The title is a play on words.  I’m at the end of this journey and at a half way house.

The word that most accurately describes leaving prison for me is OVERWHELMING (yes, with all caps). From wearing the same colored t-shirt and having the same food options day after day, week after week, for 4.5 years to a seemingly endless number of choices outside of prison is a lot to take in.

I was given a pass from the halfway house to visit Walmart to buy a few things. Chad and Sadie accompanied me and if it wasn’t for them I would have had an anxiety attack. Of coarse Walmart gave me anxiety before I went to Prison too 🙂

As I was leaving the camp in Victorville, CA my best friend said to me, “Portia, I want to be the first person to congratulate you, you’re leaving prison an amazing person.” That was such a special moment for me.

We shared tears and I thought about a moment 4.5 years ago when I set a goal to leave prison an amazing person. The miracle is that I found out we’re all amazing people.

As Chad and I drove away from the compound many of the women came running out and cheered and waved as we left. It was surreal and a  moment that I won’t ever forget. Leaving Prison with my amazing husband saying goodbye to my sisters and friends.

I am staying at a halfway house in Utah right now and will be able to visit with my family and start to venture out occasionally over the next month. I’m taking it slow and hope to be home in October.

I’m looking forward to what comes next. I have aspirations but no concrete plans. I know that I will live a purposeful life, placing my faith and family above all else and I expect that once I get acclimated to this free world stuff, I’ll find a way to get back into a prison and this time I won’t be spending the night 🙂 I love the women there.

The love and gratitude that I feel for my family and all of you who have shown us so much love and kindness is enormous.

May God bless you and please remember my beautiful sisters that are still in federal prison in your prayers.