Less than 24 hours ago I was officially and formerly deemed “Releasable”. A decade of hard work, deep soul searching and the subsequent habit changes and world view shifts accumulated to one word, “Releasable”.

While everyone else didn’t seemed that shocked, I feel honored and humbled. I did something terrible and was given a life sentence for it. 10 1/2 years ago I was sentenced to 140 months to Life for a sexually based offense against a minor. I knew changes had to made if I ever wanted to see the light of day and its freedom again. I took that seriously. I took all of me, everything, and dumped it out on the table with a team of professionals and gracious peers and together, over 10 years, put a clear headed me back together. Today, I understand precisely what led to that violation of trust, that act of violence, and its permanent impact on that individual and the community (to include myself). I won’t allow myself to get to that point again, I’ll do whatever it takes to earn the trust and respect of the community again.

The second step is done, be found releasable by the state after the first step which was seriously change. Now I move onto step three, live with love. Real love.

I have lots of catching up to do, the world has changed a lot in 10 years, I know but here I am ready to adjust to it and carve my own life with people I love. I have a ton of support, there are so many people who love and support me and I can’t wait to go do amazing things with them! I can’t wait to meet new people, be a source of support for others as well. Maybe that will be you? Ready or not, I’m gonna go be the happiest, most amazing me possible. Which, I’ve come to understand is without a ceiling, for me that is.

Here’s to new heights and great people.

With Love
Ruth Utnage