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Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Christmas in prison isn’t much of an experience, although this year we were all surprised with little gift packets consisting of edible goodies and helpful prison information packets.

During this time, I watched a movie called “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I am sure you have seen it. Will Smith plays a character who exudes a heart-wrenching obsession to stand tall amidst his difficult reality. He is financially poor, recently separated from his wife and becomes homeless. Will Smith portrays a man with a huge heart for his son through these harsh times. He is rich in morality and consumed by the precious sensitivities of his four-year-old son. His tenacious drive keeps him afloat until the breaking dawn of his success.

I watched him thinking to myself, I have to start doing something that will give me happiness. I was inspired by his fight. I mean, you could feel the strain on his life and the anguish he felt. I want to experience a pursuit of something I desire in the same manner. I don’t want it to be easy. I want the strain and ultimately the joy that abounds after a long hard fight.

Now that I am in prison I have become closely acquainted with my deepest dreams. These dreams are my hopes now, but carrying them so closely in this confinement is nauseating. I now have this beautifully aligned perception, a result of shaking off the ugliest of myself.

The problem is I am afraid to step forward because I have failed myself so deeply already.

Remember the surprise Christmas packet we received with goodies? Well, one of the packets included your information (Prison Journalism Project). I have been striving to write for a long time. I love words and I believe well written sentences can move a person’s soul. I decided to write and tell you that these simple words are my first steps. I hope to be like Will Smith and experience a blessed life with tears of happiness. I want to be an accomplished writer one day and I think the Prison Journalism Project can and will help me.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Levi Pierce is a writer from Hawaii who is incarcerated in California.