39

Originally Published 09/12/2011

So I’m 39 today.

Today I’m back and forth, looking back and looking forward. Taking stock, keeping the best and getting rid of what I can.

Today I’m tracing parallel lines of my lineage: a country road leading to the farm on my maternal side and a line of dancing lights on that great bridge over the Narrows leading to Brooklyn on my fraternal side.

Today I’m embracing myself at five, with my Dee Dee Ramone bowl cut, NFL lunchboxes and tendency to flirt with waitresses at Denny’s.

Today I’m watching over myself at ten, freshly moved from Maine to Florida and not fitting in at all and scared.

Today I’m feeling great compassion for myself at 15, back in Maine and traumatized from merciless bullying. I’m trying to guide myself through, telling me that it gets better and people really will love you. And people already do.

Today I’m thinking of myself at 24, crippled by depression, $5 in the bank and no clue how to take care of myself. I’m sending a snapshot of myself today back there.

Today I’m blown away at how quickly things can happen. Me at 30, engaged, steady job, our own apartment in Portland…the beginning of stability.

Today I’m loving myself at 33 and 34: owner of a brand new Hyundai only a few years after having most of my life in collections and holder of a NON sub-prime mortgage on a beautiful house. Road trips, good food and wine, a domestic man with a lawnmower.

Today I’m 17 days out of detox and battling to reclaim my life. Today I’m battling many demons from my past. But I’ve conquered a few demons as well, and I’m reminding myself of that.

Today I’m visiting where I’ve been, the good and the bad. I’ve survived some hardcore shit in my days, because I’M hardcore. And I’m not going to let myself forget that.

Today I’m so thankful for my family and friends. And I’m so grateful that I’m in a place where I trust that I am loved and I can give it back.

Today I’m in an amazing place. Aging fairly well, managing the internal conflicts, mostly at peace. Today I’m writing and writing like crazy, trying to make a go of it full-time. Today I’m alive and I’m going to live the hell out of the day. Today I’m 39: the last birthday of my greatest decade yet. And the best is yet to come…

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