My Mother, like many, saved various remnants from my childhood. I usually find pieces of my history tucked into the pages of a handed down book or in a box of "do you want any of this?"
I don't remember exactly when the construction paper ribbon appeared, but it brought with it the promise of hope. "Miss Unruffled", it said, and it had my name on it. Imagine...!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Day Five - Carry-on Luggage
Baggage. I think it's safe to say that we all have it, in one way or another. I like trying to 'checking' it, banishing it to the cavernous depths of my metaphorical plane, hoping that the airline will lose it. Sometimes I shove it into the overhead compartment, out of sight but still looming over me. And no matter how hard I work on 'dealing' with it, the Universe is always more than willing to remind me that it's still here, tethered and weighing me down. Anchoring me in garbage.
The interesting thing is, all of my bags match. They don't all hold the same thing - that would be silly - but each holds something undeniably related and tied in to the others. It doesn't matter what the issue-of-the-day may be, somehow it will trigger 98.669% of all the other crap in my head.
I have letting go issues and a self-worth disability, anxiety disorder and a sprinkle of debilitating depression. And they're all tied together feeding on and being fed off of each other. I was under the impression that the passage of time would lead to maturity, which would bring wisdom and, eventually, peace. You know what the passage of time leads to? More birthdays, which leads to older-than-ever-ness and, inevitability, wrinkles. Not overly comforting.
I used to have a hair fixation when I was younger. I bleached and dyed and refused to trim because I needed every battered inch that I could get. And I couldn't leave the house without styling it. You know how some women can fix a bad hair day with an elastic and a ball cap? I wasn't one of those. If my hair was shite, I was shite.
When Kitten was born, my hair was three or four inches past my shoulders. Life with a new baby doesn't leave a whole lot of time to play with one's hair, so for the first year of Kitten's life, my hair lived in a pony tail and grew. Close to her first birthday, I was sitting in the kitchen of the house I shared with my mom. My sister was visiting and she was playing with my long, straw-like - in both colour and texture - pony tail. I love having my hair played with so I removed the elastic and revelled in the attention. Eventually, though, her intention cut through my pleasure. She was cringing. I couldn't see her, but it was strong enough to be felt, none the less. This set me to thinking about how gross my hair looked, truly. With the remnants of a bad blond job* taking up about half the length of my hair, I knew cutting it was the only remedy. I had tried dying darker - twice at home and once in a salon - only to have the colour wash out. Apparently my hair was too porous. Something to do with the size of the dye molecules.... "Hurry up, before I change my mind." I was that unspecific and my sister was running for scissors.
She cut my hair to my shoulders which is my least favourite style in the world.* A few weeks later, while visiting family in Calgary, I had it cut Sarah McLachlan c.1998. Having curly hair made this a very disappointing style and a few weeks after returning from our visit, I enlisted a friend and we took the clippers to my head. I loved it and kept it that was for several months. Right up until I noticed the side effects. I didn't mind the flirty smiles from the ladies, but the threatening smiles from some of the men made me a little nervous. And I hated when senior citizens thought I was something to fear.
The great thing about those months was that my fixation was broken. My hair became something that I could play with. I bleached, properly this time, and spent a while 'looking like sunshine,' according to Kitten. I was reinventing myself and I loved it.
...to be continued...
*(note the natural colour of my hair... I used a box of blond dye, twice, two weeks apart, in order to get a lovely orange colour)
*as it was the style my mother had throughout my childhood. Show me a kid who grew up in a dysfunctional family who want to look like her mother and I'll.... I don't know.