“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Addiction doesn’t fit neatly into the first chapters of a success story, yet it plagued much of my early adult life. It’s the kind of thing that gets edited out of an otherwise promising narrative. It’s not what our biggest fans want to see, and it’s not what we want to show them. Even to this day, only one person has heard me define my struggle in unfiltered terms. Perhaps, though, when we find the courage to confront and expose our own imperfections, we can elevate others while also freeing ourselves to turn the page.

I will be grateful for this life. Out of appreciation for previous generations of my family, whose sacrifice and perseverance afforded me a world of opportunity.

I will be open. Out of optimism for anybody who is one kindred spirit away from salvaging a bright future from the shadows of a compromised past.

But above all, I will be present. Out of a deep love for my first child, who – as I write this – is only hours old. His life begins today. I’ll stay in the moment with him for the rest of mine, so we can write our stories together.

— Martin Eston