Goodbye Waseca – Hello Victorville

I lived in Minnesota, at the Waseca FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) for over 2 and a half years. I had a lot of good experiences there and met some amazing people, but I never left the institution. We were locked inside other than the time we spent in the rec yard; we were isolated from the outside world. I’ve asked Chad to post a few pictures I had taken right before I left Waseca. Kristina Beller is one of my dearest friends, and we made a deal before I left Waseca that we will always stay in touch.

Kristina has a beautiful spirit and touched everyone she came in contact with. I hope someday I will have the honor of standing next to her when she shares her story with others who are suffering. Nicole Delage and I laughed together constantly, we cried together quite a bit too. She’s a smart talented woman, and I have a lot of love for her. There’s a long list of women and staff members that touched my life at Waseca, those experiences are deeply planted in my heart.

I was excited when I left Minnesota, but it was overwhelming to walk into an airport after almost 4 years. When I got to California I asked a taxi driver if he would drive me to the prison, and he seemed a bit apprehensive. He asked me if I was going inside the prison, and I told him:

“Yes, that’s where I live right now.”

Then he asked: “Why do you have to live in a prison, you seem like a really nice person.”

I told him why, and he asked me if it was scary living in a prison? I told him: “It was at first, but living in a prison isn’t like what you see on TV. There’s a lot of really good people in prison, and the ones that look scary are usually big kids at heart. Most of them were more scared of me than I was of them.” He laughed and said: “you don’t seem very scary.” I told him: “I’m a lot scarier than I look:)”

When he dropped me off he gave me his number and said: “Please call me and let me know how you’re doing when you get out of prison, and call anytime if you need a ride.” I smiled and walked into the Victorville prison camp. The staff member that checked me in told me I seemed really happy to be in prison. I told her it didn’t feel like a prison to me:)

I love being in California! I haven’t had a visit with my family yet, but I’m hoping that will be approved soon, and they will able to come to visit in April. It takes a while to get settled in a new prison, it’s an adjustment. I found a job I like, and have a great roommate; my Father in Heaven always takes care of the details:) We have a lot of freedom here, there isn’t a fence, and every day I leave the prison to go to work. I’ve run into several women from Dublin, and it’s been fun to get reacquainted.

My friend Macy was transferred here from Waseca a month before I was and having a friend here who knows me so well helps a lot. I met with a caseworker a few weeks ago, and she set a halfway house date for me for May 9th; it’s in the process of being approved by the halfway house in Utah right now. If everything works out I will be back in Utah in less than 3 months! It feels surreal to finally be coming home. I’m excited to start a new adventure and will be checking in with all of you on my blog from time to time. Thank you all for following along:)