Podcast Recording: Orange is the New Me
What an interesting experience, the celebration of birth. I just celebrated mine yesterday. One year older, another year of life’s experiences packed under your belt, a year of love, family, friends and cherished relationships. A year defined by what? Success, failures, victories and defeats? You probably have your share of both if you are living close enough to the edge. If not, it’s time to push limits.
Post large events in m life I try and sit down with a notebook and stream of conscious journal to see what arises. Where does my mind drift and where is it pushed by new events playing out in this life. Today was a fascinating reflection on my evolution and past experiences.
Testing boundaries is a quality I have always owned, firmly printed into my DNA. From a young age I was know as an instigator, a tormenting older brother, and someone often found getting into “trouble.” I never acted out with malicious intent…I just liked (still do) to push boundaries. Were you the child who never liked the idea of a straight line, sitting quietly with your hands folded awaiting instruction, or listening until told to speak? My mind was racing behind those eyes and as a result I was not a stranger to in school suspension, detention, and jail.
What? “Frederick…you have been arrested?”
I have been arrested for theft, Driving while intoxicated, obstruction of government administration, public urination, and disorderly conduction. 90% of these were in college where I truly took the concept of “pushing boundaries” to a new limit. I served over 80 hours of community service. I ‘d like to say I paid 3,000$ in lawyer fees and fines but my father did. I spent two nights in a public holding facility and hung out in the back of a cop car handcuffed a total of 4 instances.
Again, I maintain there was never an instance of malicious intent behind my offenses, but I was breaking the law. The majority of those public service hours coming form a night I decided to run away from the police when they asked me to stop and discuss the alcohol I was carrying. It’s true. This is not a good boundary to test. When you run away from a police officer they will chase you. Did endless hours of grand theft auto erase the consequence factor here? I had one-hour prior, purchased a 30 pack of beer with which I planned to split and drink with my friends and some beautiful ladies. However, I was 20 and legally should not have been walking around with the fore mentioned beverages of choice. When confronted…my immediate thought was “maintain the plans I had with friends, ladies, and fermented liquids,” so I ran. In my head I was committed to preserving the fun night I had dreamed of. In 5 minutes my choice to dash resulted in a foot chase through sorority homes, over fences, and through back yards of Brockport with 5 police officers in tail. Yes, this is true and there are a number of witnesses who can corroborate the pursuit through a prominent Brockport sorority home. To the ASA’s, I am sorry for using your living room as a staging event for COPS. You can imagine how this ended.
I landed my DWI in the middle of my parents divorce when I was also 20 years old. I was acting out and at the time I happened to be stopped for a missing front license plate, I had 3 drinks. Unfortunately one was an emptied Schlitz Malt Liquor 40oz. in the back seat of my car. Regardless of my intoxication limit, I received the automatic offense cause I was under 21. I also refused a Breathalyzer Test. This is another bad idea most lawyers will tell you. I argued in the moment I had the right to die for my country and should also be allowed to drink. Valid. But policy is not fought on the front lines or in the back of an inebriation van. Also the officers were doing their job and not the makers of the policy they were enforcing, so what anger could I hold towards them? “Kill no the messenger.”
The majority of the other offenses were noise violations, throwing nosie violating parties and the genetic design of a small bladder…that forced me to pee in public, often. To my defense:
- It was in a bush.
- The additional uric acid to the plants base soil was beneficial.
- It is very natural to pee in nature
- Even with opposable thumbs I’m still an animal
None of the facts I presented are excuses; I’m just trying to place some context around the events.
Whether bingeing Orange is the New Black inspired this trip down memory lane or my recent birthday, I do have a few points to make. I have some takeaways from my time in opposition with the law.
Number one: People can change. Or I guess they can be refined. I still hold a majority of the qualities of my youth and I am very much the same person. I still challenge authority. I question most things people deliver as “truth “followed with “that’s the way it is.” I just choose to challenge in a different way. I accept the reality of the situation. I surrender to life’s unfair nature but it does not mean I resign to it. When there is policy, or rules I don’t agree with I do everything in my power to navigate them with grace of poise. I have done this with my many thousands of dollars in medical bills over the last 8 years and have stayed out of debt. I apply this to people telling me “NO” in the business of theater. At the end end of the day if people don’t want to hear YOUR song, and you HAVE to sing it, find a new stage. If I believe in a truth, I fight for it in the audition room. I constantly challenge the relationships in my life and I’m always looking for deeper connection and truth.
Number Two: I am grateful beyond words that I made it out of my youth alive. I often include this in my affirmations and gratitude lists. The invincibility factor inherently programed into the mind of a teen is dangerous. It is the way of life. I also know that I am well aware of my “white privilege.” Had I not been white, blonde haired, blue eyes, and great teeth (healthy self image) I can guarantee that list of previously named offenses would have been dealt with very differently in the predominantly Caucasian neighborhoods where I grew up. This is an unfortunately truth and we need to continue to change this.
The Change: Today your actionable event is to examine your life, your upbringing and simply be aware of where and how this has played into your past. Here have you benefited from your skin color? Your nationality? Your family? In some way we all have. If you are reading this in the United States your citizenship has brought you great benefit compared to other countries. Judge less and hold compassion and understanding for the people placed down by the system and the man. Writing this down in journal will place these truths in the forefront of your mind and helps to break the pattern of disillusionment. Life is too short to wait for a wakeup call….wake yourself up! It’s magical.
Number Three: Government is a racket. There are so many laws in place, which are not for your protection but the profit of the business system we exists under. Off the top of my head… the speed at which our country is racing to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes now that we see how much Colorado has placed in the bank. Or did people wake up and realize that it’s just an herb and less destructive than alcohol? No. It’s a business.
The Change: What can I do? I have started writing my local congressman every time something sparks my interest. Be it in gun control, health care or civil rights. It’s proactive and positive habit forming behavior. I promise this will yield more results than your Facebook rant. Also, today please, before the next mass shooting.
Here is the easiest link to find all your representatives. If we all did this today the world would shift. Start with you.
Number Four: I could have saved myself much pain and suffering had I held a practice of meditation in my arsenal. You do not have to learn all lessons the hard way. The biggest takeaway for me has been this self-written affirmation.
“There is a moment I have between stimulus and response. You have breath between action and reaction. Meditation tones that reactionary gap. This is your power. This is your power to save the world. This is your power to change the planet. In this breath, in this split second of awareness you are divine.”
The change: it’s never too late to pick up a mindfulness practice. Breathing makes you better. Here is a great place to start with books, information and 10 free meditation tracks, all of the highest caliber.
As always this is Freddie Set go. Thank you for listening. I appreciate the ability to share and pay forward the information, inspired thoughts, and love I have inside me with the world. Technology is incredible. My responsibility as a survivor has and will continue to be: Live the best life possible and openly communicate this journey with my fellow humans. Before you leave your dwelling in the morning. Soften the eyes, the relax the browns and raise the inside of your mouth to an inner smile. Start every day with the benevolent witnessing to the magical world of which you are a very big part of the puzzle.