I have purple hair now. And a half-shaved head to boot. I’m really pleased with my new style – even though it did take 4 hours and a substantial amount of money to achieve. One thing I noticed during the process was how it made me feel like me. I was looking for something external to represent the internal. I felt really self-conscious about it for about  an hour afterwards, especially as I popped my head in (late) to the work Summer party. I had thought I’d be ready sooner than I was, but at the same time I was kind of happy to not spend too much time there.

Everyone seemed pretty drunk when I got there. Well, there were a few people who weren’t drinking, and I noticed that I didn’t notice them. Interesting to me anyway! Does this mean that it goes unnoticed when I don’t drink? I imagine it mostly does. I think people are far more interested in their own drinks. Even when people are pushing you to take a drink, I think it’s because that helps them feel more comfortable about the next drink that they want for themselves. I know that was probably to the fore of my mind and all the drink purchases I foisted upon other people.

This wasn’t the first time I’d interacted with drunk people while I was sober, but it was the first party-party I’d been at, so I think it was a bit more noticeable. It was weird. I find that I get a bit bewildered by people’s behaviours because I forget that they’re under the influence of alcohol. I become unsure why people are standing so close or talking so loud. And repetition. There’s a lot of repetition.

Why am I noticing it now? It’s not the only time in my life I’ve been sober around drunk people. But I guess one difference is that “back then” I was either jealous of their state and focused on my “difference”, or in a rush to “catch up” with them.

I didn’t feel jealous yesterday evening. And I didn’t feel uncomfortable either. I felt a little self-conscious about my newly purpled hair, but that was about it. I found that I was a bit tongue-tied from time to time too. At one point I just said “I have nothing more to talk about.” which actually did open up further conversation, so that was interesting.

I think I’m finally getting past being wrapped up in all the stress of worrying what others think about me. I’m sure I’ll care to some degree for all of my life – and it’s probably appropriate to care a little bit at least. That’s part of the social contract. Really and truly not caring is the path of the psychopaths and other scarily antisocial people. But I mean, beyond a basic attempt at respect, and once I’ve done my best on that front, then I think it’s not really my fault, or even my business to worry what people think about me. And whenever I sit down to analyse it, I mostly come out with the idea that most people aren’t thinking about me at all. And if they are, 90% of those thoughts are probably about what I think of them! That’s a whole lot of energy expended on both sides for no benefit for either party.

So, I’m going to take a deep breath, check with myself if I think I’ve done my best and behaved according to my own rules. And then let any other thoughts drift on by. Even when I have behaved in a way I’m not proud of, I guess I need to learn how to let that stuff go too. Because the past unfortunately can’t be changed. It’s worth a look and a dig around in myself to see if there’s something I want to change for the future. And in truth, most of those occurrences were alcohol-driven.

So, I’m content. But still feeling really busy at the moment. I guess I’m not on holidays just yet! I will feel a lot better after tomorrow’s race and subsequent meet up is all done, and hopefully I’ll be out from under the pile of correcting after today. I hate to spend a sunny Saturday deep in correcting mode, but it will be worth it in the longer term to have gotten it off my plate and to truly have my Summer stretching out before me.

I’m looking forward to seeing the changes the Summer brings.