When Hairy Met Sally…?

Happy Friday, Folks!  Get ready for an odd yet beautiful adventure of learning to be comfortable with one’s body.  😀

A dear friend of mine (check out her aMazing shop!, by the way) shared with me a few years ago a unique article she had found about female empowerment.  It was on coloring underarm hair, and argued that coloring one’s underarm hair was something every woman must do at least once in her life, and the author included her own adventure of growing out and dyeing her underarm hair.  I was a bit iffy on it, but I listened to my friend and eventually read the article myself.

The idea seemed funny, and ever so slightly scary to me at first.  I knew that society and culture would not approve of such behavior, and, therefore, by participating in such behavior, I might risk my experience of belonging to and being accepted by and being loved by many of those around me in life.  Certain people would be no big deal – like my mom and my best friend – but I know a lot of people would struggle with wanting to be around me, if I were to pursue such a thing.  Even my mom would accept me, I knew, but I also knew that she would dislike it and likely would complain to me about my hair on a regular basis.  People just don’t approve of women having underarm hair, so having it would be taboo.  Leg hair has been on the rise for women – think hipster generation – but the underarm hair situation is still too closely associated with dirtiness, uncleanliness.

Now, upon reading the article, these were the automatic thoughts I had, right?

Well, I had these thoughts, plus one other: I critiqued the way the author took on the task.  Somehow, I can’t seem to view almost anything in life without automatically looking for a way of improving upon it, whatever it is.  It is not that I disapprove of the person sharing or of the task or anything – I just have this inner aim always to do things in the best way possible… don’t do anything half-a****, you know?

So, anyway, my biggest qualm was that the author only suggested to grow out the underarm hair for a couple or few weeks, which isn’t very long for an area with such little hair.  And so, her hot-pink-dyed underarm hair, rather than looking crazy and cool, ended up looking just kind of patchy and not-so-vibrant – more like a child had drawn on her underarms spottily with a washable pink marker, than that she had hot pink hair under there.

If you’re going to do it, at least do it right, I thought.

Do it for real.

Now, I believe that I had read this article before I moved to Japan.  Fast-forward to my time in Japan.  While I was living in Japan, for various reasons, my already loose desire to bother with shaving decreased to a point of being almost non-existent.  It had all started in early, early Fall, after I’d had an accident at the beach, and gotten my legs all scratched up.  I had scabs on my shins, and so couldn’t really shave them anyway.  By the time I could shave them again, it was already winter weather out, and I wasn’t even seeing my legs very often (because it was so darn cold all the time), so I wasn’t exactly going to put forth the effort to shave, when I couldn’t even see the results more than in the shower…  After that, after winter, I was just so accustomed to not shaving that it was the new norm for me.  What’s more, my leg hair was light enough in the first place that most people couldn’t see it, except under certain circumstances (e.g. sitting with my leg within a foot or two of one’s face), and it was by propriety’s requirements that none of my work clothes exposed my underarms, no matter the time of year.  So it was easy not to bother with shaving, especially considering my lack of interest in it in the first place.  And so, in essence, I gave up shaving while living in Japan.  (A good friend of mine laughed at me one day when I commented casually, “I’ve kind of given up shaving,” as though it were a bad habit I had kicked.  But it was true, because I unintentionally had given up on bothering with it.)

(**Note: In high school, I asked my boyfriend if it bothered him that I didn’t shave my legs, and if he would prefer that I shave my legs – I did shave regularly my underarms back then, just fyi – and he told me that it didn’t bother him.  I think I gave him an appraising look at the time, but I let it go.  Eventually, of course, I uncovered this untruth when he said near summertime that he would shave his legs – something he had done usually for swim team every summer with his buddies, anyway – if I shaved mine…  Not a good feeling.  And not the only time he wasn’t open about seemingly small things that actually really bothered me… hmm… Anyway, that isn’t the point here.  The point is that I would be fine shaving my legs if someone important to me wanted me to shave, but I haven’t cared to do it for myself for years now…. and almost ever, actually, since that first time or two of doing it, once at around age 12, just out of interest, and then again for a second first time near the end of high school…  Anyway, moving onward…)

Before going to Japan, I had challenged my own fear of having underarm hair – I had wanted to be comfortable with my own body, and I knew that underarm hair was a point of extreme discomfort for me.  My best friend shared with me how she would be present with her own body every morning in the mirror, just experiencing and accepting what her raw, unclothed self was.  The idea stressed me, to say the least – I could barely consider how it might be to be so vulnerable, even to my own eyes.  And so, I knew I needed to do some work on my level of comfort with my own body, with my own nudity.

