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Second Chances

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Volo, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Volo

    Volo
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    I nearly wrecked my hand while hacking frozen stock out of a pail in January of this year. I was told to be prepared for the worst while it healed and I went through physio. I tried my hand at other lines of work but nothing stuck. Thanks to some advice from friends, and from the good folks here, I kept my chin up and soldiered through physio and made progress, day after day.

    Now I'm back in one piece again. My hand is healed, I'm cleared for work, and I'm back on the hot line with renewed vigor and a smile on my face, ear to ear.

    I got a second chance today. I got to get back into what I love most, and continue on despite a major mistake on my part which nearly smashed that dream to pieces. I thought a lot about it today, and I don't know a whole lot of people that really get that second chance, you know, to pursue their passions, to atone for past transgressions, to simply live without constant shame and constant reprisal. Sometimes when you do something stupid, when you make a serious mistake there's just no turning back. You have to live with that the rest of your life, and deal with the consequences as best you can.

    I dodged a bullet. I'm no longer lost, no longer scared. no longer pissed at myself for what happened. If anything, I have an appreciation for what I do that's far stronger than before my injury. I saw it today, I felt it, and it's already made me a better chef.

    FOCUS: When have you bounced back and been given a second chance? What was it that meant so much to you, that'd you give anything to have it back?

    ALT. FOCUS: What is your passion in life? What drives you each day? Why does it mean so much to you?
     
  2. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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  3. JWags

    JWags
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    Man, this is a topic near to my heart. My freshman year of college I went off to school and quickly got caught up in everything. Not even that I was a big partier/drinker, cause I wasn't initially, I just more fell into the social aspect of dorm life, made a bunch of good friends, really kind of threw myself into reinventing myself after a less than stellar HS experience. Well the other issue was I entered college as a pre-med major, almost as default, cause I didn't really know what I wanted to do and thought being a Psychiatrist was where I wanted to be. So while my friends were taking freshman English, dumb science pre-reqs with athletes, and other easy gen ed classes, I had chemistry, biology, and a pair of labs. You can see where this is going. I finished first semester with a 2.1.
    Second semester, I got tutors for bio and chemistry, but one of them was a bitch who seemed disinterested and the other was great but I was stubborn. I didn't do a ton to change my study habits, and I still never really had my heart in pre-med, and you need to REALLY want it to get results out of it. At the same time, I was watching tv or playing video games on random weeknights instead of studying. I also had pretty bad anxiety at the end of high school in that I would overthink and psych myself out about alot of pressure filled things, which would lead to me more stressing about my grades or performance than, i dont know, actually putting in the work and studying. My attempts to go off medication when starting over at college were probably mistimed. As a result, I got a 1.9 my second semester, namely due to a beast of a chemistry class I struggled mightily in.

    My parents were predictably less than thrilled. Academic probation was anything under a 2.0, so I was dangerously close to the university itself telling me I couldn't come back for a semester. Luckily, my parents made that decision for me. As some of you may remember, that first summer back from college kind of sucks, cause you developed this new and independent life, and while its cool to see friends back home, you can't wait to get back in the fall, move in, and start running shit again. Well my summer was spent on a landscaping crew, waking up at 6 to go to work every morning, with NOTHING at the end of the tunnel. I started continuing education classes at my dad's alma mater in Milwaukee that fall, but since I wasn't enrolled officially, the classes were at a community college downtown, largely filled with CC students. It was humbling and a change to say the least. So I kicked ass that fall, got a 4.0 while living at home, and effectively pitched my parents to head back in the spring.

    Going back was one of the most satisfying experiences in my life to date, and by a stroke of luck, I got a double dorm room to myself next door to the room I was originally supposed to live in. I was out of pre-med, and threw myself into my new coursework and got a 3.8 my first semester back. The rest of the way through college, I figured out time management, and got better grades while still going out twice as much as I did as a freshman. I didn't pull 3.8s the rest of the way, but I was able to graduate comfortably over a 3.0 and was involved in an extracurricular that provided me with my best friends I still live and hang with to this day.

    I had really bad and frustrating struggles professionally when I first came out, and just recently have gotten to a place I'm remotely proud of work wise, but I don't think I would have been able to push on if I hadn't been humbled and knocked down so early in my adult life. Its kind of amusing to see kids I work with who graduated with 3.5s and above from great schools start to break down when work gets hard and they get to the first sign of adversity. I'm not pretending I'm grizzled and sometimes your own struggle is harder than you realize at the time, but I'm a month away from having a masters degree and seeing alot of things change for me professionally, and I know I couldn't have done it without some of the lessons I learned about myself early on.
     
  4. AlmostGaunt

    AlmostGaunt
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    I got arrested for being a fucking idiot when I was 18. (Car parks at popular beaches have cameras watching them, and idiot 18 year olds may lack the self-confidence to stand up to their friends who insist that said car park is a good spot to indulge.) I received a suspended sentence, which gets erased from your record after 5 years if you don't get caught doing anything else in that time period.

    It's almost impossible to imagine my life if they hadn't suspended that sentence. All of my jobs have required police clearances due to working with students. Huge portions of my life have been spent traveling to countries that would never have let me in with that conviction. I wouldn't be renting the place I live in, or have the successful friends I do, if I'd been spending the last few years working as a lawnmower or check out chick instead of in a decent white collar position.

    I learned a lot from that encounter. 'Friends' will attempt to use you to save their own skin. Don't ever put someone in a position where they have to decide between you or them. Police officers are not to be trusted and will threaten to smash your head into a wall to coerce a confession as well as illegally taking your DNA. Defense lawyers are the greatest thing money can buy. Don't be poor. Don't get caught. And if you know something's a bad idea, for the love of God stick to your guns and don't get talked into it. Never made that mistake again.
     
  5. walt

    walt
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    In 2009, fed up with belligerent drunks for bandmates I left the group I helped start after five years. As soon as I did I felt like I lost my third child it meant so much to me. But I had all I could stand and it was the right decision.

    Two years went by and it took me a long time to even want to play music in public. I missed my band terribly but knew there was no place for me in that kind of atmosphere. A friend called and asked me to sit in with her at a cafe gig, nothing formal when lo and behold my friend who was the remaining original member came by. We were asked to play a couple songs together and we did. It was fun, and somehow it provided me some closure. I was finally okay with my decision to leave the band two years prior.

    Not a month later I get a phone call from my buddy. Seems he finally had enough and shitcanned the whole band after one of them destroyed a bar in a alcohol/drug fueled rage. Would I help him out with a gig that week ? Sure. Again I did it and it was fun.

    We had a long talk afterwards and I offered to help him with a few gigs if he wanted. A few nights later he called to ask how serious I was, and did I want to come back on board.

    That was a little over a year ago and we now have put together the best group of musicians the band has had to this point. We are more popular than ever and have a promising future. I told myself I wasn't going to take it for granted and enjoy eacn and every show, not sweat the small stuff but get out there and play each night like it was my last. My skills and showmanship have improved as a result.

    I got a second chance and I am gonna enjoy every minute of it as long as I am able to do it.