Goodbye Sweet Jesus Year

Getting old is hard. Getting older without healing your past is even harder.

Jael R. Bakari
4 min readJan 3, 2023

Jesus died at age 33.

And after going through this particular level, I’m beginning to see why.

To say 33 has been anything other than rough would be the understatement of a lifetime.

It’s not the soul crushing disappointment of not enough accomplished that comes with 29. Or the anxiety filled panicked dread of omgimturning30. Nor is it the underwhelming depression that accompanies 31 as you enter the “and up” portion of the “30 and up club”.

But it’s still rough as fuck.

A revelation

I guess because 33, at least for me, is the first year I had to finally accept that I gotta grow the hell up.

I know it would seem that a person over the age of 30 should already be grown, but I’ve been known to wait until the last minute for the things that really matter.

What do I mean by grow up?

I don’t just mean shouldering unnecessary responsibility in the world, hoping some day that things will get better. Nor do I mean resign to a life of living in the comfortable shadow of the familiar out of fear of things changing too much.

No, by grow up I mean face my pain.

For 30 plus years I’ve buried feelings, thoughts, and emotions beneath a seemingly stable veneer because i just didn’t think my problems were problems. I didn’t think the things I had been through were worth discussing, let alone crying over.

Stranger than Fiction

But a funny thing happened this weekend. I cut myself in a minor kitchen mishap. Nothing significantly damaging, as a matter of fact no blood even left the cut. It was just open enough to sting whenever soap got in it and remind me that it was in fact there.

And then the water in my house’s pipes froze. Now that might not seem to matter, but when you have no water to wash your hands and hand sanitizer and alcohol become stand ins, that silly flesh wound goes from a minor pain to constant source of deep agony.

I’m not sure if it was the new cleansing format or the woe of yet another Christmas barely above the poverty line, but I broke down and cried. And I felt so stupid for doing so. These tears weren’t gonna solve anything and I, the girl born of fire had to be made of something harder than this.

But I couldn’t stop.

It was so bad I had to ask a friend

“Why the fuck is this happening? Why am I crying over nothing?”

And she answered so simply.

“Because it hurts.”

Pain and Misery

She was right. Years of. letting unprocessed shit fester, shoving pain points down because they were mere flesh wounds that didn’t even bleed, had me in a state of agony I could no longer ignore.

If I didn’t face this thing, get these old wounds cleaned and treated properly, i’d run the risk of becoming something i always feared being: miserable.

My mom was miserable. My grandmas too. In fact in a quick mental survey of the adults I have known since childhood, I would have to say most of them, with few exceptions, are miserable in some way.

I used to think that misery just came with growing up. Bills and responsibilities have a way of souring any disposition. But after this year, I’m beginning to believe I misunderstood the source of the problem.

Unfortunately due to me being one nosy ass kid, I know for a fact a lot of em were holding on to some serious pain and discomfort. Probably where I got the crazy notion that holding shit in was a good idea now that i think about it. If they were going through life daily with the constant sting of unprocessed shit working their nerves raw beneath the surface, being miserable was would have been a perfectly normal response.

But after 33 whooped my ass with continual disappointment, heartbreak, and revelation, I’ve conceded that enough is enough. It’s time to face my pain before it faces me. And god forbid that bitch mutate in the process (see the artist formerly known as Kanye West for more details on what that looks like).


This year has been alot to process, so much so im sure it’s finna come out in the current book I’m working on (#mutantgijanewip⛈️).

It may have been hell but my jesus year gave me the courage to face my own rugged cross.

I dont know what 34 has in store for me. (Seriously are there any religious figures who had problems at 34 i need to be aware of?) But I hope its filled with the satisfaction I imagine comes from being willing to finally start living my life with joy and pain, sun-shine, and rain.

Either that or im finally going to clown school.

I’m honestly cool with either outcome.

Till next time loves ✌🏾



Jael R. Bakari

hero maker by day, psychic clown witch by night. writer of literary crack. future poor white billionaire. your favorite —ist