Cut off more hair than I have in a long time. Although I was/am attached to the longer length, it really only looked good when I put in serious effort to style it, and most days I just didn’t. On a typical (lazy) day it has been consistently heavy, flat, and stringy–if not in a bun. I think my hair will be a little more manageable now. Maybe I will even occasionally blow dry it.
When the stylist showed me how much he was going to cut off the back I almost chickened out. But I realized I was experiencing the same feelings I’ve been encountering as I downsize my possessions. A little fearful and anxious at first, but ultimately happier and freer at letting go of unnecessary weight.
I’ve thought about dying it a richer shade of brown, or adding highlights, but for now I’m happy sticking with my natural color, though the reddish remnants of henna from early 2011 are still growing out! Less maintenance, less money, fewer chemicals. (In the same vein, I’m trying the oil cleansing method for my face using jojoba oil.)
But at the end of the day, just like I haven’t really gotten rid of all that much stuff, I still have plenty of hair.
While I’m waiting to pick up my camera, I’ll continue to post exorbitant amounts of text here. I’ve felt quite motivated at general life improvement lately so I’m enjoying tracking this phase. I’ve almost paid off my credit card, I have three different savings accounts growing (small, but growing), and I’m trying to buy less. I’ve been doing a pretty good job not buying much in the last few weeks, including cutting back on my biggest indulgence, eating at restaurants and coffee shops. I made a detailed budget for the month of September and although it’s been tweaked for various reasons, I’m really trying to stick to it. However, I did splurge by purchasing not one, not two, but three Groupons the other day. What can I say–I’m their target audience. And I don’t regret it. I got:
-Five personal training sessions at a studio in my neighborhood at a huge discount. I’ve checked out the training studio’s website out before and thought it looked appealing. I have never really learned how to use workout equipment or do weight training or even exercise in front of people. So I figure if I start with the personal training sessions, this guy can show me the ropes and then I can transition to the much less expensive group classes. If I actually go through with five personal training sessions, I’ll be a changed person. I’ve wanted to do something like this for years but always chickened out.
-A sixty minute deep tissue massage. The first and only professional massage I’ve ever had was with a Groupon earlier this year, it was amazing, and massages are basically the number one service I look to Groupon for (deep tissue only, no Swedish, thank you). At 50% off they are situated more in my price range comfort zone, and I have a lot back pain and crave massage constantly.
-A hair cut, deep conditioning treatment, and style. Super cheap since it’s at a cosmetology school. I’m easy enough for a student to handle–no layers, nothing complicated, just cut off a few inches and I’m good to go. What I really care about is having someone else do all the work involved in blow drying my enormous mane.
I’m fantasizing about using all three Groupons on one day–work out, get a massage, and then get my hair cut and styled. I’m not sure it will be feasible…but that would be one great day.
Most of the time if I need toiletries or cosmetics I go with the cheapest option (like Suave shampoo), but a couple of times a year I let myself spring for an over-the-top spending spree at CVS. It’s still just drugstore shopping; no Sephora or the like for me. But it’s fun. I think because I couldn’t drive for most of my life, walking to the nearby drugstore was the biggest shopping thrill I could get. And, drugstore or not, the stuff’s still fairly expensive. Especially these days.
I’ve been doing these shopping trips since high school. I remember emulating the look of a certain 2001 Britney Spears video and feeling so triumphant when another girl immediately pinpointed the Britney inspiration, despite the fact that I was tall and skinny and brunette with braces.
Inspiration can’t strike every day and I’m really not interested in forcing it like I used to. But some very happy moments in my life have coincided with inspired looks, like the curly ringlets I sported the night a boy asked me to dance sophomore year, the year I really started to feel pretty sometimes after an awkward adolescence. Or my minimalist hippie phase in early college when my skin glowed and I hung around in indie bars feeling very alive. Hell, one of the most magical nights of my childhood in Missouri, when I decided curfew-be-damned and stayed out playing with friends until what seemed like early morning (but was probably closer to 10PM), was amplified by how cool I felt in my neon yellow smiley face dress. Of course the playing starts in childhood. But the experimentation becomes electrifying as a teenager.
