What keeps me going is knowing that I’ll be able to talk to my fiancee by phone everyday. Prior to coming to prison, I didn’t value the simple pleasure of communicating with someone about daily routine activities, our thoughts, concerns, and everything in between–until now. I feel complete, appreciated, and important after our conversations because this woman has deemed it important enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer my call and share her life with me.
What keeps me going is knowing I have a strong support system in my family and friends who love me and assist me in things I need. As many of you know, we in prison don’t have access to the Internet or many other technological luxuries, so to know I can count on people in the world to research things, post blogs for me, and navigate cyber space on my behalf is immeasurable. Furthermore, after spending over seventeen years in prison, the technology I will be faced with upon my release will undoubtedly be my biggest obstacle, so knowing I have people who will help me acclimate to this ever-changing world is invaluable.
What keeps me going is receiving letters. Humans have a basic need of connecting with other people and this, I believe, becomes even more intensified–or made obvious–when we come to prison and are isolated from society. A letter–a simple letter–can and does have an enormous impact on one’s psyche, self esteem, and motivation. I cannot explain how much it means to me to know there are people out there who think I am important enough to take time out of their day to write me a letter and show me I matter. Their letters take me from this dreaded place and put me in a whole other world–even if only for a few moments. Among other things, these are what keep me going.