Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not a follower, never again

I don't follow. I try to lead. But if you don't want to follow, well that is OK too.

I don't follow daytime soaps...not any longer. I don't follow sports...never have. I don't follow clothing trends...can't afford to.

I try to stay abreast of world events, only so I know when to duck and cover. I also try to follow the United States, and Minnesota's current events, because when it comes time to vote I want to be able to make an intelligent, well informed decision.

Only twice in my life have I been a follower.

It was the summer between 8th and 9th grades. I followed my friend to the park. Once there she taught me how to smoke. Oh I was so cool. Now 44 years later I wish I had thought for myself and never followed her that fateful day.

The other time I followed, I gave into peer pressure. I was in high school. After years of resisting I finally said yes to getting high with friends. What followed were years of misplaced memories, and drug induced mistakes. I experimented with any kind of drug that was offered. Anything to get high. It took a life threatening situation to get me out of that place.

To get out of that drug place I had to follow my own instincts which by that time were not very clear. I had been at a party with friends one night. That final morning I woke up to find myself sleeping in a room with many people that I did not recognize, not a friend in sight, miles from anywhere I had ever been, broke, dirty, scared witless, and I knew it was my life on the line.

I got out of that house, hitchhiked home, and never saw any of those friends again. I never got high again either.

I learned to only follow myself and to trust only myself. I won't ever lead meself astray.

So no I don't follow.

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