Here we are, January 1, 2015. Looking back is something I do my best not to do too much of these days, but I find myself thinking about something today. Coming into 2014, I was in such a different place. I had moved to a new city that was my old speed. I was thankful to be there again. Yet, I was fearful for my life. Having read all of the articles that said teeth could lead to death, heart disease, and so many other things I felt desperate to fix them. I felt like a failure for being unable to come right back up from my accident. I had no car, no money, and no hope to recover my health. So, I determined that I would become a dancer when I moved back here. I would be a scantily clad companion/therapist for lonely men and women. It would save me, I kept telling myself. Nobody can help you, but you. Nobody has to do anything for you. Nobody owes you anything. You are the only person who has a reason to pay for this. You have to find a way. I was using thought processes meant to encourage to beat my soul into submission. I let my ego run rampant. Fear and desperation almost always lead to acting from our mind, not our heart. The thing is, I spent most all of my savings getting here. It would literally break me to invest in this job. I did it anyway. I didn’t want to die is all I could think. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to save myself. I told my friends, some family, and Mom because I wasn’t ashamed. I was trying to be brave. I was trying to sacrifice my soul to gain back what I lost in the physical. I will say when a doctor tells you, you have a ticking time bomb in your mouth, you can go a little crazy. I still made a very conscious decision. I found a place, and I went into audition. I was shaking, positively vibrating with nerves. I got through it as a true novice, and even managed to be accepted. I started that night. It only took three shifts for my body to fill with dread. Other women may be able to thrive in this environment, but that is not my story. Thankfully, a kindred spirit did her best to help me, and in the end, unintentionally saved me from continuing to make a mistake. I had to put the fear of death and disease down. I had to accept that I was not where I wanted to be. I had to believe I could find a better way. That was December. Entering 2014, I put my faith in God and myself. I had hair to do, babies to sit, and I could pay all my bills. I am coming up on two years since the crash, and living with these teeth and no car has changed my perception so much. They have taught me how to face insecurity. They have taught me how to live, and to let go of the burdens of that which cannot be changed. I am more considerate, less judgmental, and more understanding. For this, I am extremely grateful. When I look back, and I remember how convinced I was, I do my best to apply it to my understanding of perception. We see what we need to see to survive our psyche, to win the war with fear or submit to it. I know I am less fearful for everyday I live this way. I know I am stronger. I still worry occasionally, but I can put it down now. Sometimes, the hardest things, the dumbest things, and the saddest things are what foster the best in us. They force us to choose who we are, and what we are willing to accept. They are what allow us to be accepting and unconditionally loving. It is the darkness that allows the light to shine after all. Coming in to 2015, I know I am willing to do healthy and positive things to continue on this path, to let things come together at the right speed, and to look at life in the moment because life isn’t worth it if you are afraid to live it.