Slowly, but surely, I did this work… I learned to accept and to see my body, undressed, and even to embrace what my physical composition and presence were in this world.  And, one aspect of this work was allowing my underarm hair to grow – I absolutely did not want to have long underarm hair.  But it was almost from fear that I avoided having the hair, and so I knew it wasn’t a positive situation as it stood, and it needed to change, to transform.

At first, I did a few weeks at a time, and then shaved everything off, typically to wear some outfit with short or no sleeves, and to revel in my finally-smooth-again skin.  I always felt relieved when I had shaved my underarms, but it was less and less stressful every time the hair grew out again.  I wasn’t showing the hair off in any way, but I had to be with the hair.  I had to feel the hair and to see it and to know that it was there… all the time.  And that stressed me out less and less every week that passed.

Eventually, after several months of no shaving, I shared my project with a few friends.  After warnings that they might not be able to see me the same way, I showed them my underarm hair – a seemingly silly situation, but they genuinely cared about the mental, emotional, and psychological project I was doing for myself, and so I was comfortable being open with them about it, despite my still not particularly enjoying having all the hair.  They received it easily and well, and even found the humorous side of it all with me. 😛  They were enthralled at my project and empowered by my drive to pursue such an uncomfortable situation for myself.

After that, it was even easier for me.

By the time I moved to Japan, I already was past the project of testing, and instead just went through phases of shaving versus not, simply out of laziness.  I was comfortable going most places in a tank top, even when I had some hair that would be visible if I raised my arms.  I mostly didn’t wear tank tops, though – men could wear them and show their underarm hair, and so I felt it could be the same for me, but I also didn’t want to be dancing with a guy in a tank top who keeps lifting his arms in my face…, so I didn’t do that either, when circumstances would involve lots of arms being raised.  Basically, if I knew my arms would be in the air a lot, I didn’t go the tank top route.  Otherwise, on an average day, I was mostly okay with the tank top.  Plus, in Japan, anyway, I knew I wasn’t fitting in in the first place, and I likely wasn’t going to cross most any of these people again, so it was extra no big deal. All-in-all it was an easy happening in Japan for me to give up shaving, without even thinking much about it.

(My mother hated it, of course, and never stopped complaining about it, but she clearly still loved me, so I was okay with it.  She even teased me about it and made very funny jokes from time to time.)

Thus, months later, back in the US, these casual shots of me embracing my body and its natural occurrences (read hair):

SONY DSC

**Note the lack of brassiere here.  It was also a huge part of my learning to embrace my body and to be comfortable with it as it is naturally.

SONY DSC

And so, thinking about this article from my friend post-Japan, and how the author just hadn’t done it right, I considered how I might go about doing it, if I were to do it.

Several months later, when my hair had definitely hit its longest point and had, for the most part, plateaued, I pulled out my long-since selected color, and got to work.

The color I had selected was going to be bland on its own, I expected, because my underarm hair isn’t quite as light as my head hair, and so ends up looking more brown-ish than blonde, when it is so compacted together.  Seeing as how I was going for brightness by adding the color in the first place, I lightened the hair first, and then added the color, thereby allowing for a much brighter color than otherwise would have happened.  I wanted a bit of pop, not a bit of washable marker.

SONY DSC

And so, we have the results of a three-ish-year self-project gone silly:

SONY DSC

And that was already almost a year ago, now.  I did not stop working on myself and my body, and so have reached an even more beautiful point with things than I ever had imagined to be possible back then.

Where do things stand for me now?

I strongly encourage everyone to give it a go, men and women and + alike, both growing out the underarm hair past the point of comfort and then also coloring it.

I shave my underarms semi-regularly, because I end up going shirtless at the gym a lot, and, though I had toyed with the idea of laser hair removal for them for quite a while and didn’t actually expect ever to do it, when a super sale popped up a couple months ago at the laser hair removal place (bikini line and lower legs, you see), I accepted.  I don’t shave my legs, except for the night before my laser hair removal appointment every so many weeks.  It was the same with bikini line, but I’ve finished the treatments there, so I don’t even have that shaving to do anymore.

