… and sometimes I even manage to listen to it and learn from it myself.
As a single mother working two new and demanding jobs, I don’t have much in the way of “me time” these days. But I’ve become obsessed with rainbow/unicorn/galaxy/peacock/insert-preferred-pop-culture-reference-here hair. I don’t quite know why. Before my separation I had never once dyed my hair. I’d never even felt inclined to do so.
“This is me,” I’d think. “What’s the point in changing it?”
But, in what was surely a predictable and worn-out stereotypical turn of events, after hearing of my husband’s decade of hidden infidelity, I got thee to the salon. I chopped off a lot of my boring brown hair and went a just-slightly-bold red with a blonde streak here and there to make me feel daring. Then I went maroon. Then peak-a-boo blue and purple and coral. Then, finally, I started saying “WTH?” and went fully rainbow. I’ve been teal and purple and yellow and green and blue and pink. I’ve been up and down the rainbow a few times now. After my most recent trip to my amazing stylist I left shockingly blue and purple. My heart smiles each time I look in the mirror.
My stylist is a fabulous being, and a recovering addict. I don’t presume to know them anymore than anyone knows someone they see on the somewhat regular for a professional and client relationship. But, we mesh. We mesh in a way that just feels right. We give each other that look – you know THAT look. The one that says, “We’ve survived. We’ve been through so much, but still we’re here. I’m proud of you. You’ve got this.”
When we meet we usually stumble onto the topic of how life is so god-damned hard. And, oh how it is.
This time they said to me, “I think that’s why we get each other. You are someone who knows what it is like to try and put all those pieces back together again.”
And, before even thinking about what I was about to say, I replied, “I disagree. I’m someone that spent nearly her entire life trying to put those tiny little pieces back together again. Now I’m someone that has learned that sometimes a thing can be so broken that there’s no hope of repair. Sometimes you just have to throw it out and start over. I’m not someone that knows how to put pieces together anymore; I’m someone that knows when to throw it all out and start over.”
And, you know what? A few days later and I couldn’t be more in agreement with myself. There’s so much piece in letting go. In sweeping up the tiniest of shards and crumbs, depositing them in the bin, and beginning anew. I’m not going to claim I’ve got it all figured out, but I’m certainly closer than I’ve ever been. If only because I don’t believe anymore that it can all be figured out.
I love my son. I love my home. I love my work. I’m at peace with my place in this world. And, more importantly, I’m at peace with the fact that that place will be in constant movement – sometimes initiated by me, but, more often than not, initiated by things outside my control. Control. I spent so long seeking it. My purple hair and I don’t need it. We’re resilient. We’ve been through some things. We’ll be through more. We’ll be just fine.