What a difference a year makes

Today's my birthday. I've been reflecting on how vastly different this year is from last year, and how much happier I am.

Last year I was turning 35, and was feeling like a caged animal. I'd started trying to get divorced when I was 33, and here I was turning 35 with no end in sight. We were still slowly grinding through the mediation process, and he was still living in the apartment, and I was coming up on year 3 of sleeping on the couch, and I honestly wasn't sure if I was ever going to be free. The helplessness and hopelessness I felt alternated with my pride in having slogged through so much of the process already, and having made the radical life changes I needed to for myself and my kids.

I don't know if it would have helped me to know where I'd be this year. Yes, I am divorced and thrilled to be myself. I'm not in a fulltime job I don't like anymore. But I'm still in progress, still working on living the life I'd like to be living. I have someone extraordinary and special in my life now, and I know I wouldn't have been able to get to him without all those years of pain and losing. But a year still seems like forever, so knowing a year ago that I'd have to wait a year for that, might still have been too much for me.

But now I'm 36! Here I am, and it's a happy birthday, except that I had to leave waaaaay too early this morning for a job for one of my freelance gigs. (Awesome product, but I wish the training sessions I'm doing for it could start two hours later. But, seriously, I get paid to show people something really cool and useful.) I have the two most amazing boys in the world, and tons of friends, and too many ideas to take advantage of. My real-life friends have been asking what I want for my birthday, and, honestly, the only thing I need (besides an entirely different living space and a full-time assistant or two) is a roll of quarters for laundry. And maybe some chocolate. And for Anoop to get one of the wildcard spots on AI.

Let's also please not forget that I share my birthday with Johnny Cash! So here's my present to you: