’t last in the walls of propaganda.
Instead I went to work and hid from the world. Inside I was dying of fear and outside I was pretending the world was great. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I knew I had to work but doing what and going where, no idea. People freaked me out, the rich were looked at as selfish and sinister, and I just wanted to hide away. In those six years of hiding and working minimum wage jobs, I became homeless and lost everything.
Nine years ago, I started life over, with nothing. I had no money, no car, no clothes, and no job. The path before me looked insane and filled with terror. Giving up often looked like the best option, but I’m still here and how times have changed. Today, kids across the state are graduating high school and walking into the real world. The comfort of being protected by the routine of family and high school is over and it’s time to stand tall and walk forward. Many will fail. Many will ruin their lives as I did, and others will succeed. The game is played however you choose though. You can try to succeed in school and create a successful life, or you run and hide from reality like I chose.
I started over when I was fed up with the decisions I was making. I started over with nothing, but I made it my goal to create a successful life. No matter what. The world is impartial to who we are, but the choices we make create the reality we live. One moment can turn everything around.