Reflections by Norman Theriot, June 29, 2012

In looking back at my life, I often find myself wondering, “Where has time gone?” I have lived all of these years, yet it seems that I have accomplished nothing. Where did I go wrong? I have not succeeded, instead it seems that I regressed. I have fallen into the chasm of a broken heart, bridled by dreams that were just that—dreams.

I can remember setting goals in life—some attainable, some unrealistic. Some of these goals I had achieved only to end up throwing away all that I had accomplished. Other goals I gave up on prematurely when I should have trudged on, seeking victory and satisfaction of accomplishment.

I had never really paid attention to the big picture. Instead I have lived for the moment, never giving much thought to where the future might lead. I have taken everything for granted, not realizing that everything could be lost within the blink of an eye. I have come to realize that it is the simple things in life that I miss the most, now that they are no longer available to me. I had failed to realize that even the small things require maintenance or they too will fade away. Things as simple as taking a bath, watching my children/grandchildren playing, butterfly kisses from an ever so innocent child. Sitting on the porch on a cool spring evening, enjoying the sunset, even laying on a grassy knoll on a hot summer night, searching the sky for stars, wondering where the beginning and end of space are.

Now I look at where I am today—locked away for this crime that I have committed, paying my debt to society. But even here life goes on. I have options, with these options I have decisions to make. The decisions I make here will ultimately dictate the life I lead once I am released from these walls of concrete and steel. This old adage is so true: “The choices one makes today will dictate the life one lives tomorrow.” I can sit here and feel sorry for myself and allow myself to fall into all of the things that are detrimental to me regaining my freedom, or I can choose to change the way I think and act.

Even in prison one has options, there are the various programs that I can take part in—education, cognitive interventions, etc. Knowledge equates to power and is mandatory for success in the world outside these walls. I can work hard to not add to the grim statistics on recidivism, I do not have to be part of those statistics if I choose not to be.

I have control over my life. I realize that not all is lost. Today is the day for change. Tomorrow may be too late. New beginnings must not be put off. Procrastination leads to failure, which I can no longer endure. I am not designed to live in a cage, so now I strive to overcome, to succeed where others have failed. To break the chains that have for so long held me back in life. It is up to me to take the first step down the long road to change. I must incorporate the tools needed to change the direction of my life and be what the Creator meant for me to be. I now realize that there is hope for me, no matter how dismal the situation may seem. No matter what the circumstances, I can overcome if only I think before I act.

It is true that life is what we make of it. With this in mind, I strive to live life to the fullest, to enjoy what I have and to seek space and happiness in all that I do.