[Currently listening to: "Been Down This Road" by Railroad Earth]
Thirty-three. It's not really a monumental number. Surely there are much more important numbers out there. Take the number seven for example--people go apeshit over that number. You get three of those in Vegas and you're set. I suppose the only special thing about the number thirty-three is the fact that it's two consecutive 3s, side by side.
I remember turning 21 (that's another monumental number.) I was young, naive, and thought I knew everything. Ha! Didn't we all? Then I turned 25. I remember the only thing of importance about turning 25 was cheaper car insurance. Thirty. Well, things were looking up for me when I turned 30. We had just purchased a kick-ass house on a primo cul-de-sac in Highlands Ranch. I started my catering/personal chef business. Those are just things, though. I've never been into the materialism of "things". Things can't make you happy. Things can't make you fulfilled. On the positive side of being thirty, Trevor had a third grade teacher who literally changed his life and inspired him to utilize his talents. Chloe was becoming more self-sufficient and smart. And me? Well, I was there, somewhere in the background. I know I'm a loud, outspoken person (I've been told on several occasions that I need something called a "wife muzzle" because of my outspoken tendencies. Eh, it's probably true. I tend to be quite loud.) Where was I? Oh yeah, the background. I tend to be in the background. It's okay, really. I have two young kids who have needs that will always come before mine. That's what you sign up for when you become a mom. Background duty. I have always been focused on questions like, "Is Trevor being challenged in school? If not, how can I help to challenge him at home?", "Is Chloe developing and performing at her highest abilities?", "Are my kids happy?", "Am I feeding them the best possible food?"
As a parent, you always want what's best for your children. You also want better for them than what you had as a child. When we had kids, it was decided that my role would be at home with the kids. It was a difficult role at first (it's not the most rewarding job, especially when they're tiny and you're catching poop in your hand so it doesn't get all over the brand new stroller--true story), but I learned to embrace it and love my new role in our family. I also learned to appreciate my job. There are women out there who would love to stay home with their kids, so I was blessed to be given the opportunity to do so. I began obsessing over my kids and giving them the very best, or at least what I thought was the best. From volunteering for hours at their school to making all of their food, including sandwich bread, from scratch. I even started brewing beer. I did the housewife thing, and honestly, I rocked it. I made housewifery my bitch.
In the midst of all this, I realized I had no idea who I was as a person. When you have kids, it seems as if life flashes by in an instant. They will one day grow up, move out of the house and find their niche in society. Then what do you do? Do you turn into that person who resents their life because you have no idea who you are on your own? Do you give up, eat dinner at 3pm and complain about the weather whilst watching The Antique Road Show? Do you turn to the bottle of tequila and decide that it's probably okay to become obese by eating bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos while living in your bathrobe? All of these are lovely possibilities. Truthfully, I'd probably turn to the latter of the three.
Thirty-three. When I turned thirty-three this past October, it was uneventful. I figured it was going to be another year that passed me by while I was busy being in the background, like my previous thirteen birthdays. I was unhappy. Really unhappy. I could fake happiness, though. I'm sure you all thought I had an amazing life in which I was completely fulfilled. I've always had to pretend that things were okay since I was a young child, so it wasn't that difficult to do in adulthood. Plus, I'm not an emotional person. Friends who are close with me know they have to warn me before giving me a hug. Yes, it's one of my weird things. I finally decided that I needed to do something for myself. I began working out. I liked the results, so I began going to crossfit. The beautiful thing about crossfit is that you compete with yourself. I was instantly hooked. It was at this point where I started experimenting with new looks. I was a 1950's housewife, so why not look the part?
Thirty-three has been quite the year for me thus far. I've improved physically, mentally and emotionally (I actually like hugs now--who knew?) I've learned that I have a voice, and people actually listen to what I have to say. I have also been separated from my husband for quite some time. I've kept it private because it is private. I know I'm usually an open book, but there are some things I need to keep private. I won't be complaining or blaming. It is what it is. I won't be giving any explanations, either. Just know that it's for the better, and my children are my number one priority. They are adjusting, and we are both working together to ensure they are taken care of and happy. The kids get to see a lighter side of mom, and dad doing things he's never done before (word on the street is that he can actually make quite the breakfast.) I also lived for over a week with the possibility of having breast cancer. It felt like the longest week ever. Talk about putting things into perspective. (FYI: the tests came back negative. :)) I'm finally making myself my number two priority. I have no idea what the future holds for me. I do know, however, that I'm happy. Quite happy, actually.
Have you ever experienced something that you know you'll never forget? For me it's going to be thirty-three.