Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Determination

Today, I saw determination.

Determination in the form of a friend passing his state board exam, to be a barber. This achievement came after nine months of barber college, of 1,400 hours of class, of commuting the 75 miles each way from Tillamook to Newport, through the winter rains and morning ice, while parenting a teenager and barely living on unemployment.

Tomorrow, he starts his new job, in the shop he will soon own, on his way in his new career.

Oh, friends, and family, and church were there, cheering him on. But, he ran the race, he plodded forward, making himself a new career, a big change. All because he decided to move on with his life.

Today, I saw determination.

Determination in the young man I visit every week in prison. He struggles hard with emotion, in finding the words to describe the turmoil and anguish inside of him, in being able to express himself, and to open the door to the garbage heaped upon him in his life, and to begin to make sense of it all, and to plot his own course in life.

Tonight, he found the words, he dug deep, and he is starting to see the monsters for what they are, and to put them in their place, and to finally bring order to his young life.

He says he feels lighter, freer, and has begun to grip the wheel steering his life, and tonight, he smiles at himself, perhaps for the first time.

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