Today is my 40th birthday and it’s also the first one I am celebrating as a free woman. Anyone who knew me while I was still inside prison new that I didn’t celebrate my birthday inside prison. I didn’t feel good about my birth but releasing from prison meant that society made a decision to re-accept me back into its folds. I’ll celebrate that.

I have never felt better about myself. I love me, I love the way I look and feel. I love the people around me and love meeting new people as often as possible.

I love my new office and my office chair and the chords draping everywhere.

I love my 7 mile commute and the lady who went super slow today the entire way here and gave me the chance to see the sound through the trees and a big ass mountain in my rear view mirror and to think about how much I love living life.

I love block heels and skinny jeans and butt lifting shapewear.


Not a fan of social media. We could do without that.

I love typing and reading and texting friends. Meeting new people and making coffee in a Keurig and using a mouse. Makeup and lipstick (thank the Universe for makeup remover, and you’re welcome makeup remover industry, I am pretty sure I am your biggest customer). I love having to budget my money and realizing I am over extended and “tightening the ole’ belt”.


I love frost and snow and cold and walking in it with freezing hands and then getting into some warm place and spreading smiles just because I can.

Just because I can.

Because I can.


I love my coworkers and math and education and everyone involved in it.


Oh, and I registered to vote for the first time yesterday! Like, I can vote people, on my own! For the first time!


If you see someone shining so bright that you have to put on sunglasses today, sorry (not sorry) that’s me.


With Love

Ruth Utnage