Reentry isn’t always pretty

I got inspired yesterday looking at some gorgeous pictures on fellow Blogathoner Tracy Doerr’s site — and while navigating the miserable construction zone that swallowed my neighborhood.   I live just outside of Washington, D.C., in an area that will someday (that’s 2013 or later, if we’re lucky) boast its own connection to the Metro subway system.

In the interim, what we primarily boast about is who’s found the best route to avoid the newest detour, road closing, gigantic hole that appeared in the street overnight or whatever surprise disruption this hope-for-a-better-life-in-the-future business has thrown our way.  Witness what greeted me as I attempted to get on the road I usually take to the grocery store.

That got me thinking about the process of reentry.  In a lot of ways, rebuilding a life after getting out of prison is a construction (some would say, reconstruction)  project of its own.

  • It’s not always pretty. In fact, you might start again with nothing, not even clothing for an interview, let alone somewhere to live.
  • You won’t be able to do it alone. With a project this size, you’ll have to ask for help and have the humility to try to learn new behaviors.
  • It can be riddled with stops and starts. That person who promised you a job, for example, can’t deliver and no one else is hiring.  Then out of nowhere a training opportunity becomes available.
  • You might have to take a few detours. Yes, some roads and doors will be closed.  It will require flexibility, forgiveness and the ability  to marshal your resources and find a new path.
  • There may be some repair work to do along the way. You may have relationships to rebuild and amends to make to people in your life before you can move forward with your own on sound footing.

But if keep your goals in mind and work towards a better life, than your vision,  like this rendering of my future neighborhood, might someday be a reality.

Hopefully, a better one.


1 Comment

Filed under goal-setting, hope for ex-offenders, job training, reentry, starting over

One response to “Reentry isn’t always pretty

  1. James E. Walker Jr.

    Well put. Great analogy.

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