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Happy Birthday to me. I am 33 today.

I am a different person now than I was a year ago. I know that I have a tendency to be hyperbolic and full of emotion, but there isn't really any other way to put that. The events of the last year were sometimes wonderful, sometimes emotionally mangling, and sometimes too much for me to properly handle.

Last year, I wrote a bunch about evaluating things and figuring out what works and what doesn't. I'd like to say that I immediately jumped right in on that and made some great progress, but that isn't how this story breaks down. I spent the end half of last year stuck in the same kind of malaise that defined the year before it, unsure of what to do about how I was feeling. I wasn't sad or angry per se, just bogged down and not working right. I was full of inertia, and it was easier to sit and let things happen instead of doing anything about it.

January turned out to be one of the hardest times of my life. I was shut down for quite a while because I didn't want to face what all of that meant, especially the parts where I used my past to make assumptions about who I am. I had no choice but to bite the bullet and admit that I couldn't do anything on my own to help myself anymore. I made the call that I had been hesitating to make, and it ended up better than I had hoped it would. I got really lucky the first time out, and found someone that was willing to listen to all the weird things my past held, and how I was having a hard time being a person with feelings and ideas that weren't necessarily part of the regular world. She helped me to break down everything into little boxes, so that I can tackle those problems one bit at a time instead of trying to swallow it all at once. She is willing to call me out on some of my unhealthy bullshit, but also allow me the space to crawl out of it on my own terms.

Part of this process of getting well meant taking apart internal mechanisms, and evaluating assumptions I had made about myself and the world around me. Sometimes it feels like everything in my life is up for question, or at least heavy and total evaluation. There isn't a lot of rest anymore, but those moments where I figure something out for myself mean more than letting the inertia keep me stuck in position. It is hard work, and sometimes it really fucking sucks and I want to chuck it all, but I'm not broken anymore and I'm getting better every day now. This is much more than I've ever been able to say in the past, and I'm proud of the progress that I have made so far. This year, I feel like I am saying these words for real, and not just setting them here as some kind of vague goal.

I've been making some changes. I've been trying to reject the idea that there are things in the world that I don't deserve, because I haven't done the "right" thing or passed the "right" test. I'm trying to stop letting things I can't control dictate my mood. I'm trying to be more intentional about the things that I do with my time, and be sure that part of that is taking time out for myself. These are are ideals that I'm working on, and I don't think I'm anywhere near good at them yet, but this is the path I'm dedicated to taking. I'm leaving massive pieces out here. Maybe some of that will come out later when I'm more comfortable with where I'm at. But know that there is a lot going on behind the curtain, and I'm really happy with the way things are headed now.

This coming year will be a bit of a roller coaster while I continue to work on myself and get all of the little gears working right. I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but I know that I'm willing to put forth the effort to get it all together. I know that I've already done a lot, and that is sustaining me while I work. And for the first time, I'm really looking forward to what the next year will bring, instead of hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

I like it this way much more.

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