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This embarrassment was blessing in disguise

In life everyone makes mistakes, it's a proven fact. Some are little mistakes, like forgetting to take out the garbage, or losing something. But some mistakes stick with you throughout your lifetime.

Two years ago today (on Sept. 27), I made one of the biggest mistakes thus far. Now I'm not proud of this moment in my life, but I also like to take the lesson out of it, which is why I'm sharing it publicly.

It all started the first week of my freshman year, and things had been going particularly bad for me already. I was new to the high school, and that classic high school drama was peaking already. Kids spread rumors and drag things out of proportion, and next thing you know your best friend through middle school never talks to you again.

The drama was sparked over a get-together we had at a friend's house at the end of the summer (which consisted of eight 14-year-olds with a house to themselves). The kid's parents were out of town for the weekend, and we decided it would be a good idea to go joyriding.

In the long run, my best friend's parents ended up finding out, and because of rumors, I ended up receiving the blame, and our friendship ended.

I was in a lonely, depressed state at that point in time, my whole group of friends turned on me, and ended up encouraging my "former" best friend to fight me in the park, which still to this day remains the only fight I've ever been in.

Now to Sept. 26, 2009. The fact the majority of my "old" friends hated me, mixed with other depression and anxiety problems left me in a pretty big slump.

The 26th was a Monday, and an acquaintance (not a close friend) invited me with him to drink after school, and I went.

We each ended up with a 40-ounce bottle of Natural Ice beer, which did a number on me, but was also my first experience with alcohol at all, and (other than the puking) I liked it.

That frame of mind lasted me one day. The next day I went with the same kid to do the same thing, but this time things were different. We went to some guy's house (whom I didn't know at all) and we had three of the 40-ounce bottles instead.

We were both comically drunk (we were 14 years old) which had to have been an absolutely ridiculous sight to see. We ended up stumbling in to Stop N Go, where a parent of a girl in my grade recognized us and called the cops.

My friend lived only a block away, but my instincts told me to head home (which turned out to be right. Unfortunately, I didn't learn that until after it was too late).

As we approached his yard, he got a text from his mom that said "get home, the cops are looking for you," which I stupidly ignored just because my friend said "that's her excuse to get me home for dinner."

We walked in, and before we could turn around there was a police officer in the front yard. The officer breathalyzed him first, which came up at .16, Mine, which came last, ended up at .067, and we both received minors (and my friend ended up getting sent away).

At the time, I was extremely embarrassed about the minor, but as I grew up I realized it was really a blessing in disguise. I was young, but it was only my second time drinking, and because of that there hasn't been a third time.

Jonah Bowe is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.