So here’s the thing about this past season. I want to put it behind me and focus on the great things that lie ahead (new team! more racing! the holidays! turning 30! GAHH), but to be honest, I’m struggling to let go of residual feelings that have been festering for months. Anger, disgust, and disappointment to name a few.
When I have a lot of feelings, I try to do normal things to manage them like cry, lash out at my loved ones, or eat all of the food in the house. But sometimes that’s not a sufficient release, and I have to resort to more drastic measures. I tried coloring my hair red in May using a $6 box of dye from Target because that sort of thing never ends badly. It was dramatically bright at first and got lots of, “WOW, you dyed your hair…” remarks with a notable lack of “…and I love it!” follow-up. It also bled red dye onto everything for a week, before eventually fading into a borderline respectable color that had sweet old ladies clucking over how my orange-haired husband and I looked alike. Um, thanks.
Still filled with angst, I started obsessing over getting a new tattoo. I have a bunch already and all of them can be tied to some pivotal moment of crises – a serious injury, separation from a spouse, the realization that I was not good at law school. I became convinced at some point in July that I’d find inner peace as soon as I committed to new ink.
And that is the story of how I came to have a large bird on the back of my neck.
I already had a small, faded tattoo there and loved this neat bird design I found, so it seemed like a great idea to cover the old work with something new. The tattoo artist, however, had a different actualization of the design than I’d expected, and I nearly fell over dead from shock when he handed me a mirror to see the finished work. But what do you say at that point…”No, let’s try again”? UNDO! UNDO! My father was standing there watching (because cool kids bring a parent to hang out during tattoo appointments) and I felt like the only acceptable response was elation. Hooray ugly bird!
So then I had feelings about stuff going on in my life and the bird. People were like, “Hey! I want to see the new tattoo!” And I’d think, “SHIT. THE BIRD.” Now I laugh at the whole thing, because I usually don’t even remember that it’s back there and when I do, it’s kind of funny to think I got so pissed off at this jackass in my life that I put a bird on the back of my neck forever. I SURE SHOWED HIM.
One might say I gave him the bird.
Anyway, my hair is tinted copper and I’m stuck with bird this now, but also still quite a few feelings. Rearranging my furniture, giving away my belongings to charity, saying mean things to small children; nothing seems to be helping me let go. It seems unhealthy to carry around this resentment, but I don’t know how to put it down and walk away. The best I’ve managed is to channel it into more positive pursuits, like training and resting harder. Things are good now. I’m happy. It’s going to be a damn good 2015.