It was a dark and kinda stormy night. I was up late and in the shower conditioning my hair, desperately trying to convince myself that Anthony Perkins wasn’t going to show up and go all Psycho on me. Sure, he hasn’t killed me in all the other thousands of showers I’ve taken over the course of my life … but being the obsessive person I am, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. With one eye open on lookout, bravely battling the suds streaming down into my eyes, I ran my fingers quickly through my hair to rinse out all the product, soon to go jump into bed where Anthony couldn’t get me (everyone knows your comforter protects you against all bed monsters. Especially Anthony Perkins.)
But as my fingers reached the tips my hair, I could feel what felt like half my hair going out with my hands. More puzzled than concerned, my first reaction was, “Oh – I wore a wig into the shower.” … That in itself says a lot about me right there. But once I realized that I was, in fact, pulling out about 1/10 of my hair without even trying, I panicked.
It gets worse. I look down at my feet, and the tub has long clogged up from all the hair I’ve shed in just this shower (I clean my hair out after every use, so it was definitely all from this one time), leaving me waddling in a pool of lukewarm, murky, hairy water. Coupled with my pink body wash that had colored the water, I felt like I was standing in Chewbacca’s murder scene. How’s that for a nice mental image? Trust me, it’s not as bad as lifting your foot out of the water to see something that resembles Bilbo Baggins’ feet.
I tell you this not to gross you out or to question my hygienic habits, but to talk to you about your Plan B. No, not the “I’ve just made a huge mistake” morning after pill … YOUR Plan B. Your life plan for when it doesn’t go according to plan. Your flexibility to roll with the punches when you don’t get into that program you’re perfect for, or have to quit hanging around people who are bad for you, or – God Forbid – you somehow murder the beloved Wookie in the galaxy and now the entire Rebel Alliance is after your hide. (If this is the case, I wish I could help, but you’re pretty much on your own on this one. Might I suggest flying to Dagobah for Jedi training to at least prolong your ultimate demise?).
Everyone (yes, even Luke Skywalker) will have to resort to Plan B several times in life, much less Plans C-Z. Being able to think on the spot while being able to let things go is the name of the game. It’s a really rough game sometimes too.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am terrible at change. When my family went on a road trip to Canada, a very young me was so adamantly upset at all the pit stops and historical sites and who knows what we kept stopping to see off-book that I finally yelled out, “NO MORE ADDING THINGS!!”. (It has been my mantra ever since. Okay, maybe not, but it probably should be.) To this day, I struggle heavily with last-minute or sporadic scheduling, and iCal is basically my BFF<3. But, I am in therapy – I am improving – and I am laying down my pride every day so I can try to accept that I am not in control 24/7. I can’t be. I seriously, physically cannot be in control all the time. So why does my personality so deeply crave that sometimes?
Some could say it was my childhood, some would say it’s “oldest sibling syndrome”, and a few really great people would just straight up tell me it’s because I’m selfish. (I am.) But this morning, my psychologist told me it’s normal – we all crave stability in one way or another. It’s our innate human nature. Sure, some of us are better at letting things go than others (and to those who find that easier to do, I bow at your feet), but the one thing we all have in common is the sheer fact that we must, indeed, let go.
This summer, I was able to go back up to Montana with my family to a place that’s very special to me. I had many childhood summers playing on that lake, like my mother and her sister did, and my grandma and her siblings did too. Unfortunately, the land that our family has owned and the places that were built over the years have been sold or bought out, and two summers ago my grandparent’s woodsy cabin on the lake had to be sold since it was too much for them to take care of properly. I was not okay with this idea. I grew up playing Lewis & Clark with my brother in the woods around that cabin. I had spent countless hours in that bunkbed with him laughing ourselves to sleep. I felt entitled, and angry that they would dare rip away something so precious to me. However, time went by, I soon focused on other things, and I hadn’t been back to Montana to face this new reality until this past July. It was unsettling, and I admit I resisted making new memories at the new condo at first because it wasn’t the same. Yet, time passed and I was suddenly calling the condo “home” before I knew it. I even jet skii’d back over to our old dock for the cabin I thought I could only ever love one day, and as I floated out there staring at ghosts of memories reliving my past, I never felt like sinking down into a pit of wistful yesterdays. I was able to love where I was in life, and accept change. I was happy, and happy to remember the past as passed happiness too. I really don’t know if I’ve ever been able to accept change on the spot like that before. As I drove away, I myself felt a changed woman. This was a huge deal for me.
Change is inevitable, and as my boyfriend would say, “[Change] is the only constant.” I have yet to break denial that my childhood home is exactly the same way as it was when I left it, and I haven’t quite been able to stomach the fact that I may actually like *some* country music (I KNOW I KNOW), but I am working on it. I am changing, and I was changing even when I didn’t want to; My Plan A from high school turned into Plan Z by my second year in college, which was just the beginning of a 3 year roller coaster that almost killed me. I’m earnestly learning to now place my trust in something greater than myself that understands change fully, something greater than what I think I know, because whenever I try to control my life – things just get crazier.
It sounds counterintuitive, but the moral of my story is this: the more you “let go”, the more you gain.
… Let’s just hope that applies to hair regrowth too.