Ryan Ferguson says his twenties are gone. The Missouri man, sent to prison for second-degree murder when he was 19 years old and freed just this year
- close to a decade later - told the co-hosts of "CBS This Morning
" that it is a challenge not to be bitter.
"There is no monetary value to 10
years of life," he said. "My whole twenties are gone. And I can’t get that back. But I have a
great family ... We're going to move forward together and do great things
Ferguson said he kept it together in prison by finding ways to contribute and by staying focused. "I coped by learning and educating
myself every day. I went in as a 19-year-old child, basically, and I realized
that I didn’t want to come out as a 19-year-old child – whether it was one year
or five years or 100 years. I wanted to learn and grow."
He worked out every day and educated himself. He even wrote a book about fitness.
Ferguson's plan for the future - career, definitely. "I’m going to go- probably into law to some degree," he said. "Talking to
people, educating people about the justice system."
He said it will take him some time to get there and it won't be without challenges. "It’s a struggle to move forward knowing that, you know, I haven’t had a
proper education," Ferguson said, "and, you know, whenever people Google my name, obviously it
comes up with, you know, the past decade of my life."
But Ferguson is hopeful and said he focuses on the positive. "I really feel good about the future. I feel like I can move forward."
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.