Often when new inmates arrive here a few of them have found my blog while researching what to expect.  If there was one thing I could say to someone preparing to come here it would be this: “This is your chance!” This is your opportunity to do a few things right every single day that will change everything. You will have the time to study and read the best books. You can take an inventory of your life, and decide who you really want to be. Maybe what happened to you wasn’t fair; but you can make the best of it anyway. You are responsible for who you become, no one can stop you from becoming an amazing person. You can be brave enough to walk through the pain that you will face, and be humble enough to accept things as they are. If you do a few simple things right every day, your whole life will change.” Prison is a great time to get an education. Every day I have women come in to me at work and ask for an application to apply for college aid when they get out of prison. I give them the form, but I want to tell them that they can educate themselves now. There is no better time than now! College is great, but education is free, and it starts right now. The books you read matter, what you put into your mind is important! If you read a good book for 30 minutes a day, and walk for 30 minutes a day your life will change. There is power in time, and time is something we have plenty of in prison. I haven’t been able to find a quick fix to any of my problems that lasts, but doing the right thing day after day is changing my life. You don’t have to do it all at once; slow and steady wins the race.

Being in prison is painful; it’s probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done. Being separated from my family is a pain that I can’t begin to describe. The grief and loss I feel at times is overwhelming! I have been struggling lately; I’ve been plagued with feelings of self doubt, fear, and insecurity. I talked to my friend Macy about my feelings yesterday, and she said: “I love you Portia. You’re such a beautiful person, and have such a beautiful family, so it’s hard to imagine you struggling.” She prayed with me, and told me she would meet me every night to talk until I feel better. My roommate Sonia has been supportive, she lets me cry, and she’s very calm and kind. My heart has been more tender than it usually is, and I find myself crying a lot, which is awkward at times, because it’s so hard to get away from others in prison. My heart aches for my children all the time, and I feel lonely. I decided to write a blog post because I really need the support. I need to ask you for your prayers; I have faith that this will pass; but I can’t do it alone.

I also want to thank my friend Lisa Bearson and her daughter Sage for coming to visit me over the 4th of July. It was such a gift to spend time with them. They brought a friend of theirs named Celeste, and I really enjoyed getting to know her too. Lisa is one of the best people I know, she is generous, kind, and a lot of fun to be around. She is also one of the busiest people I know, so I really appreciate her willingness to visit. When our visit was over Lisa asked me: “Do you have anything important you want to tell people back home, or anything you want to tell me?” I told her: “I just love you Lisa, and I want you to know that.” We had a great visit, and her daughter Sage was such a light to my heart. I believe I have a lot to look forward to, and I’m doing my best to focus on that. I expect these difficult feelings will pass, and hope you will support me with your prayers. How grateful I am to all of you for your love and kindness. Thank you for following along.