I am not afraid of my hair.  I have found, however, that I genuinely prefer the skin being smooth and soft, and wiry-hair-free… and I hold the same feeling for men.  I love admiring a man’s muscled yet shaved legs.  Same with his underarms – the underarm hair is a distraction, not a benefit.

I do not require shaving, and I am not afraid of the hair – I just prefer life without the hair.  Even on my own legs, I love running my hands on them when they are hair-free, be it for rubbing in lotion, rubbing sore muscles, or just for fun, and I love seeing the color of my skin clearly.  When I began the laser hair removal, I verified that only the darker, thicker hairs would go away – I was informed that the baby blonde hairs would stay always and forever, and that was the point that sold me on the treatments.

And so, here I stand today, covered in invisible hairs, and unafraid of the darker underarm hair that I grow out entirely out of laziness.  I am glad I won’t even have to consider it anymore, after the next year-ish, and I do not mind letting it go, now that it isn’t out of avoidance or fear, but out of preference.

I am comfortable in my body’s natural state, hair and fat and all.  Though I have preferences of how I want my body to be, I am at ease with what happens naturally in my body.  This does not mean that I don’t care for my body, because I very much do care for it and take care of it with exercise and wonderful eating.  I finally am starting to treat my body like the goddess and temple that it is.

And I am so grateful for the experiences that have led me to this point, and that remind me that I am perfect as I am, hair and all.

So, thanks for the hair, God, and thank you for the growth* that came with it directly, as well as the transformation that has sprouted out of my desire to pursue that specific area of discomfort.

SONY DSC

Yippee!  And Happy Growing!  ;D

*(pun and all) 😉

P.S.  Special thanks to my lovely cousins A—- and J—- for helping me with the photos, as well as my wonderful friend N—-!  Love you ladies!

Post-a-day 2019

Nakey-Nakey

I have two things I want to discuss tonight: getting naked and, well, getting naked.

I hadn’t really realized this seemingly blatantly obvious link between the two, until just now…

***Note: These are not standard nothings tonight, but actual open thoughts and descriptions of two separate scenarios involving human nudity… so, be forewarned that it isn’t exactly PG13 material tonight… ***

Anyway, so the first getting naked…

I had my final appointment today at the laser hair removal place.

It was for laser hair removal on my bikini line.

—— Side note: The appointment was actually for tomorrow, but I somehow got it wrong in my calendar… the girl who showed up while we were sorting it at the counter turned out to be the same girl who had been behind me and had helped me after my fall on the road the other week(!)… we had a fun time of evaluating the crazy odds of our meeting like this, mere blocks from where we had first met, though under entirely different circumstances – actually for both of us, as she worded it, to ‘have our pubes lasered off’… ——-

So, anyway… laser hair removal…. bikini line…. final treatment…. As usual, the technician asked during my lasering session whether I had considered doing a full Brazilian.

First off, Ouch!(!!!).

Second off, mmm, I want to keep a semblance of natural to my body, thank you…. plus, no offense intended here, but it kind of freaks me out to see no pelvic hair on adult bodies…. it reminds me too much of children’s lack of pubic hair, and is in no way attractive to me… and makes me not even want to consider for too long, because it starts freaking me out having sexual attraction and children be in the same line of thinking, despite their being technically separated in the thoughts…. anyway…

However, I didn’t say all of this – it was just my regular thoughts that arose at the idea of having a Brazilian lasering session done to remove all of that hair.

I did tell her, though, that I had considered it, that I wouldn’t mind having the hair in the back be gone – I mean, who likes butt crack hair?… eww… – but that I wanted to keep the hair in the front.

‘We can do that,’ she tells me, ‘just the back strip.’

‘Really?’ I ask, surprised that it is an option, since I have never seen it listed among the many area options these laser hair removal places all offer.

She gives me some details, and I follow up with the girl at the counter, after we finish with the session.

It is extremely affordable to do the ‘add-on’, as they call it, and so I sign myself up for it.

