As much as I hated my employment with the state juvenile justice system, the events and experiences surrounding that time are memories I admit I still cherish.
The lockdown at which I worked was, simply put, a jail-like facility where delinquent youth were placed for anywhere from six months to a year at a time. It was located deep in the rural center of the state, surrounded by miles of farms and a view of the Appalachian Mountains.
Before I was hired, I remember having to make the three hour drive back and forth a few times to get to the interviews and such. I brought all my CDs and listened to music. I cruised down the highway, which weaved through the country and mountainside. The scenery was simply spectacular. I watched the sky turn from a starry night to a peach-colored sunrise. I had to leave quite early to get to the morning interview.
And after being hired, of course, I had my very first apartment in the tiny, rural town that shall remain nameless. It was so exciting to be in a new place that was so unfamiliar. It felt so far from home, and each day seemed like an adventure. I’m used to the city, and I was living in the country for the first time.
The experience was short-lived, and soon proved to be a terrible and unsustainable situation which I ultimately had to abandon. Despite that reality, I look back on it all now with fondness. My living situation now is drastically different, and far more stable and in-control. But no matter what happens, it will forever be the story of my first attempt at independent adulthood—a young man from the city, learned to be an adult in the country. It’s amazing, the difference in how people live in one versus the other, and how quickly the familiar sights and sounds of home become missed. I never realized how much I would miss the sounds of police or ambulance sirens, busses, the subway, skyscrapers, busy streets, and all the people. I never thought I’d miss it so much. I never realized how accustomed to that I had become! I’m very happy to be back to the comforts of the city.
It was during a weekend getaway at a friend’s beach house by the shore. He had a bunch of friends over for drinking and fun. It was a fun time, but I will never forget. One night, the toilet clogged. And it REALLY clogged. And it started overflowing like out of control. This being right after I used it and did number two. . . so clumps of poop are now flowing out of the toilet bowl and all over the floor. I told my friend what was happeneing. I might as well have been shouting “battle stations!” as I frantically asked him where he kept the mop and bucket.
We searched the house… as the toilet kept flooding…
There was no mop ANYWHERE.
So me and one of the guys decided to go through the neighborhood to seek “help,” asking neighbors if they had a mop we could use. All the houses on the block were beach houses and vacation homes, and we couldn’t find anybody with a mop!
So as I and a couple others frantically are searching through Google maps looking for the nearest convenience store that would be open at that time of night . . . the kid who was throwing this party was in the bathroom on his hands and knees cleaning everything up with paper towels from the kitchen and his bare hands!!!!
SO DISGUSTING!!!! BUT GREAT MEMORY!
September 2011-February 2012. That was a fun job. Going in I had serious doubts… but it turned out to be the best job experience I’ve ever had. I gained such confidence in myself. I wrote a beautiful resignation letter when it was time to leave them. When I gave my two weeks, everyone said their goodbyes. My performance on the job was exemplary. I’ve never left a job on such great terms. While it was entertaining, I’m thankful that I no longer have to do it for a living :-)
It’s officially been 2 years. And look at where I am. I have a lot to be proud of, a lot I have accomplished.
I take no shame in admitting I was banned from my high school graduation, so my college graduation is the only one I’ve ever had and it’s extremely dear to me. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I read the title of this goal. It was one of the greatest days of my life, and remembering it, and the thrill of walking across the stage to accept my bachelors, nearly brings tears to my eyes. Of all the terrible and lackluster experiences I’ve had, I’m glad to be able to acknowledge something that makes me feel very good about myself.