I've never liked odd numbers. My dad taught me how to count when we'd go on walks around the neighbourhood, counting the mail box numbers of the little brick houses. I always wanted to walk on the even side of the street. Two, Four, Six, Eight... it always sounded better out loud than Three, Five, Seven, Nine.
The last couple of years that I've turned an odd number have been birthdays marked by questionable decisions. At nineteen, twenty-one and twenty-three I have found myself shaken; whether it was from situations I put myself in, those out of my control or a mixture of the two - it would too quickly escalate somehow from a birthday into an existential crisis.
the fuck was I doing?
I've done a few things in my life that I'm not all that proud of,
you could say ashamed and embarrassed and even utterly humiliated by. Who hasn't, right? But these are the things. All of the things that bring me back to the humble state of remembering and focusing on who and what really matters. The madness is like gravity that keeps me firmly on the ground. It's as if the universe is smirking in that I-told-you-so, Grandmother Willow kind of way, the didactic-disney-hidden-lesson kind of way. And the lessons is this: I have a lot to learn, and I have to keep on learning it and practising it and remembering how much I have to learn.
All of the things that matter include (but are not limited to)
* Being a decent human being
* Being good, a good friend, a good sister, a good daughter, just good (as in, the opposite of asshole)
* Valuing yourself enough to not give up on yourself (no pity parties for you)
* Learning how to say No to things you know aren't good for you
* Knowing what's good for you
* Saying Sorry when you've done something wrong
* Forgiving yourself for doing things wrong
* Letting go, letting go, letting go
On that temperamental Sunday when my hair was being hacked at and shaved off in turns by family members and friends, while India Arie's I am not my hair played in the background and I kept shrieking in horror when I'd catch my reflection, all I kept thinking as my hair was going was that I was surrounded by all the people that matter, this is what mattered.
All of these things. I've stopped counting houses or scary, odd-numbered birthdays and started counting my blessings: my parents who have always encouraged me even in the most dubious of ambitions, my siblings who were my first friends, my many and lovely friends who were and have always been a second family no matter the distance or time lapse or falling outs.
So this was meant to be a post about how I shaved off my hair but turned out to be about what matters more - All of the things that count. Everything else is aesthetics.