Louis, 48

Meet Louis…

I realize that I’m proud of myself, because I’m not running from my pain.

I have a peace within myself now that I didn’t have before the grey hairs. When I look in the mirror now I do a double take. I feel like my grey hair is a walking, bright, shiny flashing billboard advertisement that attracts the youngsters in here who now come to me for advice. 

I like helping them because some of the OG’s (older guys) helped me when I was young and it’s my turn to help the youngsters. It throws me off to be called older, like I don’t even want to turn around when a youngster calls me that. Truth be told, I actually don’t mind the grey hairs. The cliche that they say is true, they do show wisdom. 

At first I was disappointed with myself because I got old in here and spent my whole life in prison. I haven’t had any kids and I feel a deep sense of loss about that. Nevertheless, I realize that I’m proud of myself, because I’m not running from my pain. I’m addressing it, my insecurities and my shame through helping others in my community.