I flick on the radio, and my fingers tap to the beat on my wheel. My head bobs as I belt out the chorus. My feet press the petal as I race along the melody, creating distance from my disasters and letting the music muffle out the waiting consequences.

In a flash it was all gone. Her big-wig job Her lavish house on the cul-de-sac Her responsible, predictable life She searched her soul for regrets, but her future felt so damn light she only felt delight.

Crawling from the wreckage of my life, I stood and looked over the ashes of the past and my charred dreams.

A butterfly of hope flutter in my chest and a ghost of a smile played on my lips.

I’d burned that fucking bridge and was ready to walk a new path.

Today is her one-year anniversary. It is the day she grabbed a key called courage and unlocked her cage. She’s stepped out of her old life and into her new one. It is a scarier place with few guarantees, but the adventure makes it worth every failure and fear.

It is time to drop the shame and embrace who I am. No more apologizing for my loud laugh and reckless desires. I want to dance naked at noon and reach for the sun. If I end up burned, so be it. I’d rather burn out than freeze in place, never experiencing life.