(Then, they get me in on the other part of the last day of their Black Friday sale, and I go ahead and sign myself up for the final area I had been considering to have lasered for quite some time now… and the price is so good, I know it won’t happen again before I’m ready to seek out doing it later on, so I accept, and gladly so…, but that is beside the point here… moving on…)

Rather than wait for my next appointment – turns it I had one more I could do for bikini line, so we scheduled me for that, and just included the others in that future appointment – in January to start the two new areas, they gave me a razor, I went and shaved myself freshly, and the same technician and I went back into the room together, and quickly did the other two areas.

Now, I was mentally prepared for this back strip of Brazilian, because a friend and I had just been discussing her Brazilian waxing seasons of the past and laser hair removal of the present last night.

She was comfortable with someone touching her buttocks in that context, because she had been doing it for so long, and, well, that’s why she’s there – it involves being handled in private areas.

We got into talking about how context allows for lots of things in one situation that would be absurd in another.

For example, I shared about how I was on a topless beach in Barcelona with or mutual acquaintance Bryan.

“You did not go topless on a beach with Bryan,” she says, almost panicked, eyes wide, turning to face me directly.

“No, I didn’t,” I laugh, “but, once he left, I was totally fine going topless.”

Because the context of topless beaches in Barcelona had it be totally normal for the Spaniards around me.

e.g. The family of Mom, Dad, and two boys, aged about 12 and 8, in which even Mom was topless as they sat together on their blanket.

But it is not normal in our home culture, so there was basically no chance I was going to be topless around Bryan.

Fast-forward to my second session within my laser hair removal appointment today.

In the first session, I was lying on the table in my t-shirt and underwear, when the technician, clicking at buttons on the machine, says to hang on, it’s not working.

She then tells me that I can relax, because it’ll be a minute.

And then, quite casually, ‘We’ll have to go to another room – this one’s not working.’

She asks while standing at the door, almost as an afterthought, but not quite, if I want to put my own clothes back on, or if I want her to grab me a robe.

I quickly remove the sheet covering me, as I tell her that I can just put on my shorts, and then do so.

I leave my belongings there, and go with her to a different room next door.

Without giving her a chance to leave – they always leave, even though I am keeping on my underwear, per their recommendation, but the way, and they are going to see me without the sheet anyway as soon as they start doing the treatment… – I drop my shorts on the floor, and plop on the bed.

She seems unconcerned in every way.

As she talks to me, she is so casual and blasée, and says everything like an almost afterthought, as though she had just caught herself daydreaming, and realized that she was supposed to be talking pleasantly to the client.

Her lumbering drawl, at such a slowed rate from the traditional, “Hi! I’m Kimberley!” waitress or general service industry young female, ready to serve You! way of high-energy speaking, is soothing, but also almost comical.

Compared to Kimberly!, she seems to be drugged with super-chill pills…

(But not actually drugged.)

I personally am very comfortable with silence, so I didn’t mind her lack of conversation, but I can imagine that their training tells them to talk to the clients, and so I accept her after-thought-ish comments with sense of wry humor.

– It’s funny having a conversation with someone when you both know that you definitely are okay not talking with one another, but that also the conversation is necessarily by royal decree, so to speak. –

So her comments always seem to be ever so slightly delayed, giving her a very laid-back and chill vibe, though differently so from typical laid-backedness and chillness…

Now, as mentioned, we go back in the room for our second session together, after I talk with and pay the girl at the front desk.

I am expecting, in the room, to be put on my belly or something, and to have her move my cheeks to the sides – since that was something specifically mentioned by my friend about her Brazilians, and she is the only ‘experience’ I have with them – but that, of course, does not happen.

She tells me, still in her passive and casual, slow meter, “Okay, so, for the butt, you’re just gonna pull both your knees up to your chest and hold them there with your arms.”

I have a moment to process the words and what they mean, and then another to verify with myself that I’m okay with fulfilling the suggested request, and then I do it.

And she, as with all the rest, casually, as though she’s barely even aware of what actually is in front of her, but is instead thinking about that blue and purple drink she saw in the store yesterday and what was it made of?…, lasers the back strip of a Brazilian, and I consider laughing at the whole thing, as I recall Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number comment of, “Mind your own Brazilian!!”*

But I was totally comfortable.

