This I Believe

Danny - Youngsville, North Carolina
Entered on December 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe:

Imagine waking up in prison with so much pain filled within your heart that you only have two words in your head- “I believe”. That is how I felt one day four years ago. I am serving an eighteen-year prison term for a problem that every community has: drugs. Since my incarceration, I have grown to believe in my very own belief creed. Other than God, my belief creed consists of no pain, no turning back, and no failing.

I believe in no pain simply because the next man’s pain is greater than mine. I came to this conclusion when I told a friend about how much time I got in prison. It went like this. I said, “I got 18 years in prison and I get out in 2019.” He responded, “I got 40 years and I get out in 2039.” I replied, “Well I lost everything,” and he said, “I lost everything 15 years ago.” It was that day when I learned that my pain wasn’t as bad as his, and I have a better chance at regaining my life than him. From that moment on, I started to believe in no pain, and once I lost everything, I had everything to gain.

I believe that there is no turning back. So many times, I have asked myself “why would my loved ones turn their backs on me?” My only conclusion lies in my past drug addiction. This addiction played a major role in the destruction of the bonds I still hold with the people I care about. I wasn’t in the right state of mind when I used drugs. The drugs made me act out against my family and loved ones. In contrast, if my problem was drugs then what are their excuses for turning their backs on me when they are sober? With backs turned, I was forced to move forward. It didn’t take long for me to understand that in order for me to move forward, I would need to quit looking back. For the few people who are in my life and who never turned their backs-thanks, and I love you. With your support, I will never turn back.

I believe in no failing. When I studied financial planning, I learned of ways to increase the value of a person’s retirement portfolio. I learned that the basic fundamentals of success entail planning and executing. My daily agenda consists of learning the most complicated financial aspects of business and personal finance. My plan is for me to be the best in the business. I will execute this plan by studying every single day until my release. To me, life is a competition and I am here to win. I know what I am up against. Moreover, how can I fail when I am focused, determined, and stronger? I will plan and execute my future.

In so many ways, I am glad that it has taken prison for me to grow into realization. On the same token, I am completely sad about all of the people who have turned their backs on me. With my belief creed, I can move on with my life, and I will enjoy my life regardless of which side of the fence I stand upon. I will do my time, and I will never go through life thinking that I am the only person suffering. When I do make my journey out of prison, and I am walking down the block, please know that I don’t need a gun or drugs; I just need a ride to work so I can buy my own car.