April 15, 2014

Day 47 at FCI Petersburg

So, sitting in bed the other night, I was thinking. My life in 1998 (2 years after college), until July 3, 2013, the day of my arraignment in some ways was a facade. I had access to any ticket I wanted. I gave them out like water. I bought a bar to give out drinks to everyone and gave everyone access to everything. When I got into a fight with people, I did not even care because I was so arrogant, that I knew that the person would be my friend because they needed me for access.  None of this was done out of generosity. It was all selfish. It was all for me. I bought friendships.

Sitting in bed, I realized that other than my core friends, I had a lot less friends than I thought I had. Growing up through college my friends were my friends. They wanted nothing from me, just a loyal friendship. I had a lot of friends then that liked me for what I was and not what they could get from me. It was real and felt real. What I morphed into was empty friendships. It’s not like a lot of people left me when this happened. I’m surprised they didn’t, but I realize now how shallow these friendships were.

Furthermore, as I have said in previous posts, I have taken for granted to a degree my family and the love we share.  I have always been madly in love with them, but sometimes didn’t have the best way of showing it. I had a bad habit of putting friends ahead of them. It wasn’t conscious, but I guess I figured, I had my family and didn’t need to impress them, but I did need to impress my friends.

These are some of the thoughts that come to me as I serve this prison term. Rather that pretend that these problems of my past did not exist, I am trying to take action to improve. It is not easy to admit to my mistakes or flaws that have corrupted my character. But to improve I must recognize who I was and then work to become better. Writing about the past helps me do that.

Andy Rothenberg


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