Today my beauty inspiration stemmed from upcoming vacations, starting with my quickly approaching trip to Key West. Not just any trip, but a girls’ trip, with my two beautiful sisters. Adult or not, I still get to experience a little taste of that old teenage summer feeling. A few carefree days to swim and play and wear short shorts and be languid. Adult or not, I still get to give into the fluffy, playful, magazine world of makeup and hair and clothes.
These drugstore shopping trips are about getting into the spirit of the season, envisioning good times with friends and family and an aesthetic that pulls it all together. This time it’s low maintenance, beachy beauty. Wavy, air-dried hair. Peachy cheeks. Dewey skin. Not so very different from the Britney Spears look I copied eleven years ago at a small town high school football game.
I’ve been dying for this weekend since about, oh, Tuesday. I let myself get overly stressed out when I shouldn’t have, and I knew all along that I just needed some time to myself for rejuvenation. I went on a beach walk from about 6:00-7:00 this morning and immediately felt my perspective sliding back into proper focus.
Yet another photo of my beautiful grandmother I’d never seen before, brought to me by a distant relative on Facebook. The details! I am just enthralled. The long nails, the sparkling dress, the strong eyebrows, and of course, that hair.
My grandmother helped me raise me when I was young, before she passed away; she was really the single “extended” family member (outside my household, though I did live with her for a while) that I was ever truly close with. Every time I see a new photo like this I am just thrilled and thankful to see a little bit more of her. In part because she was just pure classic Hollywood glamour, and I can’t believe I’m related to this beauty, but also because I love her and she loved me. And I remember her love. Many people I’m close with have a lot of relatives who love them, but I don’t have much family like that, and I am just grateful for my memories of Grandcarol, and for these new (to me) photographs that periodically appear before me, a welcomed surprise.
Tonight’s dinner: zucchini boats with brown rice, black beans, veggies, and goat cheese:
And random photos from days, weeks, and months past from my bf’s iPhone camera:
Feeling pretty nice. As usual, I continue to learn more every day, which is a wonderful part of being alive. I learn little things, like the fact that adding sea salt to chocolate really does make a huge difference (I almost wrote a whole blog post about this but it remains in draft form for now). And bigger things, like maybe it’s okay to foster a small taste for power despite my deep inclination to reject it. That’s a story that’s just beginning. But what I’m feeling right now is that it’s okay for things to be good, even though I can sometimes dwell on the negative in some kind of attempt to be authentic. Because I don’t like coming off as all rainbows and sunshine when that’s not my reality. Yet I am so attentive to all the beauty around me; why am I afraid to simply acknowledge that without equivocation? There is so much to be thankful for and happy about.
PS. It’s time I get back into reading books. Since finishing graduate school over a year ago (!) I’ve read a few light murder mysteries, re-read the Sherlock Holmes stories of my childhood, and basically browsed the photos of interior design books. I’m ready to get completely lost in other worlds again, the way I used to before grad school made my brain hurt and before technological distractions turned my brain to mush. I have a habit of returning to old favorites again and again but I think it’s time for something new and substantive.
Exhaustion led to me acting like a baby tonight. One who needed a nap. A walk on the beach helped, as did waffles for dinner, a new magazine, a glass of wine, and a patient boyfriend. I think it’s time to catch up on some rest and relaxation.
I am so happy today. I feel young because everything about life seems so exciting. I just got back from a walk on the beach with my dog. Normally when I walk Herman in a neighborhood he stops every five seconds, wanders in circles, meanders leisurely. But on the beach, he just runs straight ahead. It’s so great. I saw a mother and her young daughter dipping their toes in the ocean, the little girl yelling “We came to the beach and we got in the wata!” (she couldn’t say her R’s…so cute). There was a graceful older woman doing yoga. A tiny puppy awkwardly clomping around in the sand. All silhouettes against the sunrise.
Sunrises and sunsets excite me every time I see them, too. Especially when there’s a dolphin jumping around underneath the setting sun, which I saw while walking Herman the other day! It was where these pictures were taken, but on a different day.
Between catching up on some Lisa Eldridge makeup tutorials (like this one) and swooning over Lena Horschek’s newest lookbook, I have a suddenly renewed interest in hair, nails, and makeup. Last night I bought a few new products to try out, including some lipstick (I wear the same lip stain every day and literally didn’t have any other options), liquid eyeliner, and some Essie nail polish. Today: I primp.