January 22, 2021 is a milestone for me. It marks exactly one year from my official release from prison. Although I was released from FCI McKeen on December 17, 2019, the last day of my fourteen-month sentence is officially today. The Justice Department can keep me on probation for two more years, I am praying that they don’t. I am ready to move on.
Probation has not been a big ordeal, however there are the monthly reports, asking permission to travel (I cannot drive the 70 miles to visit my daughter and granddaughter without permission since it is in another district), you cannot get a credit card or take on any debt, trust me no one will afford you a credit line anyway – former felons are not considered good credit risks. The scarlet letter will always be there.
But I still want it to be done. This day has been marked on my calendar for quite some time. It has been almost four years since this ordeal started. I was arrested March 17, 2017, by far the scariest day of my life.
Although I served just under eleven months in prison, the process from indictment to today has been well over four years. The emotional toll has been extraordinary.
I have begun a move to Naples, Florida from Upstate NY, part of putting the past behind me and getting a fresh start. It is both exciting and scary – starting over six months prior to your sixtieth birthday. No one will hire you with a record, so I am starting out to build another venture, hopefully the last one!
I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to start. Every day is sunny, warm and holds promise.