Beer and Shampoo

     Today, I was reminded how great it feels when someone helps you feel “pretty” when I went to the hair salon for the first time in well over a year. My wonderful hairdresser acted as both a cosmetologist and therapist as she pampered my wild mane. I told her beforehand that if a tumbleweed and a rastafarian conceived a child in a clothes dryer, my hair would be the offspring.
     When my appointment was fulfilled, and my pocketbook wasn’t hit quite as hard as I had anticipated, I made a “treat yo’self” trip to the beauty supply store. It was my first visit ever, and I was incredibly anxious. I browsed for approximately two minutes before my lost expression caught the attention of the clerk working.
       Now, I have a very strong, deeply inbedded anxiety about talking to retail workers. My armpits sweat out, my face melts off, and I start talking really fast, and I get overly, unnecessarily honest all the sudden… it’s bad juju.
However, even though I had to admit that I had been using Walmart shampoo, the lady was super nice and helpful and I got out of there with several products (that all smell like Heaven, by the way.) Again, the bill was way less than I anticipated. So, I rewarded my frugal self with another “treat yo’self” trip to the beer store where I payed way too much for some delightful Arkansas microbrews.
     I got home, spent the evening with some of my favorite folks, played outside, ate leftovers, wiped some boogers… had basically the perfect Saturday night.
      My thoughts as I wind down this evening though, I feel need shared. I see too many people who seem to be putting a lot of effort out, and it’s all for naught. If you truly think that the most valuable attribute a person could have is their beauty, by all means, continue spending the bulk of your time and effort towards your looks. If you honestly believe that having a certain kind of house or vehicle shows one’s worth, keep on with your hustle, friend. I really hope you win your rat race. But, I don’t really believe you. I love you, and I want you to see your true value. So, if you value kindness, spend your time serving others. If you value knowledge,  crack a book. If you value a hard days work, there’s lots to be done, be that worker. Stop wasting your resources on trying to impress other people and live to your own standard. With that being said, don’t forget to “treat yo’self” every once in a while. You deserve it!

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The Hardest Part About Life Without You…

     If I had to pinpoint a moment when my official adult life started, I’d say it was a little more than seven years ago. In August 2008, I moved to a town where I, for the first time ever, didn’t share a zip code with any relative or friend.
     Since then, I’ve started and completed a college degree. I’ve worked several jobs. I’ve built relationships with some awesome people whom I love dearly. I’ve started a career. I’ve married a man with a heart of gold and we have a happy baby boy.
      From a blank slate, I’ve made a very successful life in this place. I still have my loving family, but life has scattered us in such a way that I do not see them routinely. I’m sure that there are countless others my age who share a similar story.

     Now, I’ll rewind a bit further. As ambitious a teenager as I was, I was never planning to start my “grown-up adventure” solo. My very dear friend that had been my co-pilot through years of awkward adolescence and embarassing shenanigans had been accepted to the same university as me. It was the perfect plan. The girl who laced most every memory from elementary school on, would be by my side for our next big adventure. Except, I lost Rosie that spring in a car accident.

     Fast forward to present. I still get sad. Sad in ways I had never anticipated. Sad for reasons that I would have never been able to wrap my head around when the wounds were fresh and I was trying to build some semblance of a routine with what felt like my half-self. Nearly a decade later, I no longer feel the gaping void in my day. I don’t reach for the phone to call her, or put my face in clothes she left at my place, hoping for a shadow of her scent. But I do get sad. I get sad that I can’t reminisce with my new friends and family about her. That when I bring up her name, I feel crazy, speaking about an imaginary friend that they have never seen. I rarely go places where we spent time, or see people that we saw, and as a result, I lose her more each year. Things I was certain I’d never forget are getting fuzzy. Some days, she doesn’t even cross my mind. I grieve the loss of details, of inside jokes, of a look, or a sound. I grieve the loss of the grieving. This is a journey that I’m still traveling. And, as life moves forward, I’ll experience more loss. Time heals broken hearts, but the price is a clouded memory and a guilty concience. I have comfort in knowing that we shared a lot of love and a hundred years can never erase that.

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