And so it begins ... with an an ending. My office peeps threw an official Retirement Party to commemorate the end of my reign as Queen and wish me a bon voyage on the next adventure. It was a fab farewell, complete with a rhinestone retirement tiara, sparkly pink sash, a sippy-cup for wine (wait -- that's a thing?!), travel gear, and the definitive guide on how to Be More Unicorn. They also made a "New Chapter" poster which they all very thoughtfully signed and are having framed. I'm gonna miss those dorks.
The tiara/sash combo is being modeled here by Sketchy Jeff (the skeleton who sits at our dining table with his equally skeletal companions, Dog 1 and Dog 2) instead of being modeled by me because I've made yet another dramatic hair change and I'm not quite ready to reveal it yet.
It’s a distinctly odd feeling to be jealous of one’s former self but recently I had been looking at pictures of my hair color when I was in my teens and twenties and ermygawd, it was so PERFECT. It wasn't quite blonde and it wasn't quite red; it was a reddish golden color like pure honey. Back then, I hated it because it didn't look like anyone else's. But now, as I careen through a full-tilt midlife crisis, charging headlong into cliches left and right (I literally bought a sports car, quit my job and took to wearing a leather motorcycle jacket and a top hat with a taxidermy rattlesnake around the band), I'd give just about anything to have that hair color again. So I did.
Somewhere around the age of 48 I lost the ability (or maybe the desire?) to weigh consequences so now my brain works like this:
1) I have a thought about a thing I could do;
2) I immediately do the thing.
That's it. That's the whole process. Consequently, when I thought, "It would be a good idea to radically alter the color of my hair as a symbol of my new life as a blogger, artist and fuckabout," I immediately went and did that thing. I took a decades-old picture to my hair stylist and said "do this" without thinking about the upcoming trade show I'm attending with The Hubby as Marketing Gal for his company. I'll be wearing a badge that says "Information Goddess" and be expected to engage with hundreds of new business contacts as a confident, gregarious raconteur. Hard to pull off when an accidental glance at any reflective surface causes me to physically flinch with surprise. The color isn't bad, it's just that going from platinum blonde to fiery redhead is a very big change and it has me thrown.
I forget how much of my identity is rooted in my appearance until I change my appearance and then I'm all, "fuck."
All of which means that today I gotta get my groove back. It's time for my tried and true mojo rejuvenator: cue up "Benjamin Franklin's Song" by The Decemberists at high volume and swagger around the living room with a smug smile, belting out,
🎶 “Do you know who the fuck I am?
Yeah, do you know who the fuck I am?
I am Poor-Richard's-Almanac-writing, polymath, bifocal-wearing, Harvey glass, harmonica-playing Benjamin Fucking Franklin." 🎵
Because who among us doesn't feel better after donning a powdered wig and ruffled collar and acting out a song that Lin Manuel Miranda wrote and then cut from Hamilton? If you haven't tried this, I highly recommend it. I also suggest throwing in your own hyphenated moniker. Here's mine:
"I am utterly-unknown-blog-writing, creative, rattlesnake-wearing, artsy-fartsy, Great-Dane-raising, XanARu Fucking Rubey."
Try it and see if you don't feel like a new person. Rejuvenated, confident, ready too show up to this life as your true self. Now THAT's an auspicious beginning to a new chapter of life as a blogger, artist and fuckabout.