New direction in life

There are those moments in life when a single decision can change everything; it can, and did take me to a...


For the past five years I have been on a journey that has taken me from a wannabe gangster to a person I look at in the mirror today and barely recognize.
My quest to become a bad boy started at the end of my sixth grade year when according to my mother, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd.
On Halloween night of my 7th grade year, my closest friend and I were ready to make a name for ourselves.
We thought we were ready for the challenge, in reality we were clueless. We walked down the street dressed suspiciously in all black clothes with masks that looked oddly similar.
On East Overland we found a white building that already had spray paint on it.
On the back wall of the building we found a blank area and a grabbed a bottle of spray paint.
Who knew that one can of spray paint would change the rest of my life?
After the profane deed was done, my friend and I thought we were hard core. We were never going to get caught.
Twenty minutes later a police car stopped us before we were even off East O.
We may have appeared calm on the outside, but we were freaking out on the inside.
I couldn’t get my head wrapped around the fact that I was being taken to the police station.
The police questioned my friend about what was in his backpack and suddenly the evidence was on the table.
I was caught and couldn’t see a way out. I started to cry hysterically. How was I going to explain this to my mother?
At 14 and I had just committed a felony. My mind was spinning as I was escorted home by a police officer.
Fast forward six months … I’m standing in front of a judge next to my mother who now thought her son would never amount to anything except a lazy bum.
Is this really what I was destined for?
With 60 hour of community service in front to me I couldn’t focus on school work. But then again, I wasn’t really focused on it in the first place.
I pictured myself an A and B student in middle school; in reality I had C’s, D’s and F’s.
One day as I was walking home from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church where I did my community service hours but event later that nightt changed the path of my life.
I woke up that night around midnight when my brother came into my room.
“Don’t look at me! I just need my phone charger!” he said.
I couldn’t help myself, so I took a peek.
My brother’s face was swollen to the point where I could barely recognize him.
He left the room and I followed at a distance so I could listen to the conversation between he and my mother.
To make a long story short, my brother, who is five years older than me, was jumped on the Scottsbluff/Gering bridge and beaten up.
I thank God a mail man found him and called the police.
That event was the catalyst I needed to do something with my life. I was determined to change things and help my brother heal.
I completed my 60 hours of community service and stayed home at nights with my brother playing video games and creating a bond we never shared before.
As I entered high school that fall I was determined to be a different person.
None of my high school teachers would have ever suspected I had been arrested.
The validation of my life changes came to fruition as I was sitting in Mr. Ross’s English 10 class.
He handed me a note from Mr. Menghini saying I was eligible for National Honor Society.
This time I was making a name for myself for all the right reasons.
I was inspired by my brother’s mistakes and now both of us are living lives that are making our mother proud.
As the old saying goes, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, all that matters is where your go.”