I have been in a funk lately and this one has been harder to get out of than the other funks I have been in recently. I'm sure my poor eating habits and lack of exercise and sleep have something to do with it but I know it is more than that. Once again, I am finding myself looking ahead at a long road that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Once again, I am finding I don't really have anything to look forward to in life.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately because of a book. The main organizer of the fun Meetup group hosts a book club discussion and potluck each month based on Modern Library's 100 greatest novels. (I'm starting to wonder who came up with this list and what they were smoking when they did). The book we are reading for September is called "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," by Muriel Spark. Set in 1930's Scotland, it is about an eccentric schoolteacher who, in the "prime" of her life, takes a group of 6 girls under her wing and teaches them with her unorthodox style.
Miss Brodie is a spinster. She was engaged to be married but her fiance was killed. She did fall in love again, but renounced him because he was married and instead had a loveless affair with someone else. Though it doesn't specifically say-or if it does I missed it-I'm assuming she is about my age. I think it is being able to relate to her as someone who lost their love early that got me thinking. What if this is it? What if this is the prime of my life? That thought has me down-I would hope my prime would be a lot happier than this! I want the prime of my life to be awesome-full of fun, laughter and love. I had that with James. Could it be that at 36 I am already past my prime? There's a cheery thought.
It was a YouTube video that provided the boost I needed to shake this line of thinking out of my head. My widower friend posted a video the other day which was a short film in which John C. Reilly asks random people if they are anyone's favorite person. My friend made the comment that it wasn't so long ago that that was an easy question to answer. He later added the comment he needed to work on making himself his favorite person. At first the video just added to my funk. It sucks not being anyone's favorite person anymore. Then I started thinking about it from another perspective and I realized in addition to not being anyone's favorite person, I don't have a favorite person either. After being gone for 2 1/2 years, James is still my favorite person. I like a lot of people who are living but can't really say any of them are my favorite. Well, at least not sarcastically. I told my friend that James was still my favorite person and if I made a list of all my favorite living people he'd be on it and I was going to follow his lead and move myself to the top of that list. I didn't tell him that I've been filled with so much self-loathing lately that I was starting to wonder if I have ever truly hated myself as much as I do now. But it was a freeing decision in that it put me back in the mindset of living life on MY terms.
At my last appointment, my therapist said that I should think about having my eyebrows waxed and I should change my hairstyle. She thinks I have really pretty eyes and I need to bring them out. She also thinks I am hiding behind my hair (and a host of other things). I am resistant to change-what if it turns out horrible and I look worse than I already do? Well, the good news about hair (including eyebrows) is that it grows back. So Wednesday after work, on a whim, I went and had my eyebrows "done." (Who on Earth decided waxing was a good idea?!) Then I dyed my hair a lighter shade with more red in it, though it's kind of hard to tell since it was still pretty dark from getting the wrong color about a year or so ago. And then I cried. It didn't help that my eyebrow area was swollen from the wax job-I was convinced I looked like an angry monkey. I texted a couple of friends who insisted I send a picture (taking a good picture of yourself on a cell phone is not easy!). They both thought I looked great-I thought they were lying but at least I eventually stopped crying.
I have been growing half my bangs out for the last 4 months so I have been wearing them pulled back with a barrette. They are finally long enough that I can tuck them behind my ear on the left, but with a side part, they don't stay tucked on the right. Still, I decided to try wearing it down with my bangs swept to the side instead of across my forehead on Friday. One of my (male) co-workers did a double take and told me he's "feeling the hair." Three other co-workers (two female, one male) also approved. I didn't really think it was an improvement, but a couple of Meetup friends also said I looked good on Friday and again last night so maybe after a few more glances in the mirror when I start to recognize the girl looking back at me, I'll start to like what I see too.