This post is spinoff of Nostalgia. I mention a straight arrow guy who now is in the marijuana business in Colorado, where pot is legal.
I called him Juan, not his real name. When I first met him, I felt as if he was a male version of myself. We were both a bit socially awkward and shy. Of course back then in my college student days I would never labeled myself as socially awkward. Our parents expected us to travel a narrow path. No room for errors. Juan had much to compete against.
Juan was the youngest of five. There was maybe 15 years between Juan and his older siblings. They’d graduated college. One was a dentist, another a doctor. So starting college, he knew he’d better aim high. In addition to getting a degree, he was in ROTC while in college, and after graduating became an officer in the military.
People can hit bottom at any time in their lives. Just like many of my friends, Juan successfully transitioned from college life to adult life. While my friends seemed to be having the time of their lives I was spinning my wheels, struggling to stay afloat. I’d dropped out of college, was officially diagnosed with depression. My parents would disown me for this or that. It seems surreal now to think about it. I would crawl myself out of the black hole and rebuild my life.
As I saw my friends, Juan, and my sister successfully navigate their lives, it didn’t occur to me that they would have their own versions of hitting bottom later. I knew I wasn’t the only person to hit a speedbump in their young adult lives.
Hitting bottom….people often think of alcoholism when they hear that term. My sister and other people I knew would blow up their lives in that way in their thirties and forties.
I never would have expected Juan to hit bottom. He would have been the last person on the list of one thousand to mess up his life. Juan and I went on a few dates. There was a spark there but it was never there at the same time. Plus we were socially awkward and new in the world of dating. Except for the fact that he was Presbyterian and not Catholic, he was as close to the perfect boy to my parents as I could possibly get.
Juan married a beautiful, smart woman. I didn’t think much about him until years later. I’d heard that he blew up his life, gotten kicked out of the military and was divorced. Later I heard he was in the marijuana industry and remarried. I saw some pics of him with his wife online. He looks happy and appears to have rebuilt his life again. It is a different path from where he started, I’m sure.
He’d be the last person I’d expect to be involved with marijuana, who knew. Marijuana is not for me, in that regard I am a nerdy straight arrow. If it works for him though, great.
As I’ve written about before, my sister has battled alcoholism for a long time. What makes some people struggle at the bottom, and others rebuild their lives . I wish I knew the answer.