Redefine the Monster to Define Yourself in Today’s Society (Part 2)

Redefine yourself
Hey hey my peoples of this social revolutions. In part 1 of this ultra-important topic, we discussed the ills and woes of the fallout from the wild 80’s and 90’s – the drug epidemic age. How has society changed and how can men/women redefine themselves and produce positively as a member of this milder society?

Regardless of any support or lack of a supportive structure, I got you! Do you want to change or do you think “just one more run in this game”? That’s your first hurdle. If you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, can you afford another five or ten year stretch in prison or are you facing your third strike? Are you a persistent felony offender, facing 25 to life if you catch another case? I know hundreds of young men, old men and women who are never coming home, ever! They would give a limb for the chance you have now. Trust me, I know this can be done! That creativity you showed in your criminal life, that beast mode to survive on dem streets, those accounting skills and those C.E.O. decisions you made in the hood are skills you can still use. You just have to redirect them.

This life ain’t much different. Just rules geared toward everyone, not just the strong and ruthless. You might work with the nerdiest, squarest man you’ve ever met, but now it’s about acceptance and respect for your fellow man.

Concrete solutions; first off, don’t try to solve everything in one day. I am approaching this like you just walked out them doors, in a city that’s not your own and you might not have no family or true friends! Bottom!

First, let me say, you must lose the mentality that someone owes you something or that you’re above and better than your situation. Maybe you are, but the reality is here. You may not be at your ending, but understand where you are in life now. Don’t be ashamed, be realistic. When everything is going wrong, it’s hard to do right, but I’m wit you, LET’S GO! Imma spit facts at you.

Homeless now? You need to remove yourself from that old environment.

• Friends couch –tell them you need 3 months to get right. In that time, you must grind!

• Family – a member that’s NOT in the life. Maybe you need to rebuild the damaged bond. It’s the same principle. You must approach it as business, not family. You need 3 months to get on your feet. They know you, so you must really be on it.

• Homeless shelter – A) hopefully your city has a halfway house or reentry program. B) Local city homeless shelter. I know, plenty of rules, weird folks, sleeping on a mat on the floor, b.s. food and a curfew! But, this is the beginning and you’re going to need sleep, shower access and to take advantage of the counselors that help you find jobs and an apartment. You need this foundation, a mailing address/phone number. Many have had to do it, it’s the other side of the game they don’t tell you about.

• Probation and Parole – are you on paper now? Ahh, I feel for you. Ok, the pressure is on cuz the new thing is just recirculating criminals in and out of the system. The justice system’s version of a re-up.

• Learn your P.O. – what he/she will not stand for. Shit, ask what their pet peeves are. Usually, they will tell you.

• Stay clean and sober – that first couple months that you’re checking in is the test period. Avoid cops and stay clean. You have to build trust with your P.O.

• Gotta stay away from clubs, bars and casinos (for N.W. people). The chance of police contact is high.

• Comply with any groups or classes as part of the judge offered evaluations.

• Get employment! It definitely won’t be easy, depending on your charge. If for some reason, you are a registered sex offender, times that by ten!

• Utilize your local job service (American job center network). They usually have a person whom deals with replacement I.D. and convicted felon employment.

• Never lie on your resume and job applications, but also avoid giving brutal details.

• Make a resume – spend at least an hour. No internet or computer? No problem. Every library has printers and it usually costs $.10 a copy.

• Call back every employer once you’ve applied (either dropped off resume/ job application or online application). You must develop yourself beyond what you look like on paper.

• “Slow Money” – yeah, if you were heavy in the game, but now you value freedom and health, you have to get used to it. If you’ve heard the phrase “all money ain’t good money”, then you know that blood money turns into bail, lawyers or holding your outside family down. It turns into no money or short money. For now, a steady and consistent cash flow is exactly what you need. Have a goal, a dream, a plan. It may be a true for you like many others, a 9 to 5 will never hold my attention long. If probation/parole money is a must, but you’re pursuing bigger goals, then a part time job may be perfect to satisfy all your needs.

• Patience/humility/addictions – lastly, the three ego triggers that land confident, arrogant and quick tempered men/women back in jail. If you have drug or gambling addictions, you must address them first! True life knows the journey is not a race, slow your energy, live life and don’t let it live you! Enjoy the experience, the journey. Your goal is to build on the positive pleasures and learn and grow from the tribulations. You are a part of this society. Never feel alone. Millions have walked this path. It is well worn.

Have you been humbled? Don’t worry, humility is a test of life. The embarrassment of drug users, I think, is the toughest first step in getting help. Finally admitting that yes, that was me for all those years, to your family and friends. Psst, let me tell you something… they’ve been knowing. You were the last one to accept it.

Never let failure hold you from attempting. The failure to try is the only true failure. These are tools to throw in your arsenal of “get right”. If you have any questions or comments, I’m always here for my brothers and sisters. I will always revisit this ever changing topic.

A product of determination – KJS
Probation Felony