Last time that I went to get my hair blown out at Drybar I complained that they didn’t get my curls exactly right. I like my bangs to swoop with no curl, and then medium size curls on the sides and back and straight ends. I think it is called a Cosmotini. When I received the email a few days ago that Drybar was closing down all its locations until further notice due to the virus for some reason my dissatisfaction with my curls popped into my head. I suddenly felt so stupid and spoiled. I realized what a privileged life I have been living in the fact that it could ruin my afternoon if my curls weren’t perfect.
All of my beauty places are closed down. I can’t get my nails done, dye my hair, make my lashes longer, go tanning or get any beauty supplies at Sephora. As I sit here writing this with my nails growing out, my white skin and my straight hair, I am reevaluating my priorities. Does that stuff really matter? Or does it just show my insecurities that I think I need all of that? Am I not just good enough how I am? Over the next 2 – 3 weeks of not being able to access any of those services, it is something I am going to think about. It costs money to keep up all of that, can I spend my money elsewhere and be better off for it?
None of us asked to evaluate our current choices, but we are being forced to. We are being forced to look at ourselves and our lives and see what is really important to us. It is a strange position for us as Americans to be in. Our normal life is one of getting what we want when we want it. We don’t like being told what to do, or what not to do. We especially don’t like being told to stay home, like we are misbehaving children. But as head strong as we all are, most of us are listening. Most of us are staying home. I am proud of the way our Country, California, Los Angeles, and all my friends and coworkers are handling themselves. Yes, we are a spoiled country, but what I have learned is that when it comes down to it, we do the right thing.
Since I arrived in Los Angeles in November, I have been nonstop. With starting a new job, being invited to participate in art shows, meeting new amazing friends, dating and learning the area. There was a part of me that wanted to take a break and just breathe for a minute. I felt like I was going a million miles an hour with no end it sight. Well, once again the universe has answered my call and given me this time. It has given me exactly what I asked for, just not in the packaging I wanted, which I am learning, is how it works. Now I do have the time to take a breathe and have some intense ‘me’ time. I have the time to do my yoga that I used to do every morning, but decided I didn’t have time for anymore. I have time to work on my meditation that has gone by the wayside. These are not just hobbies, they are important parts of my life that I have neglected. Also, I have time to cook meals and eat better for my health, rather than living on peanut butter and red bulls.
As I have been reflecting these past couple of days, I almost feel like a part of me has been preparing for this time. I could not have handled being isolated and stuck at home 5 years ago. I would have drank myself into a stupor and tried to run out the door. I would have been angry and sarcastic to cover my fears. Five years ago, if I wasn’t working at my finance job then I was at the gym working out until I was sore and exhausted. Any chance I got, I was booking trips and weekend getaways to escape a situation that I had painfully outgrown but was too scared to admit it. If I was in that space now, with the reality of not being able to leave, I would have certainly spiraled into a depression.
I am realizing now, the importance of the decision I made years ago to get off the express train going nowhere and unwind my feelings. In 10 days it will be the 4 year anniversary of me giving up using alcohol to cover my sadness and dissatisfaction. When I gave up drinking and my body got over the initial shock of not having the highs and lows to deal with, I had a lot of free time on my hands. Throughout my life I have always written in a journal. I always felt like my writing was the real me that I had a hard time expressing verbally. Once the alcohol left my brain and I could think clearly, I had an overwhelming urge to share the real me, and so that meant sharing my writing. So, I made the decision to buy a computer, learn how to use it, and put my time and energy in to figuring out how to write this blog. After hiding for most of my life, I wanted people to know the real me.
After writing for a few months, I sat down at my kitchen table with a writing pad that I bought at Walgreens and started drawing the women that I have always loved to draw. I used to spend hours as a teenager drawing fashion women; I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had forgotten about that side of me, but once I started writing again and doing some inner work, my creativity came back to me. These were not easy things to do. They were very very difficult. My brain would fog over to the point of being incapacitated when feelings would come up that I didn’t want to feel or admit. But I stuck with it. I dragged my tired body through the mud to get to the other side of my defenses. Because I realize now that all my running to the gym and leaving town were just ways to avoid my true feelings.
As I write this, I am sitting on my balcony in Redondo Beach. When I look up from my computer I see the beautiful blue sky with a few puffy white clouds floating by. I see the gently swaying palm trees, and I can hear the consistent tumbling of the ocean waves that are just across the street from me. People are walking by with their dogs; pleasantly chatting to each other. There aren’t many cars driving by, and if they are, they seem to be going slower. The birds are gliding peacefully in the air, and I feel them smiling down on us. Almost like they are hoping that we learn something from all of this.
I am so lucky to live the life that I live. I am so lucky to be sitting here right now with the opportunity to go even deeper into the work I have already started on myself. I am so lucky that I have already established some real and beautiful online friendships that I know will support me through this. In a strange way, I feel like these last 4 years were preparing me for just this.
I know I will be ok. And a part of me knows that I will be better off after this. And when Drybar reopens and all is ok, I am going to hug everyone there and I will never complain about my curls again.