Yesterday had an interesting twist. Some of you might remember a few months ago, I encountered a young man on a plane trip to Columbus, Ohio named Eric. To refresh your memory, and bring the new reader up to speed, Eric was a 19 year old male, with a life that was basically a mess. He's left Ohio to come to Florida to start a new life, living with his grandparents, who supplied him a job and a place to live. His final fling in Ohio turned out to produce a pregnant young woman that had called him to alert him he was going to be a father. So Eric, showing signs of promise, decided to return to Ohio and abandon his new life in Florida, to be there for his newly created family. With no job, no hope of opportunity, and no education, he jumped on a plane with everything he owned and decided to be responsible for his actions, (taking personal responsibility if you will). Well we parted at the airport after a long discussion on the plane, with him promising to attend a TEAM open meeting, and exchanging phone numbers so we could keep in touch. That was months ago....
Yesterday Eric called out of the blue. His mother to be had miscarried, he'd cheated on her and the relationship broke up, he'd lost a good job as a lineman, and he was basically back in the same hopeless situation as when we met, minus one pregnancy. The highlight is Eric did complete his GED during this process. Eric also has another redeeming quality, he's open, honest, and truthful, something I find refreshing. Disappointingly, he continues to make the same mistakes over and over. Lesson repeated until lesson is learned, as I told him yesterday. It seems every time this man child has a glimmer of hope, his thought process offers him decisions he chooses to act upon to ruin it.
So we talked. We decided he needs to mend his relationship with his grandparents in Florida, because they are so very unhappy with this young man. Family first! He needs to find a job, any job! He needs to get into the productive loop, and start saving money for hard times. Then we addressed this infidelity issue. Eric, in his search for acceptance and love, is jumping from bed to bed, finding neither. He's leaving a path of broken relationships behind him, and not satisfying his need. Time for him to practice a little, (okay a lot), of delayed gratification, throw in a dose of growing up, and develop a relationship and commitment prior to jumping head first into bed. As we decided together, this behavior isn't satisfying anyone.
Will Eric overcome the obstacles he keeps tripping himself up with? Hard to say. The quote I read on Facebook this morning comes to mind. "A word to the wise isn't necessary, it's the stupid that need the advice!"- Bill Cosby Eric promised to keep in touch, I'm not really sure why he called, but my guess is he reached a level of desperation and frustration and was reaching out to anyone. Eric is an unusual bird, he accepts responsibility for his actions, yet he continues to make the same mistakes. I'm thinking the pain of change has to be less than the pain of staying the same before he learns the lesson.