My darling wee girl–
Last week, I pumped up my ‘do with a bright bubble-gum pink streak– my “lucky streak 2.0”, if you will. Several months ago I added in a pale blonde streak to my otherwise completely natural brown (plus some grey) hair, and last week I decided that the blonde lucky streak was not quite enough “lucky”– maybe I needed to bump it up a notch and add the pink.
Well…I’m not quite sure what I expected would happen with this new hair (although I did, quite accurately, predict that you would love it, since it’s pink, and since you have been saying “mummie, I want to cut my hair pink” for a while now), but something has happened today that has really made me reflect on the idea of lucky and luck.
If I’m really being honest, Zoe, I added the pink to bring more “lucky” into my life. Sometimes it feels like there is so much external stuff that doesn’t go the way that we’d like it to in life, and why couldn’t a bit of a pink lucky streak help out? Maybe the pink streak will help us win the lottery, or a free trip somewhere special (without ice and snow, if I’m being truthful!), or even just give me more time: more time to spend with you, instead of working or writing my phd dissertation. I even wondered if it would bring me luck and would somehow magically mean that I wouldn’t have to do a lot of revisions for my phd (which would most definitely equal being able to spend more time with you, my wee girl).
But no such luck.
So far, no lottery win, no fancy-schmancy trip somewhere warm, and a substantially solid amount of work still to be done on my dissertation.
Plus a hefty dose of the unknown: not knowing when things might get a little bit easier, not knowing when I might have more time, not knowing what’s going to happen in the next year or two or five or ten…and the not knowing is really, really hard, Zoe. I wish I could say that I have your innate trust that everything will work out fine in the end (or, as Nuki says, if it isn’t fine, it isn’t the end), but I project into the future and I worry and it spins away from me and yet also it envelopes me, dragging me into a world that I have not yet met, nor may never meet. In short, I worry about the stuff that hasn’t yet happened instead of just be(e)ing, and trying to embrace each day, each moment as it comes.
And so…back to the pink lucky streak.
Maybe this streak is here to remind me to just be(e):
To deeply appreciate the fact that we have our bright and colourful home that is simply perfect for two sweet bees (me and you), instead of worrying that it’s rented (and when will we ever be able to buy our own place).
To honour all that being able to work through the process of this phd has brought into my life (discovering that I love public speaking; that I love facilitating workshops; that I bring hope to the one or two or three people who always pull me aside afterwards to tell me their own story about ED– or especially to the person who wrote, when asked what the workshop had taught her: “I learned that I am not alone”), instead of stressing out about graduating with a big fancy hat (as much as we both love fancy hats). The bigger piece of this puzzle, of course, is that this journey of doing this phd has made me realize that I am not alone in my struggles and triumph against ED. Even if I never finish (which, since I do not know the future, nor can my pink lucky streak give specific results, I really have no idea what will happen), I now know this to be true. And that is worth all of the effort and financial investment in the world.
To find deep joy in feeling the warm sun on my face after an extremely frigidly cold winter, and in being able to wear my bright orange down vest (instead of a heavy duty down coat plus seventeen other layers) when I go outside, even if we will not be travelling to anywhere warm and sunny anytime soon.
To find relief in tears, and especially immense comfort in the fact that I am blessed to have so many people in my life who will just listen and hold me while I cry, instead of being upset that there are things in my life that have caused me distress and pain. Life isn’t life without a little bit of rain, my wee girl.
And if that’s the case? If this bright bubble-gum pink streak in my hair can ground me, can help me be present, can help me find the joy that is already here, all around me?
I’ll take it gladly. Even more than winning the lottery.
Because really, if you add up all of those things in my list and toss in a brilliant, gorgeous inside-and-out girl named Zoe, plus the most amazing family and friends and colleagues and students a grown-up girl could ask for…?
It would seem as though I already have.