The context of the situation – a laser hair removal place where getting Brazilians is totally normal in the first place – combined with the oh-so-blasée way of the technician allowed me to be super comfortable, despite the fact that I was lying on my back on a table, wearing only a bra, hugging my knees, and showing all my lower parts to a woman I don’t even know…

I am still grateful for her.

And I am grateful for all that has transformed in me, which has allowed me to enjoy and participate in such a scenario, as opposed to long for it but be too terrified of it even to consider doing it.

Okay, nakey situation number two time!

I’ve begun reading the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, after falling little girl in love with the Netflix original film by the same name, which is based on the book.

So far, as usual, some is exactly the same and some it totally different, but I am enjoying the book, nonetheless.

Tonight, I read the following passage, which really had me start thinking:

I wonder, though: What would it be like? To be that close to a boy, and have him see all of you… no holding back. Would it be scary only for a second or two, or would it be scary the whole time?

There is more to the thought that the character is having, but this was the part that stuck out for me.

What would it be like to be naked with someone we love wholly and who wholly loves us?

Would there be embarrassment at all -even if we both are totally for, let’s say – or would we be shy, at least on the inside, concerned by the exposure and the prospect of… of what exactly?

Of being hurt?

Being naked doesn’t mean we’ll be hurt, but being exposed emotionally always seems to carry with it a fear of being hurt, and so does our physical nakedness and exposure somehow also carry that same fear and discomfort?

Is that why we struggle to be naked in front of people Period?

Are we so afraid of being hurt?

And I don’t mean physical hurt… purely emotional, psychological, stuff with the head.

Are we so afraid in our heads that we would be afraid to show everything openly and comfortably to the one we love most?

How often do couples just be naked together, without it being sex?

Do they take the time to explore the physical beauty of one another’s bodies without haste and without avoidance or hiding anything?

As Sophie Kinsella’s same book says, “including the dodgy bits.”

But, even then, she only mentions that her man has seen them, not that he has embraced them, nor that she has.

Does the comfort of being seen fully and embraced naked by another stem first from our being able to see ourselves naked and to embrace all parts of our naked selves?

I think so.

And I think it would be a wonderful and powerful experience for couples to take the time just to see fully on another’s bodies, and to learn to embrace them just as they are.

Like how we can take the time just to sit and to gaze into one another’s eyes and be with one another fully – what if we did that with our whole bodies?

I think it would be not only beautiful but beneficial – for the individuals, for the couple, and for the world as a whole.

Expanding our love in such a way could only be a good thing for the world around us…

So, yeah… those are my two things about getting naked tonight… I think I went a little off the trail here and there, and I might have used some poor wording – I definitely did – but I hope the points made it across, anyway. 🙂

Sweet dreams, World.

*Look it up… it’s a great book and an awesome scenario around the comment. ;D

Swiping bubbles

My cousin pulled a can of beer out of the garage the other night.

It apparently tasted like metal, and nobody liked it… it had been out there for a very long time… and it might have come out of a dumpster just before it ended up in the garage…

Since nobody liked it, I offered to use it.

For what?

For my hair.

I told them how I sometimes use beer as conditioner – it is great for hair, plus it always smells great!

“So, you don’t drink beer, but you put it in your hair…”

Exactly. 😉

That was all yesterday.

Today, the beer was still on the counter, because I’d forgotten to use it last night in my shower.

The conversation somewhat repeats itself among the family who are gathered here today – and who happen to be all different from yesterday, except for my mom (and no, this is not our house).

In the middle of their doubt and unbelieving, my grandma confidently joins in, “Oh, yeah!… We used to sneak beers from my daddy’s, and use them… use them in our hair… oh, yeah,” she nods.

We all can’t help but to comment and ask her questions while she’s still talking, and she manages I answer our questions by the end of her two sentences.

Then my cousin says that, well, he, too, used to steal his daddy’s beers, but not for that, not for his hair…

We all laugh, processing the fact that Grandma user to steal beers… and that she poured them in her hair…

I mean, I‘m all about it, but I still think it’s a somewhat abnormal thing to do… too hipster for most these days, perhaps one could say…

‘I was stealing them for my hair, too… I was conditioning it from the inside… at the roots,’ my cousin adds.

Obviously, we love the nerdiness and the cleverness of the comment, and delight in our collective nerdiness.

