Removing the weight from my body, soul


By Jose Jimenez, Spotlight Editor

When the mother of my child and I split up for good, I used to think the worst.

It was a bad ride, ups and downs, until one day we both went our separate ways.

Looking back now, I believed I was living on hell on Earth.

Everyone goes through their own hardships and tribulations and this I understand now.

I was sitting in a well-furnished room, staring right into the eyes of a complete stranger I had never met.

That awkward silence we have all experienced runs through my mind as I begin to frown. Except this is not your typical relationship. No, this time it is personal. It is fresh and it is just freaking weird because she is my therapist.

Damn, that felt good to get off my shoulders. But now I feel like Tony Soprano looking over my shoulder because there are certain rules to this life.

I was not supposed be successful here at Contra Costa College and getting ready to transfer, but inside that room with my hot-ass therapist is where I found that silver lining.

Before I decided to attend college for the first time back in the summer of 2013, I lost a good job as a mailman, gained 85 pounds and drank all kinds of poison every day. I remember looking at my 4-year-old son at the time and crying every time  I saw him because I had failed him as a father.

They say gangsters do not cry, and if that is the truth then I am realizing that I am no gangster. It is just not me. My stints in the Martinez Juvenile Hall and the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron always felt like gang-banging was the way I was going to live life.

But I told myself that was not me.

My son gave me the strength to move on and get back on track, even after my therapist said things that made it seem as if it were my fault.

In a weird way, talking to a complete stranger helped and it made me realize what was important in life.

It was the little things like enjoying the moment. I don’t need to care about what other people think about me.

Being 5-foot-6 and 250 pounds was not the business, so I remember going for long walks. Walking led to running, and running, I believe, led to me getting an “A” in PE-102A.

A little humor there, but getting fired as a mailman was embarrassing enough. However, it allowed me to find my current job as a dispatch supervisor for UPS, and I am now thriving.

And here at Contra Costa College I received a scholarship, maintained a 3.5 GPA while never dropping a class.

The best part of all though was that I got primary physical custody of my son Anthony.

Full custody? I wish. California has its rules and in time I believe things will change for all the good fathers out there.

But for now I am kicking ass in school and not minding about the single ladies who look at me all weird whenever I enter the classroom because after all, I do not have time for them.

Plus I found a beautiful Virgo along my trails who said she would ride and die with me no matter my current situation, and I can get down with that.

I have a message to all the single parents out there balancing school and life.

The struggle is real, but remember that after every dark night, there is a bright day.