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02:58 pm: Buckle Up and Pay Attention to the Road
I'm not sure how long ago I wrote this, but I figured I'd post it as a journal entry:

My earliest memory is from when I was, probably, about three years old. My mom and I were leaving from somewhere, and she safely secured me in my car seat. She made sure to buckle my seat-belt, but neglected to do the same thing for herself. The next thing I knew was that we hit a truck. My mom was hurt badly, and I remember seeing her in the hospital. I was fine, and she healed. I never gave too much thought to it, but I suppose that's when I started to pay attention.

Though preschool and kindergarten are a blur, I learned quickly to read and write and I absorbed any experience to which I was exposed. By the time I was six years old, I was contemplating my existence and what lie beyond. Amidst this self-discovery, I happened upon an interest in girls and found my first girlfriend, Rebecca. At such a young age, I suppose it's easy to pass it off as "puppy love". However, I remember finding it more complicated than that. I really liked her and became jealous when I thought she stopped paying attention to me. That's about when I allowed myself to be distracted by other girls. I was a bit of a playground player, and lost track of what was really going on. I sort of let myself slip into oblivion. By the time I moved to Maryland, I was clueless.

When I was eight years old, my world changed. The kids weren't anything like what I was used to and the setting became lackluster, this world devoid of much of the beauty to which I was accustomed. The proverbial shit really hit the proverbial fan, when I was in my ninth year of life. I was teased and picked on to no end. My anger often got the better of me, and my academic performance floundered. This went on for years, but I somehow managed to continue to learn. Still, I was never really accepted and I couldn't quite bring myself to accepting this new world.

I remained somewhat of a social pariah for years, until the scene changed. I finally managed to find myself around others with whom I could relate. These new peers helped me to discover qualities and traits within myself that I either wasn't aware of or had forgotten existed. I realized that I wasn't entirely socially inept, and I once again found enjoyment in life. The following years ushered in for me something of a re-awakening. I started to find myself again. This lasted through to my early twenties.

It's difficult for me to pinpoint exactly when things started to become stale, but I remember 2002 was an interesting year. At twenty-five years of age, I found myself struggling against stagnation and getting older. I was no longer a kid, as much as I denied it. My frustration worsened my anger issues, but I kept denying that I had any fault or that anything was wrong. For years, I had sought enjoyment and distracted myself from responsibility. It all finally caught up to me about two years later when, in 2004, I got in trouble with the law. I was taken in for drunk driving, but it was really my temper to blame. I couldn't get a handle on it, and had significant trouble figuring out what to do with myself. My mother lost her patience with me and finally kicked me out of the house, circa 2006.

The last five or so years have been quite the growing experience. My life, socially and professionally, has been filled with false starts. I believe the key to my true awakening is in finding balance from all things past with what I know now to illuminate my future. I just need to make sure I don't allow myself to get too distracted, and be sure I continue to pay attention. I don't want to remember my life as an unfortunate accident!

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