As you may have noticed, I’m in prison. I’ve been incarcerated since May of 2011 and my estimated release date is November 13, 2021. I must meet parole requirements though as I have a lifetime sentence. But in November I will reach a major milestone in my prison sentence, it will be over my halfway mark and I will be under five years. Which makes things real again. Things like grocery shopping and employment and housing become the primary concerns and prison problems begin to become less important.

The other night I dreamt of a parole hearing and they were telling me I was going to release, I was crying because I was leaving behind the LGBT community and I knew that my job wasn’t done. I had more I hoped to accomplish with them. I was sad that in order to continue on with life I had to close my chapter on prison and them. 

Its these types of milestones though that keep me reminded that I have a job to do, I have a goal and my time is limited. Its going fast and I have lots to get done. While I try and assist many men and women in here to become self sufficient in a healthy way I must also do this for myself. Though my sufficiency comes from God and I do my best to spread it to those I love.

Lately my stress levels have been extremely high, high to the point I’m experiencing physical symptoms of it like stomach cramps and lethargy. Emotional ones to, I’m very easy to upset, for instance, maybe sensitive. It didn’t occur to me until last night that my biggest milestone yet is approaching and its making me very nervous. Perhaps I should spend some time sorting it out and coming to terms with it. The five year mark is important to prisoners because many opportunities become available to you when your five years short. So its a major marker for us. Its also DOC recognizing that your time is limited. 

Do you have major milestones that effect you positively or negatively?

With Love
Jeff Utnage