For years I have wanted to start a journal. Along with that journal, I wanted to write down past memories that should have been written down. I am going to start my journal right here. My first entry is "How I started and stopped cussing."
When I was a kid (between 8-13) I would use the @$$hole word when ever someone make me really mad. I can only remember about three times in those early years screaming that. Well, I truly started cussing about my freshmen year in high school. I had a good friend ,who went to church with me, that started to drop a few words here and there. I was shocked at first to hear him say such things, but then it became common place and others in my group of friends started as well. I felt out of place because I had restrained from participating in the practice of using the f-bomb as a noun, adverb, verb, pronoun, or adjective.
If I was to join them, I would start slowly with the @$$ word. I remember the night I finally joined the ranks of my friends. I was at the Mann theater in Rancho Bernardo with my friend Steve, a girl named Beth (the cow), and I think Derek. I decided that my entry into the cussing club would be the word "Horse's @$$." I loved the way it sounded. I looked for the right opportunity to say it. My heart was saying, "Don't say that word, you don't cuss." While my mind wanted to conform to the whims of friends. With much fear and reluctance, I finally made up a sentence to say so I could take the dive. When I finally said my sentence, which was said with such reluctance, I felt like a different person. A feeling of -stucking it to the man- came over me. I don't think any one notice I had said anything, but to me and me alone I had just stepped into the world of bad-@$$es.
I now thought I was cool. From that point to the end of my junior year, I would drop it down with the best of them. My second favorite phrase was, "I don't gave a flying f$#%," yet to this day my favorite is, "It smells like @$$ in here." That one cracks me up. I would have my friends say it just to make me laugh. Also, one of my current favorites is when the B-word is added to the end of a sentence like, "Its dodge ball time...B#&$h."
About January of 1996 I got a call from my sister who was attending Berkeley. She asked me if I wanted to live with here for the summer and help pay for rent. She is only two years older then me, so it wasn't going to be a cushy trip. I was going to have to take care of myself. Before I moved out there, I had a moving spiritual experience at youth conference which made me evaluate myself and my standing with God. For the first time I started to put some real effort into cleaning up my language. I have to admit it was hard.
For months before my trip, I was cutting back, but I still drop the bad words around. The thing that really got me to stop was my sister. Not because of any specific thing she did, but because of whom she was to me. I had a lot of respect for her. The last thing I wanted to do was to lose her respect because of the way I spoke. So once I move up to Berkeley I stopped using bad words. I didn't have the pressure of thinking I needed to cuss because my friends were not around. I also had the fear of losing my sister's respect. I lived there from early June to a few weeks into August. I came home with chopped off hair (I had long hair when I moved up) and a clean mouth. I attribute my recovery from bad-@$$ land to my sister. I doubt she even knows.