November 13, 2014

The more I continue to read books and magazines about finances, annual earnings, the difficulties of preparing for a stable retirement in America, the more I worry about my future. I’ve thrown away so many precious years, so much precious time I wasted on getting high and the thought of it sickens me. Each time I read about people struggling to set a percentage of their annual earnings aside, people that already make a decent salary, or have a manageable combined income, unable maintain or reach their goal, I wonder just how hard it’s going to be for me, a 36 year old felon, with no college education, no car, no home, massive debt, child support for two children, and the list goes on and on. I could write all day about how far behind the curve in life I am, getting more down and depressed with every word I type. At the end of the day I have remind myself that what’s done is done, dwelling on the past will only slow my future down. I thank God every day for giving me back my conscience, for giving me another chance in life to think clearly, rationally, emotionally, with care and concern for myself and the people around me. Before coming to prison the only thing I could worry about was how to stay high, high enough to forget about all the problems my choices in life has created. Sobriety has forced me to face my demons. This cell isolation punishment may be undeserving, but it has certainly been a blessing in disguise, shifting my once semi-stable environment, uncovering unseen realities and forcing me to grow even more. Without taking away from all of the amazing leaps and bounds I’ve made in prison, I would be a fool to say that I wasn’t at least a little complacent. I never stopped working on my goals or preparing for my future, however I did create a sense that life was going to be a breeze, as long as I maintained sobriety and actively worked on my daily goals I assumed that life would be peaches and cream, oblivious to the simple fact that bad things happen to everyone, it’s a part of life that we all need to be prepared for, understanding the importance of how quickly and efficiently we dust ourselves off and get back on the horse. Maybe I got off topic a little bit, but it’s all related. I always knew the reality of my future was going to be filled with financial difficulties; somehow I just took comfort in the thought that if I continue to make good, responsible choices that everything would just fall into place. I do believe this to a degree, but I have to realize and understand that my past has created a very difficult future and I need to be better prepared. Financial stability scares me to death. I wonder if at my age, with nothing to my name but debt, can I ever retire, or will I just have to work until I die?…. More importantly, I want to leave some kind of legacy behind for my children, something other than the memory of a drug addicted father that was never around and now that he’s dead we have to pay for his funeral. There’s no way I can accept that as a possible future for my family. That’s why I know I have to do something big, I have to come up with something that will turn into a huge success and let’s face it, and the odds are not in my favor. I have many dreams and aspirations about what to do with my future, my ideas get bigger and better as time goes by, but I know it’s going to be a major struggle to reach those goals and I need to be ready for all the bumps on the road ahead.

Steven Dybvad

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