Did you ever have an impulsive idea and just… go with it?
Before I became a mother, my life was all about being spontaneous.
It was exhilarating.
It made me feel… alive.
Alive is pretty much the opposite of how I have felt for the last five and a half months, when this horrible vertigo began.
Besides constantly feeling dizzy, at times I’ve also felt depressed, nauseated, bitchy, extremely bitchy, and when I hit rock bottom, slightly suicidal.
Yesterday, my wonderful friend (and talented hairstylist) came to my house to cut my hair.
We first met when our children attended the same special needs preschool and our friendship grew quickly.
Immediately after almost falling in the shower a couple of months ago, I hacked off six inches of my hair because I felt it was throwing off my balance. It had grown nearly to my waist and was so heavy, especially when it was wet. She came to my rescue to fix the mess I had made. There was plenty of wiggle room to fix my uneven mistakes and when she had finished (another two inches later), it still looked great. More importantly, my head felt SO much lighter.
Yesterday didn’t turn out nearly as well.
I thought that if I cut another six inches of hair off, I’d feel better like I did the last time. I had the brilliant idea that instead of just a trim, I’d go for it and cut it really short.
Spontaneity can be a real asshole.
When all that hair was gone, what I saw reflected back was so much more harsh than an extreme haircut.
Mortality was squaring off with me in my own mirror.
I had long hair for about twenty years.
It helped disguise a multitude of sins.
All of the things that I have tried to hide from myself are painfully visible now.
From a sagging jaw line to the unmistakable facial droop left from a neck surgery, I can no longer hide behind my hair and pretend that I am not aging.
The unnerving reality is that I’m not aging well.
For the past couple of years, I’ve started to feel a bit old.
Now, with most of my hair gone, it’s obvious that the long term effects of an autoimmune disease and other annoying health issues have settled into my face.
While a part of this is certainly foolish vanity, the larger portion that has been gnawing at me from deep inside is the fact that I AM getting older.
In just a four years (if I’m blessed), I will be fifty.
Fifty should mean settled.
It should mean secure.
Instead, it means terrifying.
I’m a special needs mom to two beautiful, YOUNG children who need me.
I need to live forever.
The person staring back at me in the mirror, stands no chance of living forever.
The people I swam in the gene pool with, died in their early fifties.
My cousins, all within a decade of my age, passed away within the last couple of years.
I’m the oldest one left in the family pool.
Just a few years ago, I felt healthy and young, vibrant and alive.
This is about so much more than just a silly hairstyle.
This is a midlife crisis.
Actually, I hope it’s just a midlife crisis because that would mean I’m only halfway through my life.
I’m determined to stick around for another fifty years.
Maybe then, I’ll be ready for my next haircut.
The photos below were taken of my beautifulkindcompassionatesmartfunny daughter just before and after we cut her hair to donate (for the second time) because she is the most awesome person on earth.
She’s so much cooler than her mom.