Parting ways is one of the hardest things for me to do, especially when I am or we are defined by our attachments.
Now, before any rumors get started, this story has nothing to do with Eric. Okay, well maybe a little.
I’m at a crossroad. Three years ago, the world was a far different place than it is now. It was the experience of not caring and not having to dress up for anything that acted as the glue bonding us together. Each day that passed, you grew closer to me. I’ll admit, we do look good together. Some of the comments we’ve heard have been flattering and downright blush-worthy making changes more difficult to happen. This isn’t the first time we’ve been together. Years ago there was that time when you had Coca-Cola red dyed hair. It was a bold thing to do and it definitely turned a few heads. It was a great gimmick for Portland’s Red Dress party. I think the theme that year was “Red Top”, loosely based on a crazy horror circus show on television at the time. I was dressed as a ringmaster and even wore a top hat. Oh, the things we’ve done for a good cause. I believe that was the last time you were around until now.
One of the things that has brought me to this point in my life is the amount of time your presence demands. I get it, You can’t rush perfection and I completely understand there is always maintenance needed to keep from becoming unkempt 😁.
And although Eric may have grown fond of having you around, he feels your kisses are sometimes coarse and prickly. Even with the various salves and ointments applied, that didn’t help soften things between the two of you. Honestly, I didn’t even notice it anymore. What really bugs me most, was the tickling of my nose. Your hair is hella thick and curly, causing me to frequently rub my nose as if I had some sort of nasal recreational habit. Which wasn’t, and isn’t, too far from the truth. I was addicted to you and kicking this habit makes it so difficult to quit you. I was all in and eventually made taking care of you part of my routine.
One of my gym pals (Margarita) and I were chatting about my dilemma. She said it best, ”When you’re completely committed to something or even someone, we have to dedicate and devote the energy to it in order for things to grow”. Such wise words indeed. I admire this fierce female and physical phenom for her commitment to her workouts (she’s a personal trainer), dedication to her family, and devotion to her selfcare that makes me smile every time I see her in action. I was all of those things too (just minus the female and trainer parts) and would even make sure there wasn’t a hair out of place before leaving the house. I’ve always believed in putting your best face forward I guess you could say.
Now and then when I catch our reflection in the mirror, I’ve almost forgotten a time when you weren’t around. Having you close by felt so natural. Truthfully it hasn’t been so bad and we have had fun these past few years too. Together we were able to create fun characters for the Tuesday morning virtual office meetings and “Get’n Wiggy Wit It” was born. It was a light-hearted and entertaining way (for me) to help process the uncertainty and instability of the moment. I even posted a few of the photos on social media. I couldn’t have done this without your contribution. Having you around has allowed me and others to see a whole different side of me I never knew I had.
I know cutting you out of my life will be hard. Without you, I may appear downright unrecognizable to some people and fade into the background of the masses. I’ll likely even draw fewer compliments because of your absence too and I’m okay with that. This isn’t why I kept you around; though who doesn’t like to be showered with flattery from time to time. I will survive. I will not wilt from neglect like a fragile flower deprived of nourishment. Besides, my ego isn’t defined by what’s on the outside, but what is on the inside. After all, I’ll still be the same person when you’re no longer in the picture, just freer. People will again see me, for me and my smile will help melt any icy commentary that undoubtedly will occur. I can take the heat and will simply just turn the other cheek.
So, I, Judge Kemp (Jr.) being of sound-ish mind and so-so body, I part ways with you. We’ve had a good run but it’s time to make changes again in my life that don’t include you. I’m done stalling. I’ve been talking about doing this for a while, but this time it’s finally happening. This is it, no more lip-service.
As I stand here armed with Gillette, I strike at thee, attempting to whittle you away. After the first stroke, I’m quickly reminded of your grip on me. This isn’t going to be easy. As we separate, I look down and see a sink full of memories laid out in all of its follicular glory. When I look up again, I see someone I’ve not seen in years. Hello me! It feels so different to start fresh again, even Pato (the cat) noticed the change and nuzzled the vacant space in confirmation of the deed done.
This change isn’t forever, it’s for now. Whether No-shave November will coax you back from hiding remains to be seen.