Untangling the web

Norman, Atere

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Untangling The Web My life was structured around deceit. The things that I believed were normal to do weren’t at all accepted by society as a norm in the cosmic scheme of things. I watched women be abused; thieves perfect their craft; gangs have a popular influence in my environment; misinformation in the school system and the lack of knowledge being taught, as well as, the lack of love being spread. Growing up I didn’t have a mentor or a guide to assist me in my righteous endeavors, so I had to learn the ‘hard way’. I tried various ways, of course, but in the end every avenue brought me to the realization that life as I knew it was built on a web of lies and a web of deceit. Webs that, since I wasn’t an arachnid, I couldn’t possibly unravel without the proper understanding of what I was really dealing with. Throughout my life I experienced a lot of failure, heartbreak, unluckiness, and a lot of other words that are synonymous to negative results. But as I continued through my journey I was able to form some type of idea about how and why my experiences were becoming of a “cosmic loser”. I didn’t know about drive and motivation and how essential these components were if I were to live a productive life. I didn’t know that patience was another form of peace, or that with knowledge I could possess the of sort of power I do now. All of these things were not the type of things people in my community demonstrated as things that were right. In all honesty they didn’t demonstrate these things in any form. To release me from the trauma of my past I had to own up to the things I partook in as I got older and had to have accountability for those actions. Since I wasn’t the type to do things the easy way I quickly spiraled down this pattern that led to more damage before it brought to refurbishment. One day while sitting in prison I finally asked myself, “Is this all you want to be? A known criminal from Tacoma that doesn’t have any claim to anything in life except being a gang member?” Once I faced the cold hard truth of that question and dealt with the feelings that came with it I was able to observe myself from a different angle. Realizing that I needed to become knowledgeable of who I am was a pivotal moment in my life. It forced me to focus on what I was experiencing and it brought me clarity about my nature. I didn’t have the need to fit in, nor did I want to find approval from those around me. I only wanted approval from the one person that mattered which was myself. I tapped in to that subconscious voice that was always telling me to do better and that I was better than where I domiciled. didn’t have need to blame my environment anymore, I owned it. I turned the negatives into positives and created the type of energy that others longed for. A man name Mike came up to me one day in 2018 while I was fighting my case(s) in Pierce County Jail and said “I see the light of God in you, don’t lose that brightness you have by being involved in this dull environment”. When he told me those words I was perplexed by the intense calmness that washed over me. Aside from that I was surprised that the aura I transmitted into my environment was able to be felt by others. I finally knew I was untangling the web.

Author: Norman, Atere

Author Location: Washington

Date: 2021

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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