Hole in My Life
Hole by Jack Gantos: Gantos Growing Up
The book, Hole in My Life tells the story of a young man’s growing up. The author, Jack Gantos, always wanted to be a writer and this book gives us a chance to follow him as he took a long way around to get to his goal. When he was a young boy his father always tried to show him who was a criminal and characteristics they had. Even though his dad tried to educate him a little it looks like his mother was not present in his life and that led to his making mistakes. The memoir tells of a hole in this young man’s life; a whole that got him in a lot of trouble. Gantos made the mistake of selling drugs; he sold it to get an education. Two of the factors that led to Gantos’ poor decision making are his independence and his lack of parental authority.
While growing up, Gantos did not have a lot of parental support. The little support Gantos received came from his father. When Gantos was a young boy his dad always tried to educate him. Gantos’ dad always showed Gantos the characteristics of a criminal: “…. He tried to warm me about going their direction,” (Gantos 5). However, he never notice that his son was going to become a criminal. The criminal was always in front of his eyes, but he never perceived it. His dad always tried to protect him from becoming a criminal, and once Gantos ended in jail he felt like he failed to his son: “I blame myself…., he mentioned,” (Gantos 149). Gantos’ dad was important in Gantos’ life; he always supported Gantos. Although Gantos’ father was important for him, it looks like his mother was not because he barely talks about her in two occasions.
Gantos’ dad tried to be there in his son’s life, but the mother was the missing key in Gantos’ life. Gantos says very little about his mother, and every time someone said something about her he changed the subject. When Gantos was in the court and his dad was talking to him about how worried his mother was, Gantos switched topic and started talking about something else instead. Also, while he was in jail, The Federal Correctional Institution, he tried to talk to his psychologist, Mr. Akers, because his reports were not very helpful. Mr. Akers asked about his mother and he said, “she’s is totally supportive, she’s wonderful,” (Gantos 182), but Mr. Akers did not believe him and he saw that Gantos was not telling the truth. Gantos also knew he was not being honest and he noticed when Mr. Akers was not happy about it: “he had seen right through me,” (Gantos 183). This shows us that Gantos’ mother did not have an impact in his life, also it looks like he does not want to know about her and she was not important. In life mother are the ones that always support and teach their children the good and the bad, that’s what Gantos was missing. Gantos independence was due to the lack of parental support.
Independence was really important in someone’s life. Gantos was young; he always tried to be very independent from his parent. Gantos always worked, had his own car and even had a fake id. His independence led him to make many poor decisions. Gantos’ biggest and first mistake was that he never finished the eleven grade; instead, he went to Puerto Rico. He always did what his friends wanted him to do, however, he always knew that they were not real friends. Trusting Tim was another of Gantos’ mistakes; he thought Tim was a good and responsible guy. Gantos made many mistakes; he wanted an education.
Gantos always wanted things to be his way and education was very prestigious for him. Gantos’ car was his independence and he decided not to go to the university because they would not allow his car on campus for the first two years. Gantos always put his education first; he wanted to become a writer. He went to St. Croix thinking he was going to find something to write about, but he could not find anything because of the situation of the island at that moment. He realized that education is the key for everything and he wanted to go to college, and also get out of St. Croix. He believed that the only way he was going to college was if he would work and pay it himself, “…the best way to predict a future is to create it,” (Gantos 45). Gantos was willing to do everything in order to receive an education.
Gantos was very naïve and he never thought well before doing something. Gantos met Rick and Hamilton; they offered him a job to working for them. When they offered him the job, transporting the hash to New York, Gantos never thought about the consequences it would have; he only thought about the money, “all I heard was ten thousand dollars cash,” (Gantos 45). He was so desperate to go to college that he only wanted to do it, to get his money, pay for college, and become a writer. Gantos was not a very brave guy because while they were on the trip from St. Croix to New York and when they were delivering the hash he was always afraid. When the police caught Hamilton, Gantos tried to escape and he made it. Even though he tried to escape; Gantos end up turning himself in. He never realized that it could get him to jail, “never thought dope would lead to trouble and certainly no idea it would lead my ass to jail,” (Gantos 58), but jail was where Gantos realized that the best thing to write about was his life and his experiences.
