In case you didn’t hear the news, I’m Lex Luthor now.
Why the sudden departure from hair, you ask?
Well, this story starts a week ago, when I went to visit people at my college. The one I graduated from two years ago. There are still a few people I know there, believe it or not. But as the semesters pass, this number becomes more dwindlesome.
So when I wasn’t visiting friends, I had a lot of time on my hands to self-examine: in particular, to examine the reasons I keep going back.
In some ways, it was a simpler life. I was too busy scrambling around doing what other people told me to do to have much time for thinking. Write this paper, go to this concert, drink this…root beer. I did what I was supposed to, and I was happy.
And now, all of a sudden, I’m “grown up”. I make “decisions”. I have “responsibilities”. It’s not that life got harder…I actually had a lot more on my plate in high school and college. But now, I have to muster initiative to make things happen. The training wheels and pre-made schedules are off. I can take off on my own and risk crashing…or I can just sit here, and not do anything.
So I keep going back to look longingly at the training wheels and kill my back sleeping on secondhand couches.
Also, I’m getting out of shape. For real this time. I’ve never been what you might call “fit”, and I’ve always joked about how out of shape I was, but that weekend, I actually felt it for real. When going up the three flights of stairs to my old floor, I found that I actually felt a little winded. The blood was pounding a little harder than it ever used to. I was on a steep decline.
So for two days and two nights I thought about these things. And ate a deep-fried tenderloin and a strawberry shortcake.
On Sunday, when all my goodbyes had been said and I was getting on the road, I saw a curious thing. I passed by a Pizza King and glanced up at the sign to see what specials were being advertised. Buy 1 Get 1 Free? Any pizza, any size, X amount of dollars? Peanut Butter Pizza? (I still hold out hope.)
Instead, the sign said:
YOU CAN’T REACH WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU
UNTIL YOU LET GO OF WHAT’S BEHIND
Surprisingly, there was no further extension to the saying that would make me want to buy pizza. No advertising, just philosophy. The sign stayed with me the rest of the 90-minute drive home.
And when I got home, I shaved my head.
Not just for head-shaving’s sake, although I have always wondered where I fall on the Cancer Patient/Patrick Stewart scale. I can accept being somewhere in the middle.
The shaved head serves as a visual and tactile reminder to make a lot of other changes in my life. I’m getting up at 9 on a fairly regular basis (instead of noon), eating a healthy breakfast (for certain interpretations of healthy), getting some exercise (30 push-ups every morning, and yesterday I walked for 7 miles), a little less video gaming, a little less TV watching, and I’ve been reading up on the history of philosophy. And anything else I can think of.
Also, it feels really cool. Rub, rub, rub, rub…