Over a year ago I got caught on the side of the highway in Northern Central PA at around 1:30 AM with weed and was also charged with a DUI; along with multiple other charges. It was a regretful night. I’m sitting in my chair thinking about this incident and how it affected my life so far and all I generally feel regret for my actions as well as forgiveness and acceptance.
I forgave myself for this small mistake after my last job rejection once my background report came back. It was a website company similar to WordPress located in West Chester, PA and I was offered the job, but once the background results came back I was informed that the company operated under a drug-free environment and somehow my record indicated I would indeed compromise this regulation. So, being that I’m broker than broke and living with my Mother, sister, and her 1.5-year-old daughter, I naturally retreated into a light depression. It was ugly and painful and a consequence of my action. But it gets better.
Over the course of the court dates and deciding how to deal with this issue, I began googling celebrities and people with criminal records. It turns out Kevin Hart, the comedy mogul, has also gotten a DUI and was once jailed for his heinous actions. I also learned that Charlamagne the God, host of the hit radio show The Breakfast Club, has felonies on his record from his younger wilding out days. Luckily for me, I have no felonies, just ungraded misdemeanors…I guess. Generally, it made me feel a little better to know that it’s possible to still be successful even with an arrest record, albeit it’s more of a challenge. Currently, I have no choice but to accept this challenge and be the victor.
Seeing how various celebrities have overcome obstacles like these and getting inspiration from the internet about how life isn’t about what happens to you, but how you react, I began the process of guilt, acceptance, forgiveness, and recovery. Recovery (not from weed, but from the general circumstances of the consequences of my arrest) is not an overnight process. It takes patience, positivity, and discipline. Which I have in abundance. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll make a full and complete recovery to my highest self. I don’t let my mistakes define me. Some potential employers may, but I choose to be great despite my less than perfect past. My mindset will bring favorable conditions as long I put in the effort.
It’s currently February 22, 2018, and I haven’t had a documented job since I worked in the bakery at Giant in May of 2017. Giant is a grocery store close to home. I was too proud to work somewhere like that being a college educated man. I thought that I could take a leap of faith and go somewhere else, and get hired relatively quickly. But it didn’t turn out that way. The only work I found was getting paid $10/hour under the table splitting wood for a guy I found on Craigslist. It was pleasing to have the opportunity to work, even though it was exhausting. That’s called counting your blessings and not your problems. Even though my problems are currently outnumbering my blessings tenfold. Lately, I’ve been working hard to find a job, any job, to stay afloat and overcome these circumstances. I count the blessing of being offered another office job even though I was eventually rejected from it and keep pushing to become my greatest version.
Employment troubles have also led me to entrepreneurial interests. I like video games and I’ve spent a lot of thinking about flipping games and consoles. Maybe the trick is to buy low and sell high. Entrepreneurial skills are certainly a plus. This has led me to read books like The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad, etc. But entrepreneurship skills aren’t gained by reading books alone, they’re gained from practical experience. Actually marketing and selling the items will sharpen your skills. I’ve spent hours on eBay, craigslist, and Facebook markets looking for great deals for PS4s, Nintendo 3ds’s (which I recently bought on eBay for a SUPERB deal), Nintendo 64s, Wii Us, and even PS3s with some accompanying games for each system. While job hunting is relatively unsuccessful it has led me to pursue entrepreneurial interests in something I have always loved to do, and it is yet another reason I believe that things happen for a reason.
Occasionally I still feel bad about the fact I have a criminal record, but then I immediately redirect my attention towards positivity. Because moping around and feeling sorry for myself won’t do any good. It is what it is and I have to move on. If you or someone you know is experiencing anything similar to this please understand that you are greater than the worst mistake you’ve ever made and don’t give up on yourself because of a mistake you made. Believe in yourself no matter what and get stronger. Then, before you know it, you’ll be better than ever and you’ll look back on that bad experience and laugh.