Tag: disappointment

A new job, some alright friends, and a couple tough days

Well – what’s been going on with me for the past 2 and a half months? The usual I guess. It’s hard to describe in a way, what your mind goes through when you get home from prison. But I will try to let you know what this next part of the journey has been like so far.

At first, that first day when Texas Department of Corrections let me out their front door and I saw my mom sitting there waiting for me, it was pretty strange driving away. As the prison became just a bad memory in the rear view mirror, it didn’t seem real, and I felt a little freaked out. My mom had brought me my own clothes and my boots and my hat. It felt good putting them on, but it didn’t even feel normal any more.

The ride was good, it was a beautiful day with the sun shining, and in just a couple hours I was home. Getting to see my dog was great, I picked that big guy right up off the ground and we had a big slobber fest. My wish was to have some good pizza, so we went to the pizza place and then that night we had a campfire outside and I played my harmonica and my guitar. It was good.

I suppose anyone that has been locked up will tell you freedom never tastes as sweet as it does that first day. It’s almost like you are experiencing everything for the first time. There is a down side thought – it’s almost too much… and within a couple of days things start to feel normal and it is almost a disappointment or a let down sort of feeling. I guess in your mind you have this illusion about coming home, and being free. And really, life is full of ups and downs and ordinary moments, whether you are locked up or not.

S0… fast forward another couple months. What am I up to now? I got a job, a good one with a new high end restaurant in town. I got on with them before they even opened and worked on a lot of different things to help them, painting, installing the kitchen equipment, working on the chimney, stocking the place, moving in furniture, all kinds of stuff. Now they are open, and I am just starting to learn to cook. I am learning to cook all kinds of food, some I have never even tried before, and I am going to learn to bake pastry and bread as well. I already got one raise, and they seem to like me pretty well. I am always on time and I work hard, so they ought to like me. They also don’t judge me. This is a pretty small town and before I got this job I went to like, 40 places and wasn’t getting anywhere. But at this place, the owners aren’t from here, and the tattoos all over me or my history isn’t so important to them as it might be for some people. There are a couple other people working there now too, and they are all pretty cool. No doubt, this is a very good opportunity for a guy who was locked up by TDC just a couple of months ago. I could be doing a lot worse in the employment world.

I should be pretty happy with my job right? Well, it’s still called work for a reason, and at some point you wake up and don’t feel like washing dishes or sauteing mushrooms or lugging a bunch of wine down to the basement. But you have to, and you do it. I see that a big part of learning to live right out here and staying out of trouble is accepting that you have to work and just be part of the big machine like everyone else.

Other stuff has been hard to. I can’t sit here and tell you it’s all been easy and fun because it hasn’t. I have struggled some with it. I have times when I just want to be crazy and go wild. I have days when I am down, and I just want to lay in bed and sleep. I get lonely. I have met some people, some are probably good for me and some are for sure bad for me. I am trying hard to make good choices but I don’t always succeed. I think I am doing good, but sometimes the next 2 years on parole feel like an eternity, and some days I wonder if it’s all worth it. I am still pretty broke and I don’t have much to show for myself yet. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to notice the progress although I know that it’s there. As far as parole, that seems to be going OK, but I can’t say I feel my parole officer really cares all that much, she is just doing her job. That’s cool, I imagine it’s a pretty sucky job overall. She is probably just happy I am employed and not causing her trouble.

So, like everyone in the world, I have some good days and some bad. What I can say is this – I can wake up and look at myself and know I have choices today. I can choose to walk out the door or not, and I can choose to go to work or not, things I couldn’t do just a few months ago. I going to try to keep my attitude positive, and try to post on here a little more often.

Peace out people ~ TM

Life in prison – settling into the everyday routine

So this is the real part of being in prison. It’s not the being scared of the unknown or the fear of losing freedom. It’s the knowing that you aren’t going anywhere, day after day after day. It’s being bored and stuck and trying to make the best of  the bad result of your own bad decisions.

After getting through intake, I was put into General Population and I thought I might be staying there, but I was moved again to another facility. The new place is much farther from home too, so I won’t be getting many visits. That is a disappointment. At the new unit, I was first put into “Ag Seg”. This is short for Aggravated Segregation and they put everyone new there at first while they figure out where they should be placed. At first I thought to myself, “so this is solitary…”

The first day in Ag Seg wasn’t so bad, after all, I hadn’t had any privacy in awhile. But then I realized just how quickly I could lose track of time and run out of things to think and do. I had one book to read that I was rationing. I was scared if I finished it I would be with nothing to do at all. The guards in that area played their radios, and I could hear it. It was nice to hear music but sometimes the songs made me really sad. My room was small, I had a bed and a toilet, basically. Not much else. The light was a little dim so reading and writing were tough on my eyes after a while. I thought I might be there a day or two, and I prepared myself to wait it out, but in total I ended up being there for over a week.

Finally, I was moved to General Population. My dorm area is smaller here than it was in my last unit, so it feels a little more crowded, but there is work out equipment in the rec yard here, so that is an improvement. There are 2 televisions, but they are controlled by a group in here so we watch what they want to watch. Also, the tables are controlled too, so I have to write sitting on my bunk, which isn’t as easy. Other than that, I haven’t had many issues. It is a little more intense than at my last place, and people are more segregated by race here. I hate that part but it’s just the way it is here. It’s not really a choice.

I have been assigned a job doing yard work cutting grass but there isn’t any right now, so I have a lot of time to myself. I exercise every day, doing 1000 pushups, 500 situps and running and other routines daily. I play dominoes and watch tv, read and write. I am waiting to get into some classes.

It’s so strange finding myself living this life and more strange that it is starting to feel… normal, in a way, to have this same routine every day. I get a few letters and look forward to mail time, it’s definitely a highlight to get mail. What I see ahead of me is a lot of boredom and time to pass. I can see how it would be easy to fall into what others have said, and just let this time go by without doing work on myself while I am here. I have to find a way to focus on keeping my mind set on improving myself and getting my discipline in place for when this is behind me.

Now that the unknown of intake and getting to my unit is behind me, it feels like a waiting game. I have my people I hang out with and I have my routine down. I could give a bunch of details about the days here but most of it isn’t really that great and it would feel more like complaining. I feel I am sitting back for a minute and seeing what is next, and how I choose to make the most of this place I am locked up in. Anyways, if anyone has some comments or suggestions as to how to stay on the up side, I will be happy to hear them.

Till next time ~ Peace, Love and Noodles