Freedom from Prime Numbers

I’ve always been a fan of even numbers, especially numbers that are easily divided (my favorite numbers are 4, 12, and 24). Conversely, ever since I was a kid, odd numbers have made me uncomfortable, and prime numbers even more so. I guess I have a deep suspicion of numbers that you can’t divide.

I’ve been 23 for the past year, and while I’m not blaming the prime number for the terrible year I had, all I’m saying is, maybe it didn’t help. (Looking back, I’ve never had luck with prime numbered years. When I was 11, I got sent back to one last hellish year of church school, a nightmare after the freedom of homeschooling; when I was 17, I had to endure my parents’ long, painful, and messy divorce. 19 was okay, but challenging: I started college that year.)

Today is my 24th birthday, and I couldn’t be happier. My birthday tends to be a pretty convenient point for demarcating new “years”–it’s right before the beginning of the school year, and until recently, the rhythms of academia ruled my life.

And to be frank, 23 sucked. It involved dealing with an alcoholic stepfather, terrible jobs, and a forced move across the state to sleep on someone’s couch for four months (which, tellingly, was an improvement over my prior situation). It was characterized by uncertainty, instability, doubt, boredom, and frustration. Oh, also poverty. (I lost weight because I couldn’t afford anything but beans and rice.)

At the same time, though, all of that is finally paying off. It was a low year, but I successfully pushed through the Peace Corps application process. And best of all, I can finally call it over. I’m ending the year spending time with the people I love, and in less than a week (!) I blast off on my next adventure.

I have high hopes for 24–I’m allowing myself to be optimistic, for once. Finally, after all this waiting, I get to go out and do something that matters to me, something I expect to be fulfilling and rewarding.

Tonight, I’m heading up to spend the weekend with my dad and his wife at their little mountain home. That should be lovely and relaxing. After that, my last two days in Colorado will be spent with my mom (and hopefully my brother), sightseeing around Colorado Springs and running through my last minute errands, paperwork, and shopping.