Sunday night I played with a pore cleaning torture device I bought a year ago from Rodan and Fields. I thought I’d followed the directions correctly, and my nose looked good afterward. My chin though? It looked like I’d accepted the Triple Dog Dare Challenge and kissed a frozen pole. Last year I would have freaked and started down a spiral of self-loathing. But I laughed at my reflection in the mirror, put on a mask, and went to Walmart.
Though I have one session of Neurostar left to complete, I feel confident in saying this treatment has been a success. I am not depressed. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to spend all my time sleeping or eating or moving nonstop for fear once I do stop I won’t be able to start up again. I don’t want to have sex with random partners to self-medicate. I don’t look in the mirror and feel hatred. It’s nothing short of amazing and also a little difficult to take in.
On the outside nothing has changed. I look the same. I live in the same place and work at the same jobs. I have the same problems. Yet everything in my life is completely different. It’s not the big differences that amaze me so much as the little ones. I sing a lot. I can often be heard serenading Molly as we walk around the block. This morning I sang to her “Hard to Handle.” I’m sure the neighbors loved hearing that at 5 am. I drink less coffee and more tea. I’m more focused on my work. My house is cleaner. I’m back to practicing yoga. I’ve been cooking some. Anxiety doesn’t lead to frustration in public, especially in traffic, and I don’t give the middle finger to quite as many people as I did before.
And check this out, Molly is having fewer accidents inside and the cats are more calm. Imagine that!
How I react to things is different also. Experiencing emotions can be unnerving for someone who has spent most of her life not feeling much of anything. Take Sam. In the end he didn’t have the decency to tell me he was done with me. He quit calling several days before Valentines Day and on the big day he sent a text wishing me a Happy Valentines Day and said he was off to take his grandson to Waffle House. No other word from him that day. It upset me because he was the one who’d made such a big deal about the day… and then nothing. Monday he texted good morning but I didn’t respond and then texts stopped. Friday I found myself crying over it all. Not because we loved and lost, but because I wanted something to be there that wasn’t. The gifts and calls and texts blinded me to the truth that he was only interested in me because I possess an orifice he doesn’t. That never would have upset depressed Jen because she never felt anything anyway.
And speaking of dating, this isn’t working for me. Before my friend died of cancer she posted on Facebook that maybe it was time to let go of the life she’d planned for herself and live the one she’s got, or something to that effect. I should do the same. Instead of looking for love out there, I want to get to know this new me. After all, she seems like fun.
Saturday I told that critical parent voice in my head to shut the fuck up and I spent much of the day lying on the couch because I wanted to. Sunday I gave myself a manicure and pedicure, played with the pore cleaner and tried my hand at wax strips for hair removal (in case you’re wondering, that didn’t go well either). I hung some artwork that had been sitting in the floor of my closet for several months. Yesterday I got my hair done and went with some highlights to jazz up the copper coloring.
So what to do with my life from here on out? I thought I had my path chartered but here I am about to turn 57 and suddenly everything has changed and now I don’t have a clue what I want. Do I want to stay here or relocate to a place where I can be around likeminded people? There’s something to be said for staying put, but I if I relocate I could move to a place where people my age don’t believe that overthrowing the government is a noble endeavor. Do I want to stay with the job I currently hold? If I decide to move on, what would I do? Would I stay in this field? Go back to a field I have worked in before? Try something completely different?
There’s plenty of time to decide but there’s no time like the present to get started. Life is one big bouquet of possibilities and I’m going to savor the beauty of each option then go make something for myself that is wild and wonderful. Care to come along for the ride?