I began using drugs at about 14 years of age, and I remember exactly why I did it. It was because I wanted to fit in with a certain girl. I suppose the root of my biggest problems was that I wanted to fit in. I was never very good in my social interactions while I was young. As long as I can remember I always wanted to be liked by “the cool kids”. So, in that moment while I was offered my first drug by a girl whom I wanted to impress, I gladly accepted as if it were nothing new to me. While I used, social interactions were easier, and then all of a sudden, I fit in with a whole group of people.

I see this behavior today, everywhere I turn. It’s unfortunate to notice when other people go out of their way to look and act differently for different people, because I had spent so much of my life doing that very same thing. It’s the reason why it took me until I was 31 to finally grow up. It is the underlying reason why I committed my crime. I wish I felt then, what I feel now, that it’s “cool” to not be cool. That being happy in our own skin, with all of our oddest flaws, and all of our awkward behaviors is what’s really impressive. I love seeing that attribute in people. I think other people do as well. That’s what I should have strived to be as the younger version of myself. Happy in my awkwardness.