It struck me as ironic. So much in my life has changed in the last five years. So much. Yet for all the changes, at heart, sometimes, I find myself clinging something, some little crazy thing, refusing to let go, refusing to give it up, afraid of the change.
Hard to explain, but I have an example. My hair.
I don't have great hair. I never did, not really, but it used to be long, really long. Then I spent a summer trekking around in the swamps without a hat, and sunburned my hair. I had to get quite a bit cut off.
Oh, the trauma.
And then came cancer and my longish hair became no hair at all.
Oh, the trauma.
I'm going into my fifth year cancer free, and my hair's been growing back, and I've been fretting about it, and working with it, and using all manner of hair glop and supplements. I wanted my long hair back. In my mind, it became equated with health, with a return to life before cancer. I don't know. But I really wanted that long hair.
I work in offices now. I've been carefully spiffing my wardrobe up, one piece at a time. I've been watching how other women dress, and how they carry themselves. I've come to the conclusion that I will never be like them. I'll never have the confidence that they do. I don't think you can just pick that up at 55, but this job is teaching me a lot.
This morning, I studied my reflection in the mirror as I fussed with my hair. My hair has a strange trick. It goes from okay to 'meh' to gees, I should have gotten my hair cut a week ago, all in the span of 24 hours, seems like. So I made up my mind to stop and get my hair trimmed on the way home from work.
On that drive home, it struck me: I'm ready for a change. I want that change. I want to be different.
While I waited for my stylist, I picked up a book. I picked out a hair cut. I pondered my own hair. I thought it might work. When I showed it to my stylist, she studied my hair. She told me that it would be shorter. I told her I didn't want to grow it out anymore. I got my hair cut. I made the decision, and I didn't waffle about it, and I got it cut.
Furthermore, when I walked out, I bought a can of hair product that I'd been eyeing months now, wondering what it would do for me. Not quite finished, I went to the makeup aisle. I needed makeup, and I really liked the minerals I had bought a couple months ago, and then used up, and couldn't bring myself to spend the money at Christmas time to replace them. Today I spent it.
I stepped out into the cold wind, and walked to the car with my two little bags.
Generally speaking there would be this niggling feeling of shame at spending that kind of money on myself.
Today, there wasn't. Today, I felt like I deserved it.
When I told Tim that I'd spent $60 on myself, I did not feel the need to apologize. Tim did not act as if he was waiting for an apology.