I started this blog post in about five different ways, and through typing all of those out, the real organization or maybe even purpose for this blog surfaced.
A few weeks ago I got a magical haircut. Most of you have probably seen the picture on Facebook, but I chopped off at least ten inches of my hair and got an epically wonderful pixie cut. I've never felt better about anything in my life, and that is not even hyperbole. The response from 100% of the people in my life was sadness-crushingly positive. It makes me regret the 24 years I lived without this haircut. Here was my true response to getting this haircut, "My face space looks so good the rest of me should look this good."
For what seemed like no reason at all, I finally started the hundred pushup challenge (after seven weeks of the program, you should be able to do one hundred consecutive pushups). I've wanted to do it for years, and just never did. I just ended week 3 (after a week delay during Crohn's exhaustion), and I can now do many more pushups than I could when I started. Gonna start week 4 tomorrow.
I recently, finally, listened to Tig Notaro's "Live" album. She is a stand-up comedian who was diagnosed with cancer, almost died from an intestinal parasite, was dumped by a significant other, and lost her mother to a freak accident, all within the space of four months. And out of these tragedies, she wrote a brilliant set that was released for sale, unedited. She talks about the grand equation, tragedy + time = comedy, and it made me think a lot about Crohn's. For the first time since being diagnosed, and the first time in my life really, I'm thinking about what I'm eating. I'm thinking about my body and my health.
The disease has progressed to the point where I have to, or else my quality of life will be diminished. And through this forced facing of it, it's become even less of a big deal in my life, in some ways. In other ways, it's become a mammoth, staring me down every day, but in some ways, it's just this thing that I tell people about now. Yeah, I am going to skip that event because I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Yeah, I am going to pass on dinner because I know that I won't be able to eat anything at that restaurant. Things that still bother me to talk about: my unbelievably crazy hemorrhoids, but that's probably another blog post.
Tig's set wasn't perfect, it was just raw. It was so raw, and funny, and touching, and original. At one point she apologizes to the audience and asks if they want to hear some stupid, funny jokes and a guy in the crowd yells out, "NO!" She probes him for more information and all he can respond with is "You're f***ing amazing!" The audience dissolves into cheers and applause. The moment chokes me up. Crohn's will never be cancer, and I thank god for that, but I've always wanted to go into comedy, and here's some fodder for a set, I've finally realized. It's not about poop jokes, although those are great, it's about the experience.
That's tangential, I guess, to what I'm talking about. I just want to shout out to Tig Notaro. Anyway, I'm also moving to Salt Lake City. That was probably less a link in this chain of haircut magic, and more just a fortuitous alignment of ending contracts and an open first floor of a house near Liberty Park. But it's emboldening all the same. It fits into the chain.
I've written about change before, and I hope I never stop writing about it. It's so important. It's my favorite variable in life. One thing in my life changed, and it cost me $50, and it's lead to the newest new side of a leaf I maybe have ever turned over in my life. This is coming off as really dramatic. I don't mean it to be, I just want to impress on every reader the joy of the uncertain.
Not to beat the dead horse, but to close this out I'm going to jump back to the whole breaking-up-with-my-fiance thing. For 23 years of my life, my #1 greatest fear was living alone for the rest of my life. And I tried so hard to be okay with it, and to work on myself so that I wouldn't be so dependent on someone else for happiness. And I met amazing people who had lived solo their whole lives, who inspired me for a few days or maybe a week that if I were really to live alone the rest of my life, it would be a great opportunity. Invariably, that inspiration would wane, and the dark shadow of being alone would cast itself over my life.
I don't know when that fear left me officially (probably sometime in early March), but the other day I was practicing answering talk show questions (my favorite pastime, because I'm pretty sure I'm supposed/going to be famous), and I thought "What is my greatest fear?" For the first time, digging deep into my brain, I really couldn't think of anything. That lead me to realize that my mind didn't jump to "being alone" which floored me. Which defaults my greatest fear back to snakes. *shudder*
I think I scared myself so bad, I kind of woke up. Quarter-life crisis. I was so motivated by a fear, I almost married someone. I almost resigned the both of us to a really, really hard and sad life because I was so scared. Soapbox time:
Go get your haircut. Go wake up. Change yourself so fundamentally that you can live your life how you've always wanted to - freely. It's not easy. It sounds flippant to say "go get a haircut" because this was a long time in the works, to be sure. Maybe I have all the people who told me to never get a pixie cut to thank for this, to make the change so poignant at this moment. And maybe I have my ex-fiance to thank for all this, in which case, the price for this revelation was paid in part by another person who was hurt very deeply and that, despite the joy of what I've found, makes my heart ache. The best I can do is go forward and be happy and do great things, even if micro in scale to the rest of the universe, to make sure the payment was worth it.
I just want us all to be ourselves, because then everyone is at their happiest, you know? Let's do that.