On New Year’s Day, I was in a jail cell working on a paper about “Starting Over.”

What a good New Year resolution it would be to start over with my life, and such a coincidental time to write this paper! I feel very good about this new year, starting with a fresh start in changing my life to get out of jail and not come back, which is known here as “recidivism.”

The Cumberland County Jail has helped me prepare for a new chapter in my life. I’m taking classes such as Creative Writing.

I am using the class to vent and focus on positive productive habits to relieve trauma and depression. I have also completed a parenting class that was based off the book “Connection Parenting” by Pam Leo, a local author I have had a chance to meet. I learned a lot about parenting.

This class has helped me with my personal goal to be a better father to my 4-year-old daughter, who has autism. Another class that I took is an actual college credit class teaching OSHA certification. Now certified, I will be able to use my certification for skilled labor jobs in the construction field.

This year is a new year and a new start for me and also for so many people in all view of life. My advice is to look at life in a positive way to achieve your goals, take advantage of the resources around you, and keep on keeping on!

Life is all about learning and growing to become the person you want to be and are destined to be. No matter what circumstance you are in, everyone has a chance to make dreams come true. One thing is for certain: Change and goals began when you actively start achieving, and the time is now! Also another thing to remember is ultimately you are in charge of your own self feelings – whether you succeed or fail is all in how you perceive it.

Let’s have a good year!

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