About Aza

Hey there! Want to learn more about me? Alright, but I can’t say I didn’t warn you… I’m one quirky lady with a hell of a past.

I’m just your friendly neighborhood felon. While I didn’t start out that way, it was sort of bound to happen. Country life was boring, heavy metal made me happy, and bad-boys made me even happier.

The Beginning

Everything began back around 2006, when I experienced one of the longest nights of my life (second only to the birth of my first child).
What started out as a normal, quiet night for me, ended in a week-long run from the police and my dainty little wrists chained together while I rode in the back of a cruiser to the county lock-up. After infuriating the interviewing officers (I had a knack for not cooperating), my second journey through the justice system begin.

I won’t bother with the specific details of it all, because that part of the process is pretty typical if often drawn out in some situations.

Fast forward a year, and I’m a homeless, hopeless convicted felon. Pregnant and scared to death of how I was going to get my life back and build a life for the mini-me I was carrying. It was a dismal picture and it felt like the ladder of society had broken off (partially in my rear – if you know what I mean).

Moving Forward – Again and Again

Now, well past my first decade of ‘felon-hood’, I’ve managed to carve out a teeny tiny niche for myself and my loved ones.

Like any other ‘normal’ individual within American society, I have a daily life, pay taxes, and argue about current politics with my friends.

The only difference is that I have had a much harder time (like most felons, and sometimes those with lesser convictions than my own) finding steady employment that has enough pay and benefits to keep my family afloat. Even when I do land a good job, sometimes it’s only a matter of time before someone brings up my past (even with talking openly and honestly with said employer) and I end up either fired due to rumors or simply to ease the public’s interaction with the store. Talk about collateral consequences…. and it never seemed to end. Doesn’t help when you have to list those fired positions as references/history just so you have something to offer on your resume. These sort of things tend to happen with us, and layer over layer of subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination occurs. It’s out of liability concerns of course, and from a business point of view, we’re often just a risk that requires more time and supervision than they think is worth dealing with. It’s a complex ordeal really.

This layered complexity and general discrimination against any indication of any sort of felony background makes the achievement of the American dream rather difficult, as many of you can likely testify to as well as I can. It’s hard out here, harder in a lot of ways that people don’t even really think about on a regular basis. Thankfully, I’ve also been working on learning more about what sort of nifty loop-holes in the legal arena can help felons get a job and keep it as well as how to build up a business that will actually be useful and moderately successful!

Thanks to the things I’ve learned over the years with my record, and the experiences that have shaped my determination and discipline, I can forge ahead into the future and be just a little more sure than most with a similar record that I will have financial stability. Plus, time is on my side these days – good time specifically. When you’re over a decade ‘off of papers’ with just one adult offense… well, people tend to be less edgy about things.

It has been a long journey, and I’ve learned a lot about what a “felon” can really do when they put their mind to doing something. When you get down to it – we can still do just about anything. So long as it’s done legally.

I’m now a felon AND a college graduate (Bachelor’s in Psychology), a Certified Life Coach,  a published Author, and a freelancer of multiple varieties. Between writing, blogging, coaching/mentoring, and designing/creating crafts of all styles – I’ve worked my way up the ladder of life again ( at least enough to have most basic needs met ), and rest pretty easily at night instead of worrying if I’ll be able to get the things my family needs. It’s a heck of a change from being pregnant, homeless, hopeless, and feeling like society hated me.

Why I’m Here

I want to share the things I’ve learned through my own felony conviction and the collateral consequences that followed it –  so that more felons like me can find their path back into society and financial safety. I want to help every single felon that thinks they’re at the end of the road toward success in life. Because, I promise you, it ISN’T OVER YET. It’s only over when WE say it’s over.

I am also sharing my own continuing journey toward my goals of becoming a writer and advocate for fellow felons in all aspects of society, and how I am building up to my ultimate goal of opening a shelter program for felons – that truly addresses the needs of felons long after they’ve served their time. That’s the dream for me.

Anyway, I hope you find my blog hopeful and helpful, and I look forward to the journey of getting to meet all of my awesome readers as we get to know each other and help each other grow and learn.

I offer a digital download workbook on my Books page (more are coming soon), check it out if you’re into DIY self-help stuff and not so much into talking to people about your problems. I totally get that, I’m introverted as can be – so I figure I’d give this style a shot. (It’s also available in the Worksheet Workshop link above)

If you’re into social media, you can also find and follow my Facebook page, The Friendly Felon, to see inspirational memes, updates, and links to various posts that are helpful and informative. It’s sporadic – but that’s because my freelance schedule is nutty.

Check out the book at Microcosm too. It’s my first publication, and it has all the state by state information that any DIY’er could need to get started on their own path to a new, revitalized life after a conviction. It’s short and to the point to make things easy – because I roll like that. Your welcome 🙂 They’ve added my workbook collection to their print selection as well, and it works in tandem with the Guide to Life. Check out my whole Microcosm stash here.

Stay Strong Felons! Where there is a will, there is a way!