Inspired By One Man
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Being inspired by someone isn’t always life changing. It might only last a week or a day.
If someone has a profound impact on your life, it’s something to share.
There was a period in my life when I was off the rails. I felt like I had no stability in life. Nobody to look to for safety. I come from a broken home. Don’t get me wrong my Mum is the light of my life and she worked her ass off to free us from the environment we called home. But for me is was too late.
I’m not a person that blames anybody for my mistakes.
We make our own choices. But there are reasons. Not excuses. Just Reasons. We are molded by certain experiences and sometimes we do stupid things.
The choices aren’t always in front of us.
Sometimes we don’t see the fork in the road and we stay on a self destructive path.
I ended up a bit of a street kid for a while. I had a home and some housemates at the age of 16, but I had been trying to find myself in all of the wrong places.
Things became so bad I knew I was set on a path of destruction but I didn’t know where else to go. Some of the local kids like myself ended up at the Police Community Youth Centre in (otherwise known in the states as YMCA for my USA Readers).
I won’t name the Sergeant who ran the show but he changed my life. He has NO idea because I fixed myself up and moved away by the time I turned 19. I did go back to see him almost 7 years later but his amazingly beautiful wife who also helped me had passed away. He had moved on or retired.
He used to stop me in my tracks and talk to me. He cared about all of the kids that came in but he didn’t show the same regard for every single one. I guess he saw I had potential and my problems were far more complex than just being a troublesome brat for the sake of it. He’s the only other male I’d ever had a chance to talk about my father with who has struggled with alcoholism for as long as I remember and to be honest I needed a male role model in my life.
Some kids can get away with it. Maybe not having a father at all would have been better. But my father was in and out of my life like a yo-yo. For the first time in my life, I actually recognized that I needed an adult male in my life to tell me to pull my head in and give me something to do.
Sergeant asked me would I please play a major role in an art project he had been struggling to get people involved in which was aimed at tackling Graffiti and improving areas in the community like coastal toilet blocks and playground walls. I reluctantly agreed and in hindsight, I can see he knew the more time I spent there the better I became.
I started gaining weight and drinking less. I didn’t take drugs anymore.
Having a strong role model in my life made me question what I wanted to do with my life. I went back to school for a few months. Unfortunately, old friends were also on the same course and I strayed slightly but I knew that sergeant would be disappointed in me if he caught me on the streets. Suddenly I was accountable. A feeling new to me.
Then an unexpected lifeline came along. My mother called me and announced she was moving state. She knew she had to get her children (I still had a sister living with her) out of a situation back then and into a better life. I asked her if I could come. I could hear the hesitation in her voice because I’m sure she was concerned that my hiatus from being a complete asshole teenager was a temporary one.
No, it wasn’t. I had been officially inspired to change my life by one person. Not a celebrity. Not the Dalai Lama (although he is a cool dude). Just a local police officer who wanted to make a difference.
I’m a mother of three kids now and I can only hope they have the same facilities if they get into trouble. Mistakes have still been made along the line but mainly it’s been standing by for too long while others do the wrong thing or hurt me.
I think without Sergeant inspiring me I would be the type of girl who stays in those situations forever.
I owe him thanks and possibly my life xo