Also, it felt nice to have my crazy idea actually sanctioned by someone considered not only sane but to be one in a place of authority within the whole family… that was great, and totally fun.

So, who knew that my grandma and I had ‘sneaking beers’ and ‘using beer in our hair’ in common?

Man, that’s cool.

Hairy

Does anyone else ever feel that men growing out their facial hair, just to show that they are men and not boys – I’m thinking of young teachers or coaches especially, but this applies to more men than just them – is stupid?

It supposedly makes them more manly.

It suddenly occurred to me, walking up to work this morning, that m the female equivalent would be women not shaving their legs and underarms, just to show that they are women and not girls.

By the male standard, then, my not shaving my legs and underarms would make me more womanly, as only a woman could grow such hair – girls just can’t do it the same, you see…

Therefore, I am more respectable, because I have hair on my legs and under my arms…

Or am I?

I certainly call bs on the whole affair, men’s facial hair included.

You are a man, when you are a man, and facial hair’s growing ability does not affect that.

Likewise, you are a woman, when you are a woman, and no hair growth affects that.

Hair is simply hair.

Being a man or woman is independent of such a minute factor, and I just wish people could get that, and stop doing the stupid ‘facial hair makes me look like a man’ thing…, because it typically emphasizes the individual’s youth, creating an opposite effect from that which was desired.

Just my thoughts early this morning, as the sun rose (which, too, is a funny idea).

Post-a-day 2019

Yearbooks

***Update on the ant bite: My bicep still rocks, but the bite swelled and split open this morning, only to close up, turn green in the middle again, and start swelling again… we’ll see how it looks in the morning, now! (And the coach’s bites did not turn green, he said, but one was hurting a lot.)***

We now return to regular programming.

There is a guy working with me who graduated high school with my youngest brother.

I pulled out the yearbook from their senior year today, and had a brief look through the senior photos.

I enjoyed how much hair this guy and my brother both had in their photos, and how they both have almost none now, and both keep their heads shaved (though my brother uses a razor, and the other guy only seems to buzz it as short as possible).

One thing I noted was that their service work locations seemed almost stereotypical for each of them…. interesting, perhaps.

Something bigger, however, was the other people I found in the yearbook.

I crossed names of people whose faces I knew not, but whose names I knew well from my brother – how fun to put faces to the names, even almost two decades after the fact.

And then I realized that I finally had the opportunity to look up and remember my brother’s best friend’s full name – I forgot his middle name a few years back, and haven’t recalled it since…. I just always thought it was fascinating, because he was the fourth with the name, so he had a “, IV” at the end of his legal name.

And I use the past tense here, because he died at the start of their sophomore year of college.

It was drinking and a bit of drugs at a party, and everyone thought he’d simply fallen asleep, but, of course, he hadn’t… I’ve always remembered most that my brother was invited to that same party, but chose to work on his absurd amount of homework, instead (thank you, UT Architecture program [not for the first time]).

And so J—– died at the party, and my brother spoke at the funeral, at the request of J—-‘s family, and he did a wonderful job.

My mom and I also attended the funeral, along with a lot of people.

After the funeral, since J—- had always said that he wanted to go out with pinwheels and fireworks, we (a handful of select people that happened to include my mom and me) went to an open land area across from a movie theatre, and set off a bunch of little rockets and a few big shebang fireworks (the pinwheels had decorated the casket) – it was a true party and celebration to send off J—- and to say goodbye together.

When I came across his name today, I was delighted – I finally have it(!).

And then I gave his photo a good look.

And it was almost terrifying as an experience, though terrifying just is not quite the right word…

It suddenly occurred to me that this was the first time I’d seen a photo of J— since around the time of the funeral – I’d only had mental visions of him since then.

It was weird to think that, u like my brother and that other guy, J— had not aged from this photo… maybe two years’ worth of aging, but that was little different from the boy who sat in the frame that is in front of me now.

These were posed senior portraits for the yearbook, and so they each are looking directly at the camera…, directly at the viewer of the photograph… J—- was no exception…

And it was spooky, knowing that those eyes, so true and almost penetrating in this photo, were no longer here, no longer existed.

And then, it had me wonder how many people in this book, this yearbook are no longer around?

