Wednesday 4 July 2012: There I am!
I'm not vain. Well, I don't think I am. There's probably a little bit of me that is but that's more to do with being overconcious of my appearance than vain.
I have a huge lack of self-esteem and a fairly negative body image.
The last couple of months very nearly destroyed me as a person. My confidence was shattered, any belief I had in myself and my abilities was gone and I truly believed that if one person's perception of me was true, then maybe I wasn't the person I thought I was. My honesty and integrity were called into doubt and it made me doubt myself. I don't think that person has even thought about what they did to me.
Not me - the employee, me - the person that they used to say they saw as a friend. I thought they knew me quite well. Turns out they didn't.
I battle quite hard with myself. The people who know me best know how overwhelmed I can be by things. I take things to heart, I read things too deep.
I care a lot, I'm fiery, but I see both sides of every argument, even when I'm totally inflamed about my side of it. That's a hard place to be. It makes you question even your firmest convictions.
There's a tiny little bit of me that knows inside it all, I'm worth it, I'm strong, I can do it when I need to, when it counts. I might cry (usually on a daily basis about something) and share the massive ups and downs with those I love, but that's me. I'm a person of extremes. There's no middle ground. Actually, I'm probably a bit bipolar but I don't like labels. They become self fulfilling.
Back to the vanity, or not as the case may be.
I have very short hair, I don't like me with longer hair, it's just not me, I don't have a pretty face. With short hair you need a hairdresser you can trust and mine has cut my hair for the last 4 or 5 years. She's a lovely lady, reminds me a bit of Daphne from Frasier, is quite fond of giving me a "weirdy vulcan fringe" and is prone to spiking my hair up madly halfway through styling it just for a laugh. She gives me confidence in me because I have confidence in her. I can tell her to do what she likes and I know it will be ok.
She went AWOL.
After a heartstoppingly panicky time with an emergency groupon haircut and highlights a couple of weeks ago (SHE WAS SHAKING AS SHE CUT MY HAIR. SHAKING!!) I was even more determined to track her down so did a bit of facebook stalking and managed to find her. In her own, beautiful, little salon. It's peaceful, calm, airy and delightful. There's no tellies, massage chairs or glasses of wine on offer, but there's chat, gossip, coffee in simply beautiful teacups, 100 hits of the 70s on in the background, her sister to wash my hair and best of all, a sense of being safe.
When you are as scared of yourself and what people think of you as I am, feeling safe means a lot.
It turns out she'd had a hellish couple of months in her old job as well. But now she has her own space and her own business.
Driving home, this came on the radio. I loved Working Girl as a teenager, and this song makes me a bit sentimental at the best of times. I had a big old wobble in the car. But a good one. Tears pouring down my face driving past B&Q as I sang along.
Mr KP came home at lunchtime to grab some stuff as he's away for a couple of nights with work and told me how nice it was to hear me pootling about humming to myself.
I've been worried I'm procrastinating too much, not getting enough done during these precious weeks between finishing my job and the summer holidays, but I'm starting to realise that actually, I need to take time for me. I need to be nice to myself for a while, because I took a big knock. Not one that anyone can see, but one that it will take a while to recover from.
So excuse the goofy expression - I wasn't going to sit and take photos of myself all day. But finally, there I am.