I have arrived, Greetings from The Shoals of Alabama! The home referred to in “A Poor Man Buying The American Dream” became a reality. I closed on it Tuesday morning, and spent the rest of the day dealing with boring details! like utilities, internet and such. I woke up Wednesday morning ( I’m an early riser!) thinking wow! this could be like the first day of the rest of my life, it’s kind of up to me. The biggest challenge for me will be myself, and not doing that which I know is dumb for me!
With that being stated let’s revisit that title. A long time, well meaning family friend uttered those words to me upon my second release from prison. This would have been just a few short years ago, and I distinctly recall wanting to strangle her at the time. My thoughts were “Woman, if this is the first day of the rest of my life, then it’s really going to suck!” People, when one is first released from prison it’s not a Sally bar the doors festive occasion. When one is first released there’s a lot of baggage that goes along with it. While it’s great getting out of the shit hole, reality at times can be a bigger shit hole! This well meaning individual had no idea about the baggage I was released with? Things like probation and fines, community service, after care classes, not being able to legally drive, the amount of money needed to regain a license obtaining housing and a job. When one has no license, and can’t legally drive, all of which was just mentioned become mile stones. I’m one of the luckier ones, I had family support, many ex convicts have burned that bridge as well! I talk about some of that in one of the books on the Gallery page. In fact “The Library Days” was a result of my 860 hours of community service performed at the local public library. I had plenty of material and time to lend a hand in inspiration for content.
Let’s go back to that title again “The First Day of The Rest of My Life”, that’s saying a lot if taken literally. I choose to take it that way! All of that baggage in the previous paragraph has been dealt with and resolved. I have one more year left on non reporting probation and still owe them a few thousand dollars(fines for being a drunk, not restitution!) This country does have a severe problem with it’s manner of a penal system, hence the revolving doors with the prisons. Here in the U.S, if one makes it to prison, there’s a good chance one will return, usually within 2 to 3 years! Once one makes it into that system it’s like a maze or a trap. In fact the lyrics to The Eagles “Hotel California” come to mind “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!” They can release you from prison, but the difficulty is in leaving the system with all that baggage. Many wind up returning to the same shit and lifestyle that got them to prison to start with, can you see the cycle? much like addiction a hard cycle to break. Some of that is touched upon in one of the books on the gallery page as well.
“The First Day of The Rest of My Life” began Wednesday morning after closing, a few months shy of being 50! If I’m taking the rest of my life literally from that statement, then that’s exactly what it is, the rest of my life! All the bull shit is water under the bridge, it’s a part of the past, most of which has been dealt with in an efficient manner, meaning few or no loose ends! The First Day of The Rest of My Life is me being a free man to pursue some of my goals and ambitions with the means to do so! If you get that “The Means to do so and a free man pursuing MY goals and ambitions” are a pretty crucial part of that statement. Simply put, if you’re living your life for others? stop and re-evaluate the situation. I’m not encouraging greed or being self centered here. One can inspire more by serving themselves, providing there is inspiration in what one is doing!
What are you doing? can it be inspiring to another? I mentioned the half sister band Skating Polly at last posting. Those girls are pursuing their goals and dreams while unknowingly inspiring an older fart like me. They along with several others(some of whom have been mentioned here) inspire me in several different ways, and not all of it is their musical ability! Some of it is their imagination or enthusiasm in what they’re doing. If anyone checked out Skating Polly, little sister Kelly is a human dynamo in my book. That isn’t taken anything away from her siblings, but watch their videos and see if you don’t come away with the same conclusion. Theirs isn’t about their musical ability, it’s about using what they’ve got while time and team effort contribute to the rest. The sister band Larkin Poe are very musically adept and yet they’re using the same formula. I could go on and on with this list, but you’ll find many here I’ve already mentioned in past postings, so I don’t need to. They all have the same thing in common! They’re pursuing their goals and dreams and stepping on no one’s toes while doing so. That to me is what it’s all about! Don’t draw attention to what you aren’t, draw it to what you are! I’m quite enamored by these girls I’ve posted here, along with those who haven’t made it here yet. It’s not a dirty old man with a lust thing going. It’s more about these girls brought something to the table, and put it out there for all to see. That takes guts and it takes charisma, some have more than others. If you’re getting this? it’s not what you can do, it’s what you can do with what you’ve got! Which brings this back to me and the rest of my life! Now I have most of the means to do what I set out to do, what I’m missing will come along the way.
Simply put! I have most of what I need to start drawing the strings together to tie the knot that binds the circle. What I don’t have is the charisma and presence to do what these girls I tout do. I don’t have their charm, or looks for that matter. I’ll have to find another way, but it can be done! The First Day of The Rest of My Life, what is it? were you paying attention? Could it be The First Day of The Rest of Your Life as well?
You don’t have to be like me and go through hell to start pursuing your goals and dreams right now. If you wish to start though, you may want to figure out what those goals and dreams are? They aren’t someone else’s, they’re yours, what do you wish to convey? A motto I’ve used for many years now is “Did I leave it better than I found it?” Other than prison, most of what I’ve left was left better than I found it! Did I leave you today better than you found me?
I have my license, my vehicle and now the place to provide me home, shelter and a place to work from. I’m typing this from the kitchen table(it came with the house), I’ve got a nice big room slated for this, I’ve just got to put it together! I’m currently building a guitar rack and desk for that room, things are coming together slowly, but they are getting there.
On a parting note, several tornadoes went through or around this area last night and early this morning. There are some who did not get up today! I wasn’t one of those! There will come a time when I arise no more, but until that day, I’m thinking I may want to live the best I can with what I’ve got! Perhaps you can apply that to some facet of your life as well, Today I will drop a line or 2 for someone to play with or think about.
Did you live before you died?
When you look back can you say you tried?
Were you blessed with health or cursed with disease?
Did you try too hard or things come with ease?
Four little lines, where can you go with them? Do they make you think? Enjoy! Robert