And that was perhaps even spookier…

I had to move on to other things then, both in terms of productivity and in terms of an emotional desire to step away from the increasing discomfort and potential sadness of what sat before me, visually and mentally, at that moment, and so I closed the book, put it back in its place, and walked away.

I soon had tears in my eyes, and the feeling of hollowness just behind the bottom of my ribs was growing.

Now, hours later and many tasks and conversations later, I feel less afraid, and more aware of the fleeting aspect of life, the circumstances that allow us a promise of a chance at everything, and at a chance of it all going away at any moment, in a moment’s time…

On my way up to the house where I am housesitting tonight, I passed their church, where J—-‘s funeral had been… I think of him every time I pass it (though that doesn’t happen too often), because it’s the only thing I’ve ever attended there…

……

I don’t have anything insightful about this… I just wanted to share…

Post-a-day 2019

Hair

I had my hair cut today.

Actually, I had a whole lot of my hairs cut today… and voluntarily.

I’m extremely pleased with the result, though it somewhat freaks me out a bit… as though the person I see in the mirror is someone else from the person I saw every time before this evening.

The whole goal to the haircut was to step closer still to the person I want and long to be… and every time I take those steps, then tend to be quite scary… the fear of failure – and various tangents off of it, too – always makes me feel a bit wobbly as I take these steps, though they usually gain solid ground and confidence rather quickly once I actually take them.

So, with the hair, I’m still a bit wobbly on my feet, so to speak, but I am finding the ground to be increasingly solid and stationary, the more I allow myself to experience the panic and discomfort, and, therefore, to let it go.

And no, this is not over just a little haircut, just so you know – this was my hair this morning:

and this was the floor* after the haircut:

*Including the 18-inch section that I set down for the photo; hair that I am donating for wigs for cancer patients (yet again)

And my hair is not very thick, mind you… that’s a pile of an additional four and a half inches that came off after I relaxed a bit about it all, and I was ready for the real haircut and style to happen. 😛

That’s 22 and a half inches of hair for the longest parts, with the bulk of it being around 20 and a half inches long…

Kind of crazy, huh?

Post-a-day 2019

… And so I did

Today, I accomplished money-earning work that helps others, I learned something, I trusted my instincts, I interacted with and chatted with smart, kind people, I did someone a big favor, I completed one of the assignments from school (the one I had most nearly despised), I ate quite decent food (and twice!) for myself, I talked with my cousin about useful things for the both of us, I patted and got licked by a dog, and I got licked and leaned against a bunch as I learned about and helped care for and rode horses (which included detangling a bunch of hair).

Then, while showering and running my fingers through my own hair to detangle it, I felt something strangely similar to the feeling of the horse’s hair – recall that my hair is dirty blonde and just about as opposite in texture from horse hair as is possible – and eventually discovered that the slightly knitted area felt similar due to the fact that it had hay in it. 😛

Totally chuckled at that, if only on the inside of me. 😉

I did many things today, and they all contributed to my day being beautiful for my life, and even extremely helpful for my struggle-filled mood of the past couple weeks… I don’t want to do lame work, but I can always find something interesting within it, once I get started on it.

And so, as I suspected, getting going was what I needed most to get on track with things – resisting, evading, and avoiding, as I already knew, were definitely not the beneficial path for me. 😛

So now, preparing for bed, I’m not even attempting to turn on a film or anything, despite the fact that I needn’t actually be up until around 1pm tomorrow, because I am exhausted in a good way and I feel good, and so I want to go ahead and read and sleep.

Super signs of a good day, a day well spent. ❤

Post-a-day 2019

Shaving, again

Sometimes, you decide that you want to shave your underarms, and then, a couple days later, you finally remember to bring a razor to the shower with you, and you carefully attach the blade to the handle, and then set the razor in the shower with your other just-placed shower supplies…

And then, once in the shower, addressing the business of cleaning and shaving, you go to rinse off the first sweep of hair, and find none on the razor, suddenly realizing, after a moment’s consideration, that your meticulous attaching of the razor head to the handle happened upside down…

And now you consider whether it isn’t too much of a hassle to turn it over and reattach it, and if you just would rather drop the razor for now, and give it a go some other day instead…

… Or maybe that just happens for me. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Rolling with the hair

Going through the process of brushing my teeth tonight, I suddenly recalled the time my best friend, Christine, did a buzz cut design on my hair, but used the wrong size of head on the clippers.

