Just sitting here in room 3107 listening to the songs that shape my life. Songs that tell a story. Today my hat is off to a music man name Jamey Johnson.
About three years ago I was walking the track at Gulf Correctional Institute when a song came across the radio that struck me to the core. The song was High Cost of Living by Mr. Johnson. The song goes on to say it ain’t nothing like the cost of getting high. He speaks of all the life drugs rob you of. I remember hearing the song and immediately I was in a re-run of my life. There I was, walking a track in one of Florida’s hardest prisons. Lost in thought about what my drug use had taken from me.
Well…a few years have gone by and they don’t play that song much on the radio no more. So when I went down to download new songs to my MP3, I punched in a request for High Cost of Living.
Sitting here now, I have a change of perspective. Last time I heard the song I was one foot in prison, one foot still in the free world. Today, I’m both feet in sobriety. I have a whole new appreciation for these lyrics. Instead of crying over what I lost, I can smile at the chance I have to get I all back. And I’m well on my way.
My very next music choice was a little number by Mr. Jimmy Buffet….A Pirate Looks at 40. I smile as I tap my foot thinking to myself I too am a pirate born in the wrong year. Instead of sailing the seas in search of treasure, I was digging to the bottom of a cereal box to find it. I was raised eating Pop Rocks and french rolling my pants. Back when a pack of smokes rolled up in your t-shirt sleeve was the cool look.
These days kids run around in skinny jeans, wearing their sneakers in neon colors. They have no idea was “french roll” is….and if you have a youngster sporting skinny jeans and a shag hair cut….that’s the new rebel. Just smile…there’s a whole lot worse stuff he could be into. Look where my two feet are planted. Be happy your youngster has two feet on a skateboard. Keep him that way.
My daughter is on her way to being 16. She’s 15 and a half now. I figure I’ll throw that in since kids seem to want you to recognize that extra few months of life. She’s not smoking cigarettes behind the skating rink like I was. She has her butt in a church pew instead. She gets good grades in school and is the best thing I ever did with my 33 years of life. She has my talent to make art and she makes me proud. One day I hope to make her proud as well.
I have a past history of addiction and miles of mistakes and poor choices. Still…I sort through it all and make the best of it. What’s your past look like?
My friend told me the other day she married the wrong man. Yet she has two beautiful children to show for that mess.
Even on a cloudy day we know the sun is up there. Somewhere…trying to shine through. Learning to see life through eyes filled with love is priceless.
A special thanks to Jamey Johnson and Mr. Jimmy Buffett for letting the sun shine through my clouds. As always, a special thanks to my lady, my daughter, my mother and all my sisters….the women who stand beside me. My hats off to you all.