Since coming to prison I’ve learned so much about women. I’ve been locked up with women for almost 6 1/2 years now and a lot of things that I see blow my mind. At home I never really ran with a lot of females like that but in here I’m around women 24-7. First I want to talk about their hygiene. I don’t know what it is but I’ve never seen so many women not take pride in their appearance. Yes I know we’re in prison but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of yourself. I’ve seen chicks go days without taking a shower. I also work at laundry and the clothes and underwear that I’ve seen come through there is pure disgusting. It really bothers me because if these women are like this in prison I know they were like that at home. That means that they’ve laid up with men and the men obviously didn’t have a problem laying down with a women who doesn’t take care of herself properly. I’ve heard so many women glorify sleeping with numerous men and sleeping with several different men at the same time. I use to hang around a lot of men on the outs and for a second I’d think that I’m sitting up listening to a group of men talking. It’s crazy because no women should think something like that is cute. I see it more in the younger girls that come through here. I’ve been gone awhile and I see that a lot has changed since I’ve been gone. These young girls don’t have any standards and definitely no values and morals that they apply to their everyday living. I also see a lot of young girls coming in here with charges that they’ve taken for a man. It’s mind bottling because these little girls are coming in at 18-19 years old with 15 year sentences. Not to mention they glorify their time like they’ve earned a badge of honor for staying loyal to their man. The sad part is that they weren’t even the main chick. The wife is sitting at home holding her man down while this little girl is sitting in a prison. I try to talk to these young girls and let them see that life they were living will lead you to two places. A prison or a graveyard. Sometimes I sit back and reflect on some of the things that I’ve done in life and I can see a little bit of myself in some of these young girls. They get with these dope boys and they live that fast life and think that’s what life is all about. It’s more to life then partying and shopping all day everyday. You don’t realize how precious your life is until it’s snatched away from you. You never think that just because your with a dope boy you can go to prison on a conspiracy charge. You don’t have to sell drugs to come to prison. You can have a boyfriend or husband that’s in that life but just because you spent the money and lived that life style knowing what he was doing was wrong, your just as guilty. The fame the fortune isn’t worth your freedom. I’ve never realized how important the small things are in life. Do you know what I’d give just to take a bath right now? Just to be able to cook in a kitchen or to take my son to school? Being able to come and go as I please. If you haven’t been in these shoes you’d never know the things that we go through. This new generation of kids coming up don’t appreciate life at all. They live in a world where they don’t even value each others lives. I see it everyday in here. I see how naive these young girls are and how easily they were manipulated to do things they know they shouldn’t of been doing. How a man has talked them into driving kilos of drugs across state lines until they got caught and charge with distribution. In the visitation rooms here you don’t see them filled with loving boyfriends and husbands. Our visitation rooms are filled with Grandparents, sisters, brothers and kids. I mean there are some good dudes that support their girls but it’s rare. It’s sad because a lot of women that are here stayed loyal to their partner only to get railroaded at the end. Us as women have to recognize our worth. Some of these girls love their man more then they love themselves. It’s sad but once you recognize your worth, you’ll start to put yourself first and focus on doing what’s best for you, not nobody else. No man is worth your freedom and any man that truly loves you will never put you in harms way. Believe me I know this first hand. I had to learn the hard way. If I could go back and change some of the things that I’ve done in life I would. I can’t though so I had to own the bad decisions that I’ve made in life and turn this negative situation into something positive. I can’t change my past but I have control over my future. This journey for me is almost over and I look at it as a fresh new beginning not the same women that I was when I first came to prison. I’m smarter, more mature and I’m finally independent. When I look in the mirror I love the woman that I see.