I joined the military in an effort to better myself. This was the purpose of the entire endeavor; protecting this amazing country, and free education were just cherries on top of this level-up sundae. I thought I could force myself to become a better person by leaving it all in the hands of the US military, and while they had very capable hands, I failed.
I found out the hard way that I can't just force myself to change by voluntarily dropping into a boiling pot. I found that putting myself in a crucible doesn't guarantee that I come out a stronger, better man; there is a possibility for failure. It's sad, but it's the truth, and I guess the experience and the lesson are now permanently carved in my bones. I at least can thank the US Navy for making me realize that among other things that I learned from basic training.
Now, it's a few weeks later, and I have a grant to go to community college. I have a place to stay with my family. I possibly have a part-time job, and I get to live this American life. Despite this failure, despite the grave that I started digging for myself, life continues to ask me to keep on living. Funnily enough I found a notebook with some of my journal entries and poetry written in it, and I found this old little passage I wrote on a train before I even thought about joining the Navy.
Thoughts on the Midnight Train #1
"Beauty. I live for beauty. This world holds so much beauty, it's something I keep forgetting, but it is the truth: I have reason to live. I don't wish for death, I do not. I have, for too long, surrounded myself with darkness. I never fought the poison. I let it consume me because I was small and weak... But no more! I am alive! I am strong! It will not be a swift or easy undertaking, but I will claim this life as my own. I will live, if not for me, for this beautiful world that deserves to be recognized, and deserves to be preserved. I do not wish for death. Not anymore."