Does anyone else strut to their car after they’ve just left the hair salon sporting a bomb diggity haircut?
There is something that feels so wildly liberating about getting a few good inches of dead weight chopped off.
Not to mention the salon always uses the best smelling herbal shampoo that makes you feel as though you are one fragrant hair flip away from forging an entirely new life for yourself. One second away from a fresh new start where you are on top of the world and nothing, and no one, can stop you.
I made an appointment with my friend and hairdresser, Morgan, for the week before Christmas so my locks would look extra nice for the holiday season. You know, I’m also going to add the word “therapist” to Morgan’s title as she knows more than most about my life. That’s what years and years of quarterly 4 hour sessions will get you. ha! 🙂
I had rushed to this particular appointment right after work and didn’t have time to spare. As I sat down in the salon chair I still had my to-do list for the week swimming around in my head. It wasn’t long before talking with her about coffee, vacations, work, random happenings, Christmas gifts and plans, etc. before my mind started to slow down. And that little wash with the shampoo and conditioner thingy they do in the sink? Glorious. So relaxing. It feels nice doing something amidst the chaos of the holiday season where your only job is to be still and close your eyes. It’s a rare and beautiful moment, really. No wonder people love getting their hair done.
I stood up after my hair was finished and ran my hand through the soft and loose curls, that I can never seem to replicate, and then threw on my black winter jacket. I carefully slipped on my black gloves to match and took a deep breath in before I pushed open the door to leave.
The cold Wisconsin air hit me fast and within seconds I decided that I would only inhale when absolutely necessary.
My normal strut to the car became a brisk walk with a few gallop-hops thrown in there to quicken the pace. My period of feeling like some grand transformation was just on the cusp of erupting was quickly severed.
I plopped down in my van, turned on the radio, put the car into drive, and started to head home.
I still have to get this gift..make a grocery list….do my grocery shopping…and wrap her gift… My mind began to wander.
About ten minutes into my drive I looked out of my car window.
And that’s when I realized what I had done.
My heart flipped in my chest and then completely sank.
I haven’t been living with my ex-husband for 15 months almost to the day. That’s over a year. That’s roughly 465 days.
But somehow, for the first time since I moved out, I started driving to my old house. I started driving there as if nothing ever happened.
I made myself pull over as I felt the knot in my chest move its way up to my throat.
I started to picture opening the door to my old home and seeing my cats. I pictured Dan whistling when he saw my new hair. I started to remember how we’d always go out on a date after I’d gotten my hair done because I felt good. Almost every time.
“No…” I whispered. The sound of my own voice so desperate and defeated was the tipping point. I started to cry, but I felt removed from the moment. It was like I was watching someone else crumble.
I hadn’t allowed myself to think of such things in a very long time. It felt like a weak moment…and it was….but it was just a moment.
The pain only started seeping past the surface of my skin before I silenced myself to snap out of it.
I can’t do this. I’m not doing this. I’m NOT doing this.
I put my head up, turned the car around, and headed toward my current home.
My haircut moment went from using shears as a means of freedom to feeling the metaphorical shears cut open old wounds.
But sometimes that’s what the holidays will do to you.
I’m always striving to be transparent with you guys, which is why I share this moment, as much as it hurts to replay in my mind. A lot of times the holidays are a wonderful time for reconnecting with friends and family and showing love and appreciation for one another. But a lot of times, for some people, it can be the opposite of that. For some, it can be a reminder of those who we don’t have to celebrate with us anymore, living or not, and it can be really really hard.
I was so busy that I just went into autopilot. Even after all of this time. I see that now.
What did I do to get out of this funk? Well, I had to remind myself to try to remember the great things and people that I have in my life and keep repeating that to myself over and over. (My last blog post-Christmas Presence speaks to this.) There are a lot of good things around if I look for them.
One of the places I go most often in my mind when I’m starting to feel upset is my biggest and most elaborate dreams. I start to imagine and visualize things I want to happen for myself in the future. One of those daydreams is to be able to write more and be well received enough to make a living off of it. This idea was pushed out of my head for quite some time, but it slowly found its way back to me. It’s nice wishing again. It’s a good place to go.
After I had written my blog post about my literal “Lightbulb Moment”, one of my writer friends, Rebekah Bryan, shared it on her page. Rebekah is someone that I look up to as an author and she shared the post with the line, “I’ve said it before. This girl, my friend Anna, needs to publish a memoir someday!”
I remember reading her statement and just feeling so darn excited. I had just started thinking about this blog so much that I hadn’t really given much thought to writing a book again, until then.
When my roommate Jenny got home later that day I relayed to her how happy I was that someone out there wanted to see an entire book of mine. Something I wrote. Something that takes time to read! I think it’s one of the nicest compliments.
“I’ve always wanted to write, but I put that dream on the back burner for so long,” I said. “I just started dreaming of my blog again…the book dream is there, but it just feels so so far out of reach for me…” I paused before adding, “But even though it’s out of reach, I can at least see it again.”
Jenny didn’t miss a beat before she replied in her normal soft and poetic manner, “Well then, we’ll just have to take a shears and cut out the space between.”
So let’s do it. Let’s push past the pain. Let’s dream again. Let’s cut out that space in between us and our goals. Let’s pull those things closer to our hearts. That’s where they belong after all. <3
I hope you all have a Happy and Healthy New Years!! Thank you so much for sticking around with me. It truly means the world.
P.s. Don’t let anyone steal your joy.