The beginning…

Everything in life has a beginning. Everything in and of this world was and is generated and started from something; so, this blog has been erected from one persons experiences in life. Press play on the song below and read on!

The Decemberists-A Beginning Song

First off, let me introduce myself…My name is Tank Thomas and due to certain circumstance this is not my real name, but the identity I have chosen. I am currently 34 years old and have been incarcerated for the last five and a half years. Now, I am not a convict who walks around and blames the system for my circumstances; On the contrary, I am the sole reason for my current situation.

I grew up in an ideal home by traditional 1960’s standards, both parents were in the home. They’ve been married for 40 years now and were educators in the public school system. I also have a sibling, a sister four years younger. We were provided with everything we needed and we were disciplined when warranted. The status quo in the house was earn a high school diploma and then a college degree. NOTHING less was acceptable and both my sister and I successfully met those expectations; but, as both our parents have masters degrees we have fallen short of our set examples. My sister failed to launch and I fell to statistics. In both of our cases neither substance abuse nor a rebellious attitude played a roll in this failure. The root cause in my sisters case may be that she’s a little spoiled, but for me, my fall is the result of an error in judgement. Our parents are absolved from any wrong doing as they did everything they could to give us the ideal upbringing, and even with the numerous opportunities I was presented with, here I sit.

I thought I knew enough about people to pass my own judgement about them. Boy, was I wrong! If I haven’t learned anything else in these past five and a half years, I’ve come to that realization and acknowledged that I truly didn’t know myself. I never understood my full capabilities emotionally, intellectually, or physically. All of which have been tested over the years before, but mostly recently during my incarceration. To my surprise I’ve found that I am strong, resilient and best of all patient. In my ignorance I thought everyone housed these character traits. I just figured some people practice them and some don’t, but after 34 years on this planet I now know people who have possibly and probably never been shown how to exercise these traits properly.  Much like trying to do anything in life such as algebra, sports, playing music, or even riding a bike, if no one has shown you how, then how will you know what to do? You then have to take into account the learning curve; some people are quick learners, others need to pay a little extra attention, and some just refuse to ever break free of their self destructive behavior. The key to my patience is being able to identify the things that are in my immediate control. I have learned not to get stressed out over things I have no say so in or power of influence over. I feel if people could do that rationally they would stress less about certain situations 70% of the time. Being able to keep your emotions in check while making decisions will give you another 15%. The last thing is maintaining control over the things you have direct control over. In simpler terms, keep control of yourself. The only one that can make you do anything, is you. If you steel your mind, no provocation can push you to do something you don’t want too. Real life is a constant mental battle, and if you want the upper hand, it will start with self-awareness. After that begins fortification of the mind. Your days will become easier to navigate and your quality of life will dramatically improve. By no means is this a cure all, but it is definitely a good beginning.

Until next time remember to put yourself FIRST when someone tries to get you to do something you don’t want to do. You just might surprise yourself by your own strength.

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