Gantos was very independent, but had lack of parental support and made a lot of poor decisions. He grew up with his father showing him what he should and should not do, however, it look like his mother was never present on Gantos’ life. Education was Gantos’ motivation and key for success; he made some poor decisions to get money and for his education. He always wanted to become a writer, but never found anything interesting to write about, until he got in jail and realized that best thing to write about was his life and his experiences. Gantos was a guy really independent from his parent, but he always depended on society.
The Void in My Life
As of late I have been feeling an immense hole in my life. My life journey feels as if it is nothing than a jumbled-up mess of confusion, heartbreak, betrayal, and lies. So with a life full of loss, like any normal college student would do, I joined the pity-party bandwagon and felt sorry for myself. In my destined to roam the earth alone and useless state I was positive there was nothing that would ever change my dreary outlook on life. I read a few books, prayed like crazy, talked to my parents, and even broke-down and sought advice from my crazy teenage sisters, but nothing changed. Alas a light glimmered though the dark mood I was in, and there was a sliver lining of hope on the distant horizon. That light was Waldorf very own Pastor Char.
I not going to lie to you (and I don think pastor Char will be opposed to me telling the truth) -I went to her in desperation. I don know what it is about the pastor title, but I guess you just assume that they will instantly make everything better. Alas my assumptions failed me, Pastor Char did not have an answer to all the problems consuming my life or magic prayer that cured everything ailing me, but she did have a good dose of something that I think a lot of people need-honesty. I know it sounds crazy, but Pastor Char does not know everything.
Fortunately she does have great insight, and I as I have found that I am not the only one in a bit of a faith struggle I have decided to share what I found with you. Bad advice is still advice, so take it for what it is and enjoy my pearls of knowledge (with a little help form Pastor Char).There are several times when the Bible talks about God sending people into the wilderness for some sort of faith journey. As I understand it, some poor lost soul wanders into the woods to find a new relationship with God, and wham bam thank you Ma’am, theyre healed. I read a bunch of these wilderness journey stories and, well to be honest I thought they were crap- I know I am in dangerous territory at a Christian college, but no worries my skeptic friendsI will vindicate my harsh accusations. My problem lies in the journey, or lack there of. I know that going outside and getting a good dose of fresh air can help you to appreciate the wonders of God creation, but it does absolutely nothing for me.
It is selfish, but I know I am not the only one who wants fast results when I ask for help from someone as all-powerful as God. In my need for a fast fix I am drawn to a wilderness-journey that you may find more non-traditional. We all know about Jonah, and the time he spent in the belly of a wale for disobeying God, but there is more to the story than what you may have heard in Sunday school. When you look at Jonah from a more human view, he is living the simple life. It would be easy to walk in his shoes; wake up in the morning and poof there is your day, a message from God is in your lap, complete with driving directions and a place to spend the night, talk about benefitsI wish I could find a work-study like that. This wonderful life however was destined end, and Jonah was faced with a challenge, God asked him to go to Nineveh- a place full of the wicked people you can imagine. Much like any earth bound sinner of today, Jonah ran away from what he was afraid of “change. This is where I (and Pastor Char) come in to the picture. Like Jonah I have been running from my life, not necissarly from the change, but lack there of.
Struggling to find a place in life, or even to understand my life- I developed a severe case tunnel vision. Focusing on only the bad and what I thought was the endless road of struggle, I didn allow myself to be the open minded optimistic I protest to be. In a few nights of harsh realizations, some long walks at Pilot Knob and a few very patient and understanding friends, I came to a decision. Maybe Gods plan for me is to not have a plan. In not telling me directly what to do, he is allowing me time to figure myself out, to define some of the jaded images that were clouding my heart.With my newfound appreciation for being blissfully lost, I determined it is okay to struggle. It is all right to be unsure of your future. Not knowing the exact coordinates of your journey is not a hindrance, but part of the adventure of life. It is okay to enjoy the chaos surrounding you, and even to be comfortable with the indecision that is presented to you. Relish the freedom that God gives you and enjoy your journey of self-discovery.