It’s Your Experience!
I’ve heard the saying, “Life is a race” a bunch of times in my life and never really thought much of it. Or so I thought. I’m sure most of you have heard that once or twice as well. The saying itself seems innocent enough at first glance but as I continue on this path of life I’m starting to see just how toxic that saying can be.
I will start with a little information about where I’m at in my life. Me, I’m 28 years old and am working as a car salesman locally. Before I was selling cars I had worked in many restaurants holding many different titles. I have had many set backs already in my young life that put me back to square one. I dropped out of college, twice, because I felt I couldn’t get it done. I didn’t have the drive and lacked the motivation at that point in my life. After dropping out the second time I started using drugs and alcohol to numb the pain I was feeling from being a failure. After all, most of my friends from high school at this point in their lives had graduated from college and were already starting their careers.
In 2015 I was arrested for theft. I stole from my parents to supply my drug habit and I had finally graduated. I graduated up to a class of drugs that are hyper addictive. So addictive in fact, that I was willing to hurt the ones I loved just to score a little more. I stayed in jail for a little over 2 months. My probation office came to me in jail to give me two options.
- Agree to go to rehab for nine months to get clean and (hopefully) earn the chance to come back home.
- Go to state jail for two years.
I would love to say that I chose the rehab because I wanted to get clean but truthfully, I wanted to get the hell out of jail.
So it’s 2015, I’m now 25 years old and I’m getting shipped off to a rehab facility to essentially start over and learn how to be a productive member of society again. I remember thinking one day that this is it. This is all anyone will remember me for. A loser drug addict that stole from his family.
That shit hit me hard.
Now through all of this Nancy and me had been dating for probably a year or so. I did my best to never use around her and since she had never witnessed anyone going down that path of addiction, she really didn’t know what was happening. I figured once I was gone for a couple of months she would cut tail and run and I’d never hear from her again. ( I wouldn’t have stayed with me).
But she didn’t. I knew that if I could make it through this rehab and get home to her then I would marry her. I mean who wouldn’t. There was no greater test of our love than that year I was gone.
Long story short, that’s exactly what happened. I did finally make it home and I married the woman who stayed loyal to me at the lowest point in my life.
So you see, my life has been “reset” so to speak, to day one and I’m pleased with how it’s progressing. I seem to be happier than I was when I was 22. I have come to terms with something that I didn’t even consciously know was hindering my progress.
I’ve quit running the race!
I’m retraining my brain to stop believing that life is a race. In a race there are winners and losers. Everyone starts on a line, the same line, with the same amount of training. They take off sprinting as hard and fast as they can to get to the finish line. All of the people, friends, family and others blur past them as they frantically try to get to the end first because we are trained to believe that that’s where the true prize waits. I cannot think this way anymore. I refuse to think this way.
Life is not a race and it’s degrading to believe it is. We do not start on the same starting line. We do not receive the same amount of training. What are we racing for anyways? The finish line and the “prize” at the end of it is death.
I choose to see my life as an experience not a race. I will achieve the things I want to achieve on my own time and enjoy the ride as I go along. Why would I base my success on someone else’s? We didn’t start on the same line. If I enjoy the ride then I will be happiest when I actually get to the finish line because it’s inevitable. We will all make it to the finish line. I deserve to have experienced all that I can along the way.
Don’t race to the end my friends. We will all get there. Success is subjective. Make your journey the prize.
I Love You All, Keep Focused On Your Journey