freedom

on wednesday, august 9, my colleague and i drove about 40 minutes south of our office to deliver a rousing “How to Write Your Resume In Two Easy Steps!” to a group of soon-to-be-released inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution. We are asked to do this service about twice a year by the Education Coordinator at the prison and if we’re being completely honest here, it’s one of my favorite programs we do at all. It’s a challenge on my end to try to keep the information at the level of the guys attending the presentation, and have to include information on how to create an email address, since some guys have been in there more than 20 years and not familiar with something that seems so second nature to everyone else. Then we tailor the mock resumes to fit jobs they will be suited for once they exit prison: waiter, cook, driver, foreman, etc. 

With this particular session, there was a sort of breakthrough with our second group. You know that feeling when a conversation is going so well and both sides are equally vulnerable and engaged that you forget to look at the clock? That’s what this second session felt like. I felt completely at ease in a room with 8 men committed of federal-level crimes. How interesting is that?

Every time I go there, it’s impossible not to think about how lucky I am to have my freedom. To be able to go outside and enjoy the sun, the beach, my friends, a grocery store. small every day blessings. feeling inspired, a few hours later, i marched into my supervisor’s office and handed her my resignation letter. effective on friday, sept. 8, i will no longer work for the university department where i have spent the last two and a half years. in a way, less severe but maybe symbolic, i also kicked down the door to ensure my own freedom. 

this decision first crossed my mind last summer, when i was entertaining interviews with different companies. one company seemed particularly promising, but alas, it was not in the cards. i changed my mindset, i tried to focus on new goals, even if i had to stay at my same job. i was determined to find motivation again. and yet…nothing. boredom. lackluster performance. by the end of this spring semester, my mind was made up. i had to leave. but i wasn’t sure what would be the best step forward. (this caused significant friction in my relationship with my favorite ex. he is determined and disciplined and it bothered him to see me oscillate from one radical decision to another. our break-up helped me to realize—shit. he’s right. i gotta make a decision one way or another. thanks, you! he doesn’t read this. still, putting it in the universe ✨)  anyways, i listened to my heart. i evaluated my life, my experiences, and for the first time in a long time, spoke my passion into existence. i love intelligence. i do. and i’m going to quit my job, finish my master’s program full-time and find an internship in my field. the kind of work my spirit was meant to do, or ELSE. once i made my decision, there was no going back. and i felt good about it. scared, but good. august 9 was set in my mind for a long time. and as tends to happen with time, it arrived. i felt inspired by our connection with prisoners to walk in there and face my future. am i ruining my life by walking away from free tuition, a stable job, healthcare?! maybe. but i had to try. 

today i feel relieved and at the same time, nervous. i have been spoiled in the sense that everything i’ve ever wanted (professionally) has worked out for me. i’m hoping this will be the same. i’m ready to bow my head, work my ass off and move forward. to make sense of my freedom and succeed in living my best life. here i go! 🤞🏾

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