new do

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


Stomper Girl said...

Straightened. Not flattened. Get with the lingo. Your haircut looks fabulous.
Motherhood has made me the sort of person who cries if someone else cries in my presence. Can't see that ever changing either.... I don't think it's a bad thing to be doing your sort of work and having empathy and compassion, although I can see that it is hard on you.

Vanessa said...

you look amazing. the shape and the colour really become you.
and the sadness... yes i suppose it comes in waves and as time goes on they become kinder, not thrashing you onto the rocks so often any more.
love to you,

daisies said...

wow ... your hair is beautiful !!!! you look stunning honey .. and i understand the sadness, the feeling happy ... i had a moment yesterday where i remembered where i was emotionally last year compared to where i am now and time stopped still for a moment as i took it all in ...

kim at allconsuming said...

I hope you never change from crying when you hear a sad story, be it at work or at home.
And your hair looks divine.
the best straighteners to get are the GHD ones (they have ceramic plates which are better for your hair), which you can only get at a hairdressers. And they cost over $300. So when my hair was longer it never replicated that of the salon as $300 on an appliance that was not kitchen related? For my hair and only my hair (no daughter's hair to play with)? Forget it.

Emma A said...

You look lovely, that is a gorgeous, cool change of a haircut. Well done, you are brave too, going from long to short!!! I thought of you this morning, I had my 1st pre-natal visit to a big hospital where I am planning to have my 2nd child in Feb, and I had a go at taking some nice preggo photo's of myself in the bathroom mirror, I was early for appt, no one else was around, and I have hardly any photo's to show future child of this pregnancy. Anyway, it's quite tricky isn't it! And I thought of your portraits in mirrors, sometimes in public loo's, that I have seen on your blog, and felt inspired to have a try too.

Lazy Cow said...

Very noice do. I adore the sleek bob, but have no patience with hairdryers and product so it is easier for me to stay long.
Talking about your sadness/not sadness, as well as being healthy for you, is a valuable insight for those of us who haven't experienced it, and maybe gives us (me, I mean) an idea of what to say when we're confronted with it. My best friend went through something similar, and had a healthy baby very soon afterwards, and still has not dealt with it at all.

h&b said...

Far out ! - look at you, you look fabulous ( not that I ever thought otherwise ;)
Some people are born bearing the weight. I have always cried at ads, movies, other people crying. My sister and mother are the same. I was quite embarrassed last week when my neighbour called and i'd been BAWLING over a book.
I think I freaked her out.
I also once cried so hard about a colleague getting the sack, everyone in the office must have assumed we'd been having an affair, or that I *loved* him, or something.
I can't help it, and it will never change - i'm actually tearing up now.
I like the song "Our Frank", which has nothing to do with a person at all, but it reminded me of you.
Won't somebody stop me
from thinking all the time
about everything
so deeply
I suppose a person with a penchant for Morrissey though can't be all that upbeat all the time though, hey ? ;)

suse said...

Woohoo I love the haircut! My hairdresser does that flattening thing to me every single time. Bizarre.
I like what Vanessa said about the waves of sadness and the thrashing against rocks etc. I think that's true of all great griefs. Still there, like little lapping waves or ripples, but not brutal surfing waves (trying to thing of the surfie term for huge curling rolling towering wave and failing miserably).

shula said...

I think I'd be calling the not-sad-anymore official.
Looks great, Janet.

Sue said...

Oh it is okay to be sad. Nurses and doctors, etc. have people they talk to about things like that too. My SIL is a nurse and they have a certain way of looking at things, differently to us. I love your new haircut too, it really suits you. Perhaps you will need to go and buy a hairdryer. It doesnt take too long to straighten it after you get used to doing it. What a great way to feel better for the day.

suszoz said...

Yes it looks wonderful.

VictoriaE said...

It's all pretty deep really because that haircut looks GORGEOUS.

Rachel said...

Janet, you look divine! I think it's great that you can show emotion and empathy for your clients. Imagine if that client dealt with someone unfeeling and rushed. You connected with her and I'm sure with countless others in your work. Hopefully your human touch will give them something to hang onto as the climb out of their sadness.

Miss Eagle said...

This piece of writing is s-o-o beautifully sensitive, beautifully written. And i love the new do. Hope it didn't cost too much so that you can have it done again - and again.
Blessings and bliss

sooz said...

Geez I go away for a week and you TRANSFORM! Looks great and I so applaud the great hair leap. Should be more of it I say. Amy has decided she'd quite like hers to be blue.
And the sadness...I remember someone saying to me that they didn't want to give up the sadness because they felt they were giving up on the person they were sad to have lost, and I know exactly what she meant. Not because it is true but because sometimes the sadness becomes so big it is hard to believe anything will remain once the Big sadness is gone.

blue milk said...

Fantastic haircut - rrrrrrrrrreally suits you.

Penni said...

I love your hair.
I love it.
Love it.
I couldn't even cope with working in childcare - my heart was broken by the sad lives of some of the children and my inability to steal them away from it.