I haven’t treated myself as of late. I realize life is supposed to be equal parts work and play, and that Tom Haverford would likely be shaking his head at me in shame for not exercising my right to “treat yo self”. But lately life has revolved around paying off bills, paying off credit cards and reestablishing the savings that dwindled (okay ceased to exist) when Warner got sick.
This often leaves me feeling drained and restricted. Like I tell myself “you can’t enjoy life right now because you have to make sure you’re safe for the future.” And? If I’m being totally honest? Money scares the shit out of me. When Warner got sick, I quickly learned the value of having a financial safety net, and went from being the kid of girl who “made it rain” to the kind who put her extra dollars in a mason jar on her nightstand for a rainy day.
As if we needed more evidence of the suckery that is adulthood.
I’ve started placing great value on the things I spend my money on. At the risk of bordering on lame, I have realized there are only a few things I deem worthy of my hard-earned dollars, and often that doesn’t mean treating myself to a weekly mani/pedi or that massage I so desperately want but maybe don’t NEED right now. As much as I would like to, the future seems more important in this chapter of my life.
A few weekends ago, however, I found myself with a few extra dollars in my pocket, and at Kyle’s urging, decided to make Tommy Haverford proud and treat myself. I researched pictures on Pinterest, with the mindset of “hey, this is a long time coming, go big or go home”. I found the perfect photographic representation of the hair color I’d been craving for months: a beachy, natural looking bayalage. I was tingling with excitement.
Five hours later, I left the salon with a dye job I hated, and looked nothing like what I wanted. Hard-earned dollars gone and I wasn’t happy. So, like any frustrated female, I went to get it fixed the next day. Three more hours later I left the salon worse than where I started and even more unhappy.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to go, Tommy!
Ladies, holla if you feel me: there's nothing worse than a bad dye job. As one friend I cried to so eloquently put it: "a bad dye job ruins even the best outfit."
I went home to sleep on it (literally and figuratively) and when I woke up the next morning I was furious. Furious at the salon for a dye job I hated, furious at myself for spending money on myself for the first time in a long time and being disappointed. Out of money to fix it again and with hair that was already stretched beyond its limits with two dye jobs in one weekend, I was basically stuck. And by “stuck” I mean, “stuck wearing a lot of hats for the next few months”.
I spent the rest of the weekend in despair, as any girl would when she gets a bad dye job. I kept lamenting over and over how I never treat myself and when I finally did, I was unhappy. And I would have to wait weeks, maybe even months until the color faded, my hair grew a little and I could afford to get it fixed for a third time. I started working on a plan for the future: how much money could I set aside a month before I could afford to get it fixed again, while still staying on my current savings/bill paying plan? How soon could this plan happen? How many months could I work to put this plan into action?
But, as I laid in bed on Sunday night, trying to muster the courage to walk into the office on Monday I realized something: from scheming ways to fix my hair to putting money in a mason jar, all I’m doing is focusing on the future. So much so in fact, that I’m not enjoying or even looking at the present. I’m not in the moment in my life right now, not even a little bit.
Life is filled with moments like these: bad dye jobs, bad haircuts and situations that seem like they will take months to fix. In these moments we have a choice: keep trying to fix your future self, or get busy getting to know who you are right now. I’m not saying go out and start spending your money like a fiend, but start living in, and appreciating the “now”. At the risk of sounding like a bad bumper sticker; be someone today that your future self will thank you for.
I hate myself for saying that.
Though I hate the current hairstyle I’m rocking, I’m finding ways to make the best of it today, while I’m planning for the next salon trip in my future. I’m trying new ways to style it, new ways to dress so my hair looks more like a fun accessory than a tragic mistake. I’m learning to appreciate what I have now, even if it’s not exactly what I want or where I want to be, while I work on getting what I want for the future. I’m learning it’s okay to live in, and enjoy the now, even if the now is a bad dye job.
Ps: no one thinks it’s as bad as I do, of course. People are actually even liking it. Of freaking course.
And in non-hair tragedy related business:
Big thanks to Samantha and Nicole from Pursuit of Balance for voting me their "Blog Crush" of the month! I'm truly honored, and totally have a crush on both of you, too.
Check out their post about my blog here.