I was looking for a picture of my hair for the April tater tot post to compare hair lengths to last year because of a story I told in one of last year’s tater tot posts.
Let me clarify. I wanted to take a picture of my current hair length to show the progress.
I hate taking selfies.
I’ve written about it before, many times.
At one point, I’d even perfected the art of taking blog profile pictures by standing on furniture.
Apparently, it was to get the “good light” or something. We all started somewhere, don’t judge.
So back to my hair picture; I took selfies of myself (oh, that’s where the name came from) while standing in my kitchen one morning, trying to look less like I had inhaled two bowls of chocolate ice cream two days before and more like I was this strengthened person I am trying to become.
Whilst in a pandemic.
We are still in it, by the way.
I know it doesn’t feel like we are with the news being less and less about it, but it is still everywhere.
I saw this statistic the other day from CNN:
March 1st, 2020- 89 cases, 2 deaths
March 1st, 2021- 28,614,504 cases, 513,393 deaths
Talk about a reality check.
We’ve had a lot of reality over the course of a year. Not all of it pandemic related. My posts about hair lengths, menopause, cream of wheat, and my book’s progress have been fluff, distraction, diversion.
Mike and I were talking a few weeks ago about goals I have for my book, as in what is the primary aim of my book? Not for my reader, but for me.
Why am I writing this book?
I used to think I knew the answer, but now? I am not sure.
I’ve been reading too many spiritual books; yes, there is such a thing.
In that book I told you about last week, White Fire, the author says, “when you can write your autobiography on the back of a stamp and still have room to spare, I wish to meet you.”
It struck a chord with me.
I used to be impressed with titles, degrees, accomplishments.
After the year we’ve had, I’ve become impressed with different things.
A person who checks in on another when they are quiet or people who are the last to leave a hug. The way a person communicates with someone when the public isn’t looking or when that person has nothing to gain from that conversation. Someone doing something incredibly sweet and time-consuming and not wanting credit or financial gain or having it put on social media. Doing it just for friendship, or kinship, or love? That right there is the good shit.
When I first began writing my screenplay, I thought my goal was to become famous. Then later, I realized it wrote itself as a diversion from perimenopause to save me from internal loathing and painful depression.
When I began writing my book, I was at the end of my perimenopause and I was in a lot of physical and emotional pain. I was writing as therapy and a cure for all that was ailing me. When I went back into the book this past November, it was a distraction to get me through different personal struggles that I can’t elaborate about here.
I have torn the book apart so many times that it doesn’t even resemble the book I first began writing last June. I have had a love-hate relationship with this book, and there are many times that I have had to walk away from it.
Like a breakup with a lover.
I initially wrote this book to help myself. Then it became about helping others. Then it became about my pride. Then it became a passion project. Then it was again about my pride.
“I don’t want this to be another screenplay. I don’t want people to think I never follow through on anything,” I would write in my journals.
I should have told no one I was writing a book.
Next time, I won’t.
I took several selfies on a Tuesday morning.
I didn’t photoshop them, and the only filter I used was “dramatic” on my iPhone because this year was very much so.
Dramatic, that is.
This is me. This is who I am. After a year of reality.
My hair seriously needs a trim and a highlight. I have worry lines and bags under my eyes because there is a lot going on behind the scenes every day around here as I am sure there is in your world as well.
I haven’t been on vacation in over two years. I have been homeschooling my child for almost three years now. Thank God I am on 100 milligrams of an antidepressant daily.
The sides of my lips are chapped because I recently had my braces taken off at an orthodontist appointment. I quietly finished my braces a few weeks ago, but it doesn’t matter because no one really sees my smile anymore. I can’t passionately kiss my husband because he is an essential worker and still isn’t eligible to get his vaccinations.
All of those things up there wouldn’t have made sense to me a year ago, but now, they are my life.
Even though this last year was tough, I realize it was an opportunity to look at my life differently. It gave me a do-over. I made changes, got rid of some baggage, and gained wisdom.
A year ago, I was less empathetic. A year ago, I was much more self-involved. A year ago, I would spend an obnoxious amount of time on Facebook each day. A year ago, it would have mortified me to share those pictures above with all of you. I would have sent them to my Pic Monkey editor and edited the hell out of them. Smoothed the lines and the cracks; covered the age spots and the wrinkles and pretended that it was the real me.
A year later, I am not as concerned about those things. A year later, I am happy to just be. I am imperfect and I happily accept it. The lines, the dry skin, the extra ten pounds I gained over winter. Okay, 15 pounds. I am okay with all of that.
I can admit failures in my life and not bristle at them.
Even with my book writing or screenplay writing.
There are so many layers to the meme my cousin shared with me on Instagram. I felt it could relate to many other scenarios in life.
How a struggling teenager sees themselves vs. how a loving father sees them.
How a kindergartner sees their artwork vs. how their proud mother sees it.
How we see our bodies vs. how God/Universe/Creator/something larger at work sees our beautiful bodies.
The picture on the left accurately depicts how I felt on the inside of my body a year ago.
The picture on the right is getting closer to how I feel on the inside of my body now.
Thanks to an antidepressant, half a year of therapy, six months into menopause, half a year of soul homework, and an entire year of scaling back on my former life.
The things I felt I “needed” in my every day.
There are many things I won’t return to when all of this is over.
It’s interesting what a year of reality will do to a perspective, isn’t it?