Noah here, back again.
Continuing on with my why, of why I’m in prison. I don’t know why I was so afraid of moving back to Roseau? I kinda felt like it meant I was a failure. Even though, in a way, that was the exact reason why I was going back. I had failed. And I didn’t have anywhere else to go. My life was headed toward prison.
And by this time I knew I was looking at anywhere from 10-20 years in prison, from what they told me. So I guess you could say I wasn’t feeling too good about myself and what I had become. I failed and I needed to just be home.
Many times you look back after and it just amazes you how you can let your life get so out of control. Because while it’s completely derailing, it never seems that bad. I guess that is just part of being an optimistic person. It at least allows my to look at the bright-side most times, and that in return makes me a fairly happy person.
So, when I went back to Roseau and I didn’t know what kind of reception I was going to get.
Would everyone give me the stink eye?
Would I get harassed when I decided to go out?
Would I be able to find a job?
Would I get into more trouble?
Would I get along with my mom?
These were all soon answered.
First, the job, that kind of came out of nowhere. I started my own painting business, thanks to my hometown. I knew I always had painting to fall back on when all this was going down, because I knew I was a hard-worker and good at it. And initially it just started as a couple random jobs, that then one job turned into the next. I got help along the way from a friend who gave me multiple jobs and free advertisement. Word spread fast, since there weren’t any full time painters in the area at the time.
And then something amazing happened, a community who got behind a kid that got off track and screwed up majorly.
It wasn’t all perfect and I did get the stink eye from time to time and was actually confronted by a person or two who didn’t want to give me another chance, and rightfully so.
As for now I want to focus on the ones that gave me support. Because those are the ones that have given me the courage to not only share my story, but to keep my head up over the past six years when it would have been easy to just lay down and give up.
A lot of my family gave me work, in which I’m thankful for. And it’s easy to say well they should because they are family, but you must understand many of these family members were directly affected by my criminal behavior.
My mom, grandparents, sister, brother, aunts and uncles… they all borrowed me money, and were not paid back. When it came time to having some painting down at their houses, I offered to just put that towards the loans, and they all refused and paid me everything I did the work for.
On top of that they all referred me work and trusted me with their friends and business acquaintances.
One of which was my aunt and uncle who were also my God-parents, they let me do some painting at their house and their place of business, the same place I had defaulted on the car loan by this point. They allowed me to put a portion towards to loan even though the amount was a tiny percentage of what they let me keep. I’ll never forget when my uncle paid me for the painting I did at their house. We discussed what would go towards the loan and then what he would give me, and the amount he gave me was very generous and it stirred some emotion inside me and he must have felt it, because he stopped me while I was leaving and gave me more on top of it. When I left his house I broke down crying because I felt so incredibly lucky to have my family.
I truly lucked out on both sides. Between the work they gave me on pre-trial, the love and affection they gave me before I left, the visits, phone calls, emails, letters, and post cards… my entire family has stayed consistent throughout my time incarcerated.
Usually friends and family supports slows down after a couple years in prison, that never happened for me. Six years in and it’s only getting stronger with my family.
So back to Roseau, what the community did for me was build my confidence for the future.
Because there is a good chance I may never live there again, but by going back there a second time after high school gave me a different perspective of what kind of people live there.
It gave me respect, gratitude, and pride towards my hometown of Roseau, MN. And if I never would have fell flat on my face and went back, I may never have appreciated just what I had.
Roseau, you’ll always be my hometown. And a town my parents taught me to be proud of.
From the inside,