New Friday feature: flashing back to what was happening this time last year -- who knows, maybe two years, maybe three, maybe EVEN four, since I've been writing this blog for that long.
Ladies and gents, let's rewind....
... to June 18, 2011
Breaking Up with Crazy
In addition to all of the other resolutions I made for 2011, all my detailed lists of tasks Small, Medium and Large, and goals and projects, I have also declared this to be the year I break up with crazy. This is consistent, naturally, with my overall theme for the year of viveka, discernment, of saying No to say Yes. And it's working out great.
Now, there's a certain amount of crazy that can't be avoided (like the crazy you're related to, for example), and which must simply be dealt with with as much grace as hours and hours of yoga should prepare one to deal, and breathe, and deal.
The crazy I decided to break up with was all of the inessential, avoidable crazy -- the kind that I really do have a choice about. And up with which I need not put.
Let me be clear: there's good-crazy and bad-crazy. A lot of people I love most in my life are some kind of crazy, they're wild, they're boldly committed to a vision, they're unique, they're risk-takers. They're crazy, but good-crazy, and I adore them. I'm talking about breaking up with the bad-crazy, the really crazy: the kind that bring me down, that suck my energy, that just generally are so not-fun to be around.
I took a big step along this BUWC path when I changed jobs in January, eliminating enormous day-to-day crazy from my work-life. And boy, that felt good. It still feels good. Earlier this week, an email came in from an external partner which so reminded me of the e-blurts I used to receive at my old gig, no grammar, incomplete sentences, words missing, just this mad e-barking. My stomach clenched up instantly, I felt ill, my heart raced, as if I had post-traumatic stress, seriously. And then I remembered, oh yeah, this isn't my reality anymore. This is just this one crazy guy from whom I will probably never receive an email again. I'm safe. Phew.
But changing jobs wasn't enough. There was still more crazy to be broken up with.
So I broke up with my hairdresser. She had been cutting my hair for a few years. I went to her initially because she specializes in hair like mine (non-hair, my mother calls it). She did me a solid good haircut and highlights, and generally delivered. But I dreaded a bit going to see her because her stories made me squirm a little. There was some protracted family drama, and private investigators, and litigation. I am remembering a story of her crawling under a car and placing a GPS device on its undercarriage, I shit you not. Unsavory, a little too COPS for me. And really, when you're sitting in the chair for an hour or so, you need to not be squirmy. I dealt with it for a while, happy with the haircut that ensued, but emboldened by my professional break-up and this year's resolution, ended it.
And I broke up with my eyebrow technician. Now that was a long-lasting relationship. I think the first time I went to see her was in 1996 when I had enormous untouched eyebrows, a fantastic canvas for her to mold and shape. She did a great job, transformed my whole face honestly, by removing excess pelage. But again, crazy. A lot, a lot of the time, I found her narratives entertaining, but as the years went by, I started to feel ill at ease. And again, really, when someone is waxing you, that's enough discomfort, right?
The clincher for me was when she adopted a little chihuahua mix. First time I saw him, everything was fine. But after a really big storm, that dog flipped out the next time I came for an appointment. I was fending him off with a pillow I'd grabbed from one of the reception chairs, but that little fucker managed to leap up and take a chomp on my knee. I love dogs and it just bothered me so much that I was so scared of this little tiny one, little tiny savage one. I kept going to her, insisting she lock up the piranha before I came in the door. But the crazy just became too much, so I ended that one, too. It was the kind of crazy that doesn't recognize it's a bad idea to keep a pet who bites your clients. Who does that? It's sad for me because she was really skilled. But I just couldn't do it anymore.
It's interesting to me that so far the breaking up with crazy, other than the work one, has all been with those women whose work it had been to keep me looking good. The result, however, was not pretty. My hair has been looking shitty, my eyebrows a bit raggedy. Slowly I'm exploring, trying to replace those service providers with non-crazy. After all, there's no reason to be sane but frizzy, calm but frumpy, right? Especially at my age.
The thing about making a resolution to break up with crazy, is that as I began eliminating it wherever possible, I became so much sensitive to it when it rears its raving little head. Before, I think I was so immersed in crazy that I was less able to recognize it. And say No to it. Now, though, the merest whiff of crazy, particularly in a new situation, and I am one foot out the door, see ya, no time, bye.
It's great. I'm really happy about it. I encourage everyone to consider whether it's worth it to sustain a relationship of any kind with crazy, if you don't have to. What's it doing for you? More bad than good? End it. There are other hairdressers and estheticians, other bosses and friends, tons more.
I got a haircut today from someone new to me. Actually, it turns out I know her from yoga, naturally, had seen her millions of times and then there I was in her chair. She did a fantastic job and -- best part -- she's not the slightest bit crazy.
Break up with crazy. I am telling you it's one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time. And the new haircut kicks ass, too.