Me at Thirty Three

I am convinced there must be some kind of good luck that comes with double digits. Although I like even numbers because they feel more balanced, it appears that the odds are better. I turned thirty three the other day. Words cannot express the relief I feel to be finally done with thirty two. It was one of those years that I wish I could have found a rock to hide under until it passed. Yeah, pretty much the entire year was spent gripping the sidewalk for a very real fear of falling into traffic.

2008 was the year I had to not just slow down, but literally stop and turn around. I seemed I had taken a wrong turn back there, somewhere. I felt like a freight train which had taken on far too many loads. I was barreling down a track that was in serious disrepair. I was going too fast to notice the warning signs that said “Bridge Out”, “Wrong Way” and “Dead End”. My radio was out (was it ever working properly?) so no one could reached me even if they tried. Looking back, I wonder how many concerned souls I zipped past. How many roadblocks had I plowed through? In any case, I guess I needed to crash. It was the only way.

This past year I stopped driving my car because I couldn’t tolerate crummy drivers. I told myself I was becoming greener and rode my bike instead. I guess when I ended up in the hospital after a bike accident, I realized that maybe walking would be a safer bet. As long as I used my feet as my sole form of transportation, I noticed I felt more alive the more air I took into my lungs. I wondered how long I had been holding my breath?

It was hard to come to terms with the fact that things were going to get worse before they got better. But after a whole lot of determination and self examination, I was able to sort through my excess baggage. It was shocking at times and oddly fascinating at others, just what a mess I had made of things. But when push came to shove, I was in there like white on rice. My “issues” were no match for the new improved Carmella who took the reigns just in the nick of time.

Though it was the hardest year of my life to date, it was by far the most powerful. I believe I am healthier, more respectful, and most importantly, I am gaining integrity. I can honestly say that I am a markedly better human being today than I was a year ago. The difference is that I’m no longer acting according to what I should do for all the wrong reasons. Now I am learning how to just be me. With no apologies.

Today I am grateful for relief.

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