……..I made a lot of money, true, but for most of my time inside bars, I spent more than I earned
……..I often worked the equivalent of two weeks in a single week and lost track of family and close friends in the process because I started feeling like my ‘sentence’ was more important than my relationships. Sadly, I thought they would understand why I wasn’t around as much; and some of them did understand, but it didn’t feel good—it just didn’t feel right. We can’t just brush off our friends and family. And I’m not going to anymore.
…….I ‘had’ to take my unpaid lunch break between 12 and 2, which at most time constituted a sandwich and a bag of crisps eaten at my desk, whilst people around me continued to talk to me about work…
…….I often woke up at what felt like the crack of dawn, Monday through to Friday, from week to week. I was ‘working at the yard’ completing useless documentation day in day out which in my opinion didn’t do anything to better the customer experience
…….I realised that even though everyone was serving the same ‘sentence’ as me, everyone had a different way of making the time go quicker, some would spend a whole day doing a piece of work that should have really have taken them only an hour, others would go on long coffee breaks, whilst the rest of the in mates would be ‘stuck’ there actually making sure the work was done. I unfortunately was part of the latter. How stupid, right!
…….even though I don’t drink I felt obliged to go to after work drinks with colleagues, where the same stories would be told again and again. If I was seen not to be in attendance, I wasn’t regarded as ‘cool’ enough or ‘social’ enough and dare I say it, it could even possibly impact how you were rated.
……I was at the mercy of one person i.e. if I lost my job what would I do for money? The JUDGE could reduce or shorten my sentence? I don’t like it when one person can make or break me.
About four months ago, I made a decision that would change the rest of my life: I decided to live. That choice didn’t come easy. I had to descend to the deepest, darkest place I’ve ever been in order to see light.
I escaped from Alcatraz.
But what I’ve come to fully appreciate all these years later after I got released, is that the real prison had been inside of me. The walls were made of fear, and I was the master brick-layer. A prison where I played all the roles: inmate, guard and parole officer. I firmly believe there are no scarier prisons than the ones we build around ourselves – self-imposed fortresses created to protect us from the outside world when, in reality, they simply keep us from getting out.
It took getting imprisoned in the ‘physical sense’ for me to realise what I had done to myself in the metaphysical sense.
Looking for advice. Are you living inside your own prison? Do you know someone who is? Well, I don’t have all the answers. But what I do have is my commitment to add value whenever I can. Please share your story in the comments if you feel so compelled – or share my story with others, if you think it could be helpful to them.
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