It's been one of those weeks at work. Not a bad week per se. Just emotional. Which I guess is part of the deal for me working for an organisation that touches peoples lives the way it does. Sometimes I really wish I could talk about work in more detail. Suffice to say, on Wednesday, I had a long interaction with a customer that at one point had us both in tears. In the middle of an open plan office, rather than at my desk up the back where I sit every other day. It was like we were in a little bubble. I did manage to collect myself and go on to do the necessary tasks with bureacratic efficiency. Which is important, because at such a time, you really don't want to get caught in some bad administrative loop. After the interview ended, I went to the tearoom for a mental health moment and for the rest of the afternoon I was pretty good. I was fine on the first tram home, but when I got to the park, to catch the second tram, I just sort of dissolved. I took some photos and thought about my customer and thought about my own sadness. And I thought about how, five years on, I'm really not sad anymore. Except for at odd times, and when I hear about the sadness of others. Especially people who are beginning a journey of sorrow.
It has to be a good thing that I'm not still sad, but there's part of me that is surprised about that. Or a bit uncomfortable. Even though there will always be a deep feeling for our son Frank in my heart, letting go of that big sadness is hard in itself.There were quite a few tears in the park and when I got in the tram to go home, my eyes were still sort of leaking quietly.
So I'm on the tram, thinking my sad thoughts and my I'm not sad any more thoughts. Thinking about writing a book one day, after buying a house, after settling in, one day... The light is streaming in through the scratchy windows. I look across at a woman talking on her phone. And I think, right out of the blue, I want that haircut, I want her haircut. And I want it soon. No more bobby pins, or hair elastic. It's time to go short. The next day at work, I asked around for a hairdresser in the area and found somewhere that was reasonably priced and that could fit me in today. And ta-da... From the deep, to the most extraordinarily shallow...
The colour's still fresh, it's full of product that smells like coconut and has been ironed with what looked like a flat version of the old fashioned curling wand. The hairdresser thought it most amusing that I'd never had my hair flattened/ straightened and that I don't own a hairdryer. No doubt it will look a bit different once I return to my scruffnut ways tommorrow. But it feels really good to lose the hair. I'm really pleased with how it looks. And how it feels. Different. Lighter.
And it really is OK to be (mostly) not sad anymore. Maybe one day soon, I'll be able to not cry at work when I hear sad stories and just be helpful and considerate. Without crying. Which isn't really helpful. But happens. I am in awe of how people in some professions do it, you know nurses, social workers, shrinks... etc