Every few years, I toy with the idea of getting bangs. It usually happens when I’m in the middle of some big life-change, and immediately after cutting them, I realize that it was all a terrible, terrible idea. (Luckily, this time it’s not the case. Last week, I had my hair cut and my color fixed with my hair guru Paul Jean, and I am utterly obsessed with both the bangs and the shaggy cut. He’s hands-down the best hairstylist in LA. Do you need a new cut? Go. Go, go, go.)
I suppose you could technically describe my current mindset as a life-change, but it feels more like a mindset shift. I’m simply growing a bit older, y’all. Last week’s Sandy Hook shooting sent most people into a reflective funk; but since it happened on my mother’s death anniversary (is there a more elegant way to describe this?), I was already mentally crouched, mulling things over, wondering What’s It All About?
I can tell you what I think it’s not all about: losing hope. Terrible things happen, bad people are born, good people die–but life goes on. That’s the way of the world, and it’ll continue to be so long, long after you and I and everybody we love are gone. That mindset freaks and depresses some people out, but for me, it gives me comfort. In the end, the thing we all fear will happen anyway (spoiler alert: and in the end, you die!) which is incredibly freeing to me. It means all the stuff we worry about is just noise. It means the most important thing is loving, and being kind, and doing good, and trying, and having passion. The beauty is in the doing.
I came across a Robert Louis Stevenson quote last week that resonated with me: “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
The past few days, it’s all just been negative. Negative on Facebook, negative on Twitter, negative on TV, negative everywhere. I stopped reading Jezebel when I realized that their “F— You, XYZ” column was going to be a regular feature. (I mean, then again, Jezebel is always negative, sooo.) It makes sense that people would be down and depressed after a tragedy, but it’s also seemed to slide into anger with alarming speed–and while, yes, anger can be productive, it’s too often diversionary, addictive and unproductive. It becomes reflexive: scratching the anger itch feels good, damn it! Negativity begets negativity, and that’s not the kind of world I want to live in. Or, to be really airy-fairy and quote the Buddha, because apparently I am a fortune cookie today: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
One of my best friends has another friend–how dare she?!–and despite never having met me, years ago this friend-of-a-friend called me vapid. (I can only assume this is because she has seen my Facebook page, where I have an entire album devoted to my hair.) Of course, this assessment miffed me, but I understand why somebody might think I’m a shallow woo-girl. I’ve felt especially “woo” the past few days, because I don’t want to wallow. I want to get on with it. I want to affirm life.
So, I went to Vegas for a friend’s birthday party. (Thanks to Andrew Boas from High Roller Suites for getting 15 of us past the line at Marquee! Thanks also to Hyde for an incredible Friday night dance party!) I spent 6 days in Vegas in July for the The Daily video I posted yesterday, and it felt like an eternity. I said to myself, “I am never going to Vegas again.” Apparently, that lasted 5 months. While in Sin City, my friends and I ate, drank, danced, and bonded. We argued about gun control. We talked about my mother’s last moments. We played and we pontificated. We lost money. And by Sunday, we’d lost a little bit of the sadness that had seemed so unshakeable on Friday.
Life will break your heart: that’s one thing you can count on. But while you can’t control what gets thrown at you, you can certainly control how you react to it and deal with it. Maybe the fact that I try to smother bad things with happiness and haircuts does, indeed, make me vapid. But I like to think it makes me resilient. And if life is what you make of it, I think my way is a hell of a lot more enjoyable.