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Gloria Gaynor said that I will survive.

And Barbara Kingsolver visited my life again to give me tips for survival. A few pebbles and pearls to guide me on my journey of the mind on my path to potential.

My mind is no longer screaming in fear and the muscles in my back have settled. Death is a largely random thing. A few moments here, a few moments there, and your life could change dramatically or end abruptly. This was my Monday afternoon. Two women fighting while driving an SUV at high-speed through my neighborhood. They hit my car, damaging much of the driver’s side, and then they drove away as quickly as they arrived.

I was angry at the damage they caused.

I am grateful that I was no longer standing at the rear driver side door pulling groceries out of the car.

I don’t know if my wonky body could have moved quickly enough to avoid the collision. It’s imperfect, you know, my body. It is no longer what it once was. Illness, aging, and diabetes have consigned themselves to a pact to tell me some things.

First, I’m not a kid anymore and need to make a few adjustments to how I live in my body.

Second, while my diet is not trash, it could be better. I’m more given to Greek Yogurt and its four grams of sugar for breakfast and dinners built around leafy greens. Lunch tends to be a sandwich on high-fiber bread or a bowl of my ghetto soup. I call my beloved chicken soup “ghetto” because it relies heavily on a wonderful soup base out of a container, then I add a protein, an assortment of veggies, and finish it with a fist-sized brick of frozen, chopped spinach. I pray that I don’t get bored. I hope to not carry-on an elicit affair with Ben, Jerry, and deep-fried potato parts.

The third thing that my Triad of Truth—i.e., illness, aging, and diabetes—is eager to tell me is that now is the time. More directly, now is my time. Time to lay down worry, waste, and regret so I can get there. Yes, I’m not there yet. But where is there?

There is on the other side of my first published book. It is on the other side of my DBA filing for my publishing company that I hope my book royalties will pay for. There is on the other side of the barriers that I’ve erected in my mind. There is free of those distractions that I’ve indulged for too long. There is beyond my comfort zone.

I recall that podcast host and cultural critic Crissle West said that astrology apps like Co-Star and The Pattern, “Will fuck up your life.” I laughed in response. I knew that she was right; however, neither of those apps had shaken my world just yet.

So, what am I to do with this information? These reminders of what I should already know. Greatness is within me, as it is within each of us. The secret is finding your lane and staying the course. Being brave enough to pick up the pearls in your path, dodge the venomous arrows, free yourself of the countless venomous webs that life puts in our path, to recapture the affirmative kisses of your heart, and be undaunted when the worst threatens to visit your thoughts or your physical being.

I’ve shed tears as I’ve assessed the wake of my path. Opportunities not pursued, times I blinked when open and clear eyes were needed, and memories of selling myself short. How many times have I been three feet from gold? Was it Fool’s Gold or the real thing? It doesn’t matter. I just have to get there. But, I’m not there yet.