The following was written by Lori Moseley, Roots of Success instructor and advisory board member. Lori was incarcerated for two and a half years, and was released from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon last month. She loves cats and dad jokes. Keep visiting the blog for our Outside the Wall series, which will follow the experiences of Lori and others over the coming year.

I was released the 12th of January. It was pouring buckets as I ran toward the bus stop, out the razor wire framed gate. My sweat suit was soaked with Oregon rain and freedom. I sat waiting for the next bus. Just five transfers and I’d be home. I confidently boarded and I had a destination. Not just geographical but of purpose. I was blessed to have won an appeal.

I sat comfortably on the various buses, mesmerized with the view through the deluge of the rain. My thoughts fragmented, though all culminated in a prosperous vision. I mentally packed up my plans as I disembarked the fifth bus.

I knew in my core I was meant to teach. I reflected on the faces of the hundred-plus women who sat eagerly in the Roots of Success classroom. I said goodbye to the room where minds explored and vision expanded. Today I have a goal: a new room, new faces, fresh minds. I will teach again. I’m excited about the future.