IT'S dreadful, unpleasant, periodic, involuntary, unavoidable, and at this point we can all deduce that IT'S an inherent part of basic human nature.
"It" is: being engulfed in a SLUMP.
A slump, or “trudging through a valley on my way back up to the hills” as I like to call it, generally lasts a few days. You know the onslaught has occurred when you encounter a handful of select telltale signs, one being when you wake up and begin ready-ing yourself for the day you all of a sudden feel like a lazy-aimless-slow-moving Zeppelin, looking down into the stadium of rallying ill-fitting-clothes, shouting, shaking their big #1-SLUMP foam fingers at you. Or rather, perceived to be “ill-fitting” clothes at the moment, because I’m pretty sure it’s virtually impossible to gain 5 pounds in a 24 hour period. (however, I always say never underestimate the core-shocking habits of Americans – need I point to the latest TLC show:
“My Monkey Baby”….documenting a Tennessee couple who are raising a capuchin monkey wearing a dress, lipstick, and eyeshadow, named Jessica. Literal quote from the ‘dad’ – “She’s not a monkey, she’s my daughter!” Another gem he directed at the ‘mom’ – “She looks just like you!” )
Uncomfortable in anything for some preposterous reason, you throw on ‘whatever’ and just get going. However even after a jug of caffeine, your morning POWERBAR, and some internal-cheering-for-yourself, you look at the clock – 11am – annnnnnnnd yup, you’re still slumping. Why is everyone and everything SO painfully annoying today? Why is looking at someone in the eye and enduring verbal communication so repulsive? (hi, and my JOB is public relations, what is THIS girl supposed to do?) Why so pessimistic today? You’re normally always an endless fountain of sunshine.
You start second guessing everything about yourself. Are you trying hard enough? Period? In Life? Are you working up to par? Are you eating healthy enough? Are you getting enough REM sleep? Are you exercising enough? Are you not doing a good enough job keeping in touch with friends? When’s the last time you visited Nana? Are you happy? Are you on the right path? Are you making every day meaningful? Did you make the right decisions? WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!
Normally when this periodic slump/crisis comes around, I re-evaluate, I look at things objectively, and most importantly I get a haircut.
I am an advocate for risks. What is more liberating when you’re overly consumed with the-meaning-of-life – than to stand on the edge of it all and take a huge risk, push yourself to an uncomfortable limit, and remind yourself of your mortality? It’s a quick perspective that pushes all of the trivial-worrying to zero.
For me, the quickest, most affordable, and always exciting risk-therapy is to get a drastic haircut. It’s just the gift that keeps on giving. Chop this, layer that, color here. Boom – a transformation.
Alright, I know you’re thinking getting a haircut isn’t risky and it’s certainly not “living on the edge” – but for me personally it’s the game-changer to knock me into the next greater mind-set – where soon thereafter I’m searching out all of the REAL possible risks I can take. The person who walked in feeling like a less-than-esteemed-glob, walks out with a kick in their step, a new image to showcase to the world, and a revived attitude that life is constantly changing – so let’s go with the flow and find something new that I’ve never done before. A new layer to add to my already heavily mosaic-ed life.
Of course I always come out of the slump realizing I didn’t gain 5 pounds, all of my clothes do fit – and I’m always especially loving the NEW items I purchased DURING my slump…..and yes I can have a day where I don’t want to exert effort to talk to other humans, and yes I try very hard, and I do my best work, and I eat quite healthy, alright – I could use more quality REM sleep, but I always make an effort to exercise in one way or another, and I keep excellent contact with friends, and I’ll visit Nana this week. I am happy. Exceedingly happy actually, and very lucky. I’m on A path, and it’s a pretty damn good one so I’m not going to complain. And since I refuse to regret anything in my life, I’m going to say I always make the right decisions according to my gut at the time.
This was a particularly good slump I have to say. The great slump of October 2009. I’m bidding it farewell and it’s bittersweet. We start new chapters all the time. Big chapters, tiny chapters – in a lifetime we’ll have lived through millions of chapters. I know this particular small slump and following new chapter had to have been set on by some recent key elements – namely one of my best friend’s since pre-school getting married and jetting off to her honeymoon. Can you think of reality giving you a bigger smack in the face than your childhood friend getting hitched? A bright red flashing light in your face and alarms sounding all around you - TIMES ARE A-CHANGIN'!!! This same best friend also lost over 100 pounds in the last two years and literally looks like an utterly different person. Awe-inspiring to say the least – it was incredible to see her hard work culminate on her wedding day. OVERWHELMING actually to think of our long history in life and the paths we've both traveled. It’s impossible not to turn the magnifying glass onto yourself and wonder what limits you can break within you. Additionally, my other half is away for a 2nd week of business in Maine. And oh you know……I happen to be turning 25 shortly. So here is Tasha, left alone to stew on all these developments and over-analyze.
A smattering of conclusions have emerged for me. I’m going to appreciate all of my times slumping during life – because they make reaching the hills of revelation that much more of a overflowingly enjoyable experience. I will forever continue to indulge in hair-invoked-therapy. It works. I’m going to make a concerted effort to discover one new thing every month, and challenge myself every day.
And I’m buying a treadmill.