33.

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So today is my 33rd birthday. Strange -- I don't feel 33. Not exactly. The older I get, the more I realize how relative age is. There are some days I'll feel 16, caught in the throes of adolescent rage or longing. Other days I'll feel 5, and I'll want to crawl back into the safety of my mother's arms. And then there are the days I'll feel 95, like an ancient tree that's been twisted by the winds of recriminations and regrets.

But it's not all bad. I honestly think I'm young at heart. Teaching high school kids helps with that, and the other part comes from my determination to remain optimistic no matter what, although my optimism was sorely tested these past two months. I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been blogging or tweeting that much. It hasn't just been because of the beginning of a new school year, although that's certainly to blame as well. It's because my boyfriend and I broke up after being together nearly 12 years. I won't pretend it hasn't been awful, but what has helped is the fact that it was in truth an amicable break-up. Despite the unbelieving reaction of our friends, we have remained in contact. The way I see it, he and I began as good friends, so there's no reason why we shouldn't end that way.

The irony of it all is that one of my last blog posts, the last blog post I wrote while he and I were still together, has a title that has an all too eery meaning for me today: "Beginnings are endings are beginnings." Little did I know I would be learning the truth of this statement mere days after writing it.

But that's in my past and right now I'm focusing on the future. I've found solace in my work, in my family, and in my friends, and I have made some adjustments in these areas that have helped my relationships on both a personal and professional level. I'm getting over my fear of driving and have scheduled myself for driving lessons, the first of which I'm taking tomorrow (!). I'm even starting to date again, which is a scary new adventure in its own right.

I was speaking to some friends at work today about how 33 seems to be a turning point for a lot of women, for some reason. I feel (I hope) in my heart that it might be that way for me, too. But no matter what this year brings, I know one thing's for sure -- I'll be walking forward with my eyes clear and open and my head held high.
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10 comment(s):

Adri said...

Wow, Annie. I absolutely love this post. While you are sharing some difficult moments in your life, you do it in such an optimistic way! I admire your positivity and wish that I would've have been that way in my past. lol. Thankfully, I think I may have finally learned from those experiences. ha ha.

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! <3

Jessica Marie said...

Happy Birthday Annie! I hope this year is the best one yet. :)

Rachelle said...

Happy birthday girl. I hope this year is special enough to deserve you :)

Kimberly said...

Happy birthday!!! You are only as old as you feel :D I really do think age is just a number and I sometimes forget mine..haha. Hope this will be an amazing year.

Claire Kiefer said...

Oh man. I missed this post till now--so sorry you're going through such a hard time, but your attitude about everything is inspiring. I'm really impressed by you. Glad you are back to blogging & tweeting because reconnection seems healing. I hope it only gets easier from here!

Annie Cristina said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, guys! They are much appreciated. :-)

United Teachers of Dade said...

You're doing great...that which does not kill us makes us stronger--I firmly believe that--and I think we're always wiser for our experiences. And another cliche...when one door closes, another opens, and sometimes we don't realize until later that if we had kept hiding behind that door we never would have found what was on the other side... :-)

Vanessa said...

Goddness, I've been so out of the loop. I really hope this year is amazing for you, because you deserve it! <3

michaelise said...

OMG, your first date was at my wedding! Well, I am happy to hear it was amicable. I am sad to see it end. I am just going to have to find someone to introduce you to.

Anonymous said...

Walking? No. Driving? For sure!!