That's not to say that there were no beautiful, loving, soul touching experiences. There absolutely were!
They just came interspersed with some of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with.
And I haven't bounced back. I feel like a big rubber ball that got chucked off a building, but when it hit the pavement it only rebounded a teensy bit, and is now just sitting there, partially squashed, on the ground.
Now here's the thing; I haz tools for self-help. Oodles of 'em. Some of my favorites are yoga, conscious breathing, tapping, journaling, meditation, and various other spiritual practices.
Have I been doing those? Aw hell no, of course I haven't. I'm squashed on the ground, remember? Not much oomph in me to do much of anything.
So I'm feeling worse, and then beating myself up about not helping myself. And then feeling worse.
Que vicious cycle.
To add some self-loathing to the fire, I feel that I haven't aged well at all this year. I've gained a lot of weight (seriously, a lot), my face is saggy, the age spots on my skin are cropping up, the silver in my hair has doubled. My body is achy and stiff and sad. I feel 80 some days.
So guess what I've done about that? That's right! Obsessing! Telling myself how ugly I've become, how unattractive I am, how it's all downhill from here and I'll never be the cute me I used to be. And how that is THE WORST THING EVER, to not look good anymore.
I've been looking in the mirror all the time, picking apart all the horrible things that I see. Comparing myself to women my age who look amazing. To women in general who look the way they're 'supposed' to look.
Well, I don't know what happened exactly, but I woke up yesterday and started to wonder what the hell my problem was. Why did I care so damn much about my appearance anyway? And why couldn't I focus on the INNER me, the part that really needed the help? The part that would, once tended to, make me feel infinitely better.
The part that IS ME.
I pondered that all day.
I realized that, to quote Johnny Depp's line in Alice in Wonderland, I'd "lost my muchness". And my 'muchness' could only be found INSIDE of me.
And it didn't matter a hill of beans what the OUTSIDE of me looked like. Because that's not me.
That's. Not. Me.
It was a lovely little epiphany, which was really a reminder of what I already knew but keep forgetting over and over again.
How to make it STICK?
How could I really take this not-new-but-just-remembered-again wisdom and ACT on it? Make it real in the Here & Now?
And so I buzzed off (almost) all my hair.
Because... I'm starting fresh.
Because... my outside appearance needs to take a VERY distant back burner to my inside state of being.
Because... what a woman my age - or ANY woman - is 'supposed' to look like is bullshit.
Because... every time I see myself in the mirror now, I smile. I bless myself. I tell myself how much I love me. I look in my own eyes, past the outer trappings, and connect with my own SOUL.
Because... I can, dammit! I'm taking back the power that I let go this year.
Because... It was SO FUCKING FREEING! Oh my gawd you have no idea how DELICIOUS it felt to just buzzzzzzz all that hair off. Seriously. De-li-cious.
Because... it's a challenge to myself to laugh stupid shit off. Some people are going to be disturbed by my almost-shaved head. They're going to look at me funny in Target later today. And that is funny as hell! Because it's just HAIR. Not a limb that I cut off. Just hair. Silly people.
Because... I'm still letting go of 'what everyone thinks' and making other people happy and comfortable. Having pink hair for four years was a step in that direction. But boy howdy does removing my hair - as a woman - give a big message to myself of giving zero fiddle-faddles what anyone thinks.
And that is why I buzzed off (almost) all my hair yesterday. It's a little scary still. I'm a little shocked that I did it. And that, right there, is a blaring siren that tells me it was an excellent idea.
It's time to make my love of myself, my happiness and peace, my TOP priority.
Not my hair.