You see, to make a long story short, she and I both set up / participated in a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a pediatric cancer foundation, in which we raised money by putting a reverse bounty on our heads – when the bounty was paid/raised, we shaved our heads, a step toward solidarity with children who have cancer, and a financial donation to their care and eventual cure.

As our hair was growing back, Christine got this really cool buzzing of the word Beloved on her head.

About a handful of weeks later, for the Fourth of July, I brought over our clippers so that Christine could do a headband design in my hair.

In preparation, we prepared and I signed a contract, freeing Christine of blame for whatever was to come…

“What am I getting myself into here?”

“A bad idea,” responds Christine, happily, brushing back the wetted hair, so she doesn’t shave the wrong stuff.

I reminded her consistently about getting the head correct on the clippers…., and she, in her certainty that it was the correct size, used the same size she had had used on her own hair… five or so weeks ago…

Seeing as how my hair was now about an inch longer than hers had been when she had the word buzzed into it, the very first cut proved that she had selected the very wrong size.

Since this first cut was right on top of my head – front and center – we agreed to roll with it… while laughing our guts out, of course.

For the day/evening, she finished up the striped design, trimmed down the longer section of the stripes a bit, and then painted the super short sections red, white, and blue.

So, my hair was totally themed for the night, and got new colors a day or so later.

For the next few weeks, I mostly wore a fabric headband at work, but otherwise let my hair down, so to speak, and let the design and painting shine through.

It definitely improved over time, and eventually did almost exactly what I’d wanted it to do in the first place…, but just weeks after the fact, and nowhere near as well.

Nonetheless, it was a wonderful experience of trusting, making mistakes, loving friends anyway, and embracing what’s so… even if it means a messed up and painted hair-do for a few weeks. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Shaving

Oh, what a thing, shaving…

You know, it usually takes me two to three days to shave my legs effectively.

The first day happens when I 1) have decided to shave and 2) have remembered actually to bring my razor to the shower with me.

You see, I keep all of my things out of the shower, so that everything stays clean… I was already looking for a solution better than having to keep the water really low, so that it wouldn’t splash and get anything else wet while I showered, when I read Marie Kondo’s fabulous recommendation of just removing everything after each shower…, and I accepted.

Therefore, I must remember to bring a razor with me to the shower before I am in the shower and washing my body, suddenly recalling that I had intended to shave three days ago already…

So, that’s the first day of actual shaving – if we counted all the days I forget to bring the razor, we could get into months of waiting around, so we’re going with the days on which I actually do the shaving.

Now, I typically shower before bed.

I also typically have lower lighting on in the evenings and at night, as a sort of preparation for bed, allowing my eyes and mind and body to calm down in the lower, softer lighting that would be terrible for daytime hours but that is perfect for bed preparation.

Therefore, when I finish shaving the first day (night, really), what looks like a job well done, I can usually expect not to be so.

And so, the following day, in daylight (or, at least, daylight lighting), I examine my legs – it originally was on accident, and still usually is, but I occasionally remember and check intentionally – and almost always find hairs here and there, and occasionally even a whole chunk or strip of missed hair.

Oops… oh, well… I’ll fix it tonight.

And so, remembering where the missed areas and spots were, and also doing a bit of a close-up look under the lights before I get into the even darker shower, I shave a second night.

That’s the second day.

Usually, at this point, I’ve gotten all the hairs off my legs.

However, there are the occasions where I have yet again missed a hair or fifty.

And so, on the third day, upon discovering the again-missed hairs, I typically go directly to a razor and dry – extremely carefully, of course! – shave those missing hairs in the good lighting.

Thus concludes my monthly or quarterly or, on extremely rare occasions, weekly leg shave.

If I ever have forgotten too many days in a row, and I have an event that night or the next morning, the whole thing happens in fast forward: jump straight back into the shower (if I’m even showering, and not just shaving my legs directly from the side of the tub), and then do the cautious dry shave for the final stragglers I notice while dressing.

So, in a sense, shaving is quite the event in my life. 😛

Therefore, if I shave for you, you can know that you are really important in some way. 😉

Post-a-day 2019