Do you ever think about those moments you are sure saved your life?
It was May of 2005, I was a year into my Television Broadcasting education. Something I had hoped to do since I was a child. All I wanted ever was to create things, to help make something bigger than myself. I wasn't bright, I wasn't exceptional, I didn't excel physically or academically, but God was I creative. And no matter what shit I got from others about not being adequate, I knew wholeheartedly that I could be something.
But at 19 you forget where your priorities lie. You often forget your dreams. At 19 you’re not sure about your life or your path, but you are always sure about the boy. So after a fight with your mother you drop out of your almost completed program, work full time at a burger place and move in with your boyfriends white trash family while you stop speaking to yours.
I remember walking the boyfriend's golden retriever one afternoon after I had completed my 4 hour shift at a $300 a week job when I spotted my mother and little brother riding their bikes. I tried to plan an escape route I couldn't. There I was face to face with my family, the family I had left.
It was an awkward and angry conversation, one to this day I try not to think about. When it does cross my mind I know that this encounter was what pushed me out of a path I would never have escaped, a path and a life that I later saw approaching.
I might not have been a smart teenager, but at least I did this before the beatings began. At least I was able to get out of his family's home, reconcile with mine and enrol in another program, complete my education. I got a job and made a life outside of him. I sometimes think about this. What if I hadn't? What if I was not educated or didn't have a job outside of that $300 a week burger place, what if I didn't talk to my family now. I wouldn't be out.
I am fortunate in so many things, not only did I get a second chance, I had the means to support myself, I had no children, minimal shared property and a family to go home to. I have great people in my life.
I know this isn't the case for everyone, some days I don't feel right writing this blog about a situation that could have been so much worse, that is so much worse for so many other people. People without means to leave or with families to think about. I know as much as my situation sucked, there is worse.