Before you quit: ch. 3

Today’s the day!! April 25, 2019! Three years a free man. It’s amazing how life turns out. So today has been pretty interesting. I started my day in Cortez, Colorado. Drove down to Albuquerque, New Mexico and now I’m in Texas. These past few days have been incredible. I drove through the Rockies, saw the beautiful plateaus in Utah, ran over a prairie dog my pup playboy ate a grass hopper.

In my defense the prairie dog jumped in front of the tire. We weren’t even on the same side of the road. In all honesty I think he just wanted to go. Maybe he had holes in different area codes? Lol. Maybe he couldn’t find the hole? Hahaha. Ok ok I’m done. Geez.

It’s really just the beginning of a lot more to come for me. It’s definitely been a wild and rocky ride so far. Fortunately I have amazing people in my corner that keep patching me up and sending me back into the fight.

Sometimes I feel like Rocky and life is the Russian!

It always seems so much easier in hindsight. It isn’t always easy. Most of the time if you’re chasing something worth having it never is. People aren’t always going to cheer you on either. I remember one time when I was still “tucked” away in prison. This lady guard saw me reading, walked up to me and said: “I don’t get how come you inmates spend so much time reading and studying? When y’all get out y’all aren’t going to do anything with it. Y’all are always just going to be inmates.” And she walked away.

I didn’t say anything. I did what I usually do when I hear something I don’t entirely agree with or when I cross paths with someone who isn’t at peace with life. I smiled and gave a nod.

Truth is a lot of guards give us crap. We’re put down constantly. Harassed. Tested. On top of knowing we made a mistake. On top of knowing we hurt the people who love us and who we love most. On top of knowing we let ourselves down. On top of being away from home and family. On top of horrible living conditions. Sharing a steel warehouse with 49 other inmates. Not everyone has the mental fortitude to go through all that shit and still smile everyday. Still wish people a good day.

I’ve really done my best to not hold any resentment. Mainly because everything I’ve experienced in life has taught me something. Everything has been a lesson. I remember everything I’ve been through. Everything I saw and heard as an “inmate.” I use it as fuel for my fire. To show that not every person who comes out of prison is a piece of shit, we’re not garbage. For anyone reading this who has ever been put down, who has ever made a mistake and most of all who has ever been to prison. That shit doesn’t define you. How you shake back from it does! The best thing we can do to make a difference isn’t get mad. It isn’t protesting outside of prisons or in the streets. It’s protesting without having to use words. Let your success be your protest. Let your character be your protest. Let the shock that people feel when they find out you’ve been in prison and say “I would have never guessed” be your protest. Be the difference.

April 25, 2016. The big day.

Up until the last minute we were getting instructions. “Be sure to report within 24 hours or a blue warrant will be issued for your arrest.” “Don’t stop anywhere on your way home if you’re on this monitor or a blue warrant will be issued for your arrest.”

“Geez, not necessarily setting us up for success here”, I thought.

It didn’t matter. In a few more minutes I would be done with this place for good. I changed out of my dirty prison clothes and changed into the equivalent civilian clothes. It smelled just like the prison uniform lol. Whatever. Just on the other side of these walls my family was waiting for me–with my suit and a pack of smokes.

Aaah the smell of the air on the other side of the prison walls just felt fresher. (If fresher was a word.)

There they were. My family.I hugged them while still in disbelief that I was actually free. I kept looking at the prison and it was surreal. Just a few minutes ago I was on the other side.

It was that easy. Just step through the door and your life changes. A few feet of concrete is all that separates these two worlds. It’s amazing how in just minutes you can go from being a prisoner to being a free man. And at the same time in just a few minutes we can go from being free men to being prisoners.

The next chapter…

Positive vibes for positive minds

Author: Alfred

Sometimes a student, sometimes a teacher always an observer--of life. I am just a man on a mission to make a difference in someone's life like a difference was made in mine. Paying it forward. positive vibes for positive minds. I post weekly. 😃

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