Last Day - 33

It's my last day being 33. Well, sort of. Technically I turn 34 at 12:17am on May 16, though my birthday is May 15 (darn time zones).

Last year I found myself kind of in a panic. It's not like 33 is some sort of "milestone" age, but it just kind of hit me that I was creeping towards mid-30's. To me, 34 is mid-30's, so I had one year left. I started doubting what I had done with my life, and doubting that I would ever accomplish much. The dreams I once had were overridden by realities - most of which I had no say in - and I was pretty depressed over where I was at this point. I didn't expect to turn 33 and be living in as much pain as I live with, in a house/location that I was unhappy at, and spending most of my days at work or in a car driving to/from work. In my younger years I thought I'd be hitting my stride at 33, earning big bucks, having a financially rewarding & mentally challenging career, traveling the world and still having the time to spend with the ones I love in my life, be it family or friends. I also expected good health, which by far is still the biggest disappointment to date.

Last year I wanted to get in a car and drive. I wanted to get away. I felt panicked and depressed because reality set in that I was not where I wanted to be in life. Having moved so much in my life, my gut reaction in these cases usually is to escape; move somewhere & start over.

My 33rd year has been a struggle, but in the end I survived it. I leave 33 behind having a better grasp on how to balance work and my personal life. I'm not "there" yet, but I'm getting there. I've traveled to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut & New York state for the first time in my life. I spent time in Boston, Cape Cod, upper NY state, Providence, Kansas City, Seattle, Springfield and Philadelphia. I ate at an Iron Chef's restaurant - Morimoto's. I got to see where Brad went to college and meet some of his friends from that time, all who are wonderful people. I visited the homes of three Presidents - John Adams, John Q. Adam's, and Abe Lincoln (though I had seen his house before). I saw the home of William Seward, which was the coolest historical home I've ever been to. I saw the Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum for the first time. I spent time in Cincinnati, Chicago and Iowa with friends & family. Took a long distance Amtrak ride for the first time, and now I want to do all of my travel by train. Got a new car with all the gadgets to make all of my travels a lot more enjoyable. I saw my brother's electrical stage work for the first time and it was brilliant. I got a normal platelet count back again, even though enough damage was done that the pain still remains. I started really getting my voice where I work, and I've been able to make changes for the better. I also am becoming an owner in the company as I was given shares in the company, so now I can technically say I'm a partial owner. I started an online petition against the health care bill and got over 1,000 signatures, all from complete strangers who found my online message board arguments compelling; though unfortunately our "representatives" passed the horrible bill anyway. A few weeks ago Brad & I moved to downtown Cleveland, where we realized that this is the life we are best suited for. Still haven't sold the house, but I'm confident it will happen this year.

My 33rd year wasn't the disaster that I thought it would be. Like everyone, I wish some things were different, but "it is what it is." Turning 34 I actually feel ok about. No panic attacks. Still a little depressed (pain that never lets up can wear out a person), but I have a lot to be thankful for. In a time where people all around me are struggling with jobs & finances, we've had it fairly easy. In a time where my health still sucks, I've still managed to do & see a lot of things. Can you imagine what I would have done over a year if I had my full health? I'd be a tornado! Maybe this is the work of a higher being forcing me to slow down even though I don't want to; I'd rather experience all I can of life every day as you never know when it might end. I don't want to take anything for granted.

Goodbye 33, and hello 34. I'm officially mid-30's & I'm very content with that.

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