I did good today.
I woke up and made myself an omelet with spinach and onions and cheddar cheese. And ate some applesauce. This was brunch. I had a microwave South Beach pizza for dinner (okay, I am totally not on the South Beach diet and those things are way too expensive, but they are also miracles of modern science, because the South Beach engineers have crammed THIRTY-ONE grams of protein and ELEVEN grams of fiber into a 340-calorie microwave pizza that doesn't taste bad, and the biology of that, like, totally eludes me) with some roast beef slices and grapes. And a cup of hot chocolate as a late-night snack. Way to go, kid, on mission: Eat Nourishingly In A Way That Is Constructively Emotionally Nourishing (I am not good at catchy mission titles).
And now I have corn muffins in the oven for breakfast or library snacks or something. They smell nice. I had sort of forgotten, over the past week, how wonderful nutritive food is, and how much more comforting it really is. But the thing is that it's slower, and when I'm as upset as I've been of late, I don't want to slow down, because slowing down allows the upset to creep in at the cracks.
A trip to the campus health center yielded a prescription for a stopgap anti-anxiety medication (just to get me through to the completion of my Major Academic Project), seven months' worth of practically-free birth control, and, to the end of attaining said practically-free birth control, the information that my blood pressure is back to its preferred pre-surgery mark, which is 120/78, which is perfect.
I have taken the muffins out of the oven. They are pretty. Golden brown and puffy.
And today I made the appointment to cut off my hair. I have long, kind of dramatic hair, and it's one of the ways that people identify me politely ("the girl with long curly hair," instead of "the fat girl"). It's also one of the things people compliment politely ("You have such beautiful hair!" is second only to "You have such beautiful eyes!"). And other than a highlight here and a face-framing layer there, I haven't changed it since I grew out a total hair disaster when I was thirteen or fourteen. Although I've had very competent (and expensive) people cutting my hair, I've been terrified to make any big changes. Hair is important. There is the normal fear of looking bad. There is the sort of inchoate fear of change that attaches to your hair, the fear that maybe has something to do with your appearance, but is mostly just fear of loss, I think, that rises up strong when you try to call a salon. And for me, there is the fact that having long and dramatic hair was a way of asserting femininity when for a long time I didn't feel particularly feminine. For a long time I didn't feel feminine at all. For awhile, in fact, I somehow harbored the private belief that I did not have breasts. I wore a D cup at the time, but secretly, I believed that what I had was fat not breasts like other girls. But yes. Long hair. Femininity. And my mother had always wanted me to have short hair when I was little, because curly hair is so difficult to take care of, and that had always been a bathroom power struggle. I thought my face was too fat for short hair, that long hair somehow...hid something? I don't know. Now I'm finding sort of the opposite is true: my hair has gotten so long that I lose volume at the crown, which makes my face look rounder than it is.
I want a sideswept bang and shorter layers, to emphasize my cheekbones.
And now I have a hair appointment. The stylist is heavily vouched-for by women with curly hair on the internet. I have pictures to bring with me. Chin-length asymmetrical bobs.
And I do feel the upsurge of inchoate fear. But I don't think I feel particularly concerned about losing my femininity (other than the fact that my boyfriend is attached to my long hair). I want the clean slate of a big hair change, its trumped-up symbolism. I cut off a chunk in the mirror today. I am impatient. I am shaking my head and my long, long hair—almost waist-length when you pull the curl taut—and anticipating the strangeness of lightening.