Beth Adele Long

The Year of 33

I’m 33 years old. Supposedly the age of Jesus when he was crucified and of Alexander the Great when he died. According to Wikipedia, 33 is also the atomic weight of arsenic and the largest positive integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers. I have a degree in Engineering Physics, but I have absolutely no idea what that last bit means.

What have I done with my life during this auspicious (or suspicious) year? Well, it’s certainly been a year of changes. I’m moving from the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater area up to the metro DC-Baltimore area. At least it’s still a hyphenate, right? I’m doing well with remission from cancer, hurrah hurrah, although I still gotta get de-ported (as in, having my chemo port removed; a simple process, but one that freaks me out a little bit). After writing one Really Really Bad draft of a novel last year, I’m back to working on the Big Novel that I started way back when I had the Kerouac residency in Orlando. And… well, there are still six months left till 34. Who knows what else might happen.

Here’s my question: how can I move through cancer recovery, creative achievement, a change in residence, with simplicity, clarity, and style?