Age is just a number, but birthdays always get me thinking.

This is a pretty amazing time in my life, and I’ve recently been through some major changes that I haven’t really been sharing. Some of my closest friends don’t even know what’s been going on with me.

I talked about it in a couple meetings: the internalized shame, and the desire to gloss over, or even repress, just to avoid hashing the whole thing out for myself or a friend or the world or whoever. The undesirable things that are complicated and difficult I sometimes just pretend aren’t happening while I’m in them. I hate middles. But the other day I said something to a friend, and from then on I’ve said it over and over to myself: middles have ends.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t live in denial. But I’m choosy who I speak to, or what I say, and I’ve been known to distract myself. Sometimes it even leads to positive things, like what happened to me a couple weeks ago.

I relaunched this website because I got fired from my day job. I’m going to say it just like that because that’s what happened- my employment was terminated. Those are the specific words. I have to quantify this somehow by saying I actually did nothing wrong, which is the truth, and although it was a real punch in the fucking gut, we are on good terms. I’m not really going to go into specifics, and that’s not what matters here anyways. What matters is how it felt. How it feels.

It felt like shit. It’s like when you go through a break up and you really like the person and you just can’t figure out what happened and why they don’t like you and why you couldn’t work it out. That hopeless, sinking feeling. And then there was the shame. Although I wasn’t at fault and did my best every single day, I still felt gross and sad. I was just so sad. I still am- I was damn good at that job. But something better came along.

It was the thing I’ve been doing all along. Writing. But instead of writing myself into a corner based on the ideas I had when I first made this website five plus years ago, I decided to fit it to me, not me to it. I decided that it didn’t have to be all poetry and have a million categories [one completely dedicated to my late mother] and old photos and no excerpts or snippets or keywords and all that other SEO crap I worked on for a week solid when I was redesigning it. I decided that the thing I want to do with my life is the thing I want to fucking do with my life: write.

Of course, it’s never paid a single bill. So I have gotten another job- one that’s more flexible so I can continue to prioritize my writing. And I’m self employed- I have a tax ID and everything, straight from the UK government. I’m such a goddamn adult.

I’m on the journey to get my health on track as well, which is a whole other post, and I’m still in the middle of that. I’ve been in the middle of that for 13 years. That’s far too long. But I haven’t lost hope, and I haven’t quit fighting, and I’ll get there.

I’m experimenting with my look as well- I just bought a hot pink velvet western style belt online, because who even am I. I really want to pierce something, and I want colorful hair again, and it’s like losing that job set me free. But I suppose what it really did was enable me to set myself free.

I’ve completed 16 weeks of some serious therapy. I’m almost done with my step work. I met loads of my new UK family members. I’m working on putting less pressure on myself, being less of a perfectionist and more of a person. Caring less about money in the bank and more about collecting experiences, giving, and being happy. I am absolutely a work in progress, but how fucking freeing is that?

I wish I could tell baby CiCi that she’d get here. I wish I could go back and sit with that tormented young girl and tell her that it doesn’t get any easier, but she’s going to be so fucking strong. I’d tell her that I love her, and that I forgive her for being a complete wreck of a person for so many years, because you can’t define your self worth by behavior you express during the absolute worst time of your life, and I’d tell her to tell anyone who does to go fuck themselves. I saw her doing her best.

And I do my best now, too. It’s the way I measure myself and time and all the things. If I did my best, I’m mostly happy. I’m still working on that. And I also know that you can do everything right and still fail. I’m okay with that, too.

Twenty seven is going to be alright. I’ll get some more tattoos and maybe poke a hole or two in my face and dye my hair [and upset my Mema] and I’ll just keep going, just like I always have. Only now, I have a fucking pink velvet belt. How cool is that.

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