I stink. No, like I actually stink. A lot. It seems that no matter how much I scrub, shave, or employ my hippy-style deodorant, I always smell just a little bit like garlic and onion. Which is especially weird because I don’t eat many onions. I do eat a lot of garlic though. I know what you’re thinking – it’s the hippy deodorant. It’s not. I promise. I had the same result even when I used aluminum-laden traditional deodorant. The smell wasn’t garlic and onion though. It was just bad. And it stained my shirts. And didn’t I read somewhere that we’re attracted to each other based on pheromones in our sweat anyway? So maybe it’s just an early filtration system; ‘if you can handle my smell, we might just work’. But I digress.
I blame my odoriferous quality in part on months (yes, plural, but only two) of a constant stream of morphine in my system; first in an induced coma and then via a pump ‘installed’ to help manage pain. Oh – that reminds me – I also have a body peppered with scars and badly mangled legs. They’re my legs though, and that’s the big victory here. But that’s another story.
My particular aroma isn’t entirely the morphine though. Not by a long shot.
I also don’t shower much. Because, you know, precious water. And it takes me a little longer when I do shower because I make my ‘shampoo’. Because, you know, plastic in the ocean, toxic chemicals, stripped hair. Don’t be too freaked out; I do wash my important bits every day – I just do it sink-style. If you see me with my hair twisted into a knot on the top of my head though, it’s probably because it’s been a few days since my last shower/shampoo. If you see me in a hat it’s probably been a lot of days. Like 5. Or more.
Making my shampoo isn’t hard, anymore. Over the past few years I’ve tried all manner of non-traditional shampooing options. I finally found one that works really well for me (coconut milk and lemon juice, if you were curious. But it took a year of ‘waxy’ hair to realize I was using WAY too much coconut milk).
In the interim, there were a lot of mishaps. I tried rye flour. It works, but it did leave a granular dusting on my shoulders as it dried. I found that out when my father had to dust me off before I performed a reading at my grandmother’s funeral.
I tried eggs. They actually work great! But only if you rinse in COLD water. At least twice in the last year I’ve gotten out of the shower only to notice little globs of a gelatinous white substance all over my hair. I didn’t re-shower though. I didn’t even put on a hat. I just pulled out the globs I could see and went out anyway. There’s Something About Mary style.
And that’s another thing; I’m a little bit lazy. The idea of washing, conditioning, drying, styling, and hairspring my waist length hair is bananas to me. I have no problem with others doing that – In fact I’m impressed with their motivation to get out of bed an hour early to get it all in before breakfast.
The point is, I love myself anyway. I love myself because. Because those choices make me who I am, and I love the reasons that I’m choosing those things. And fundamentally loving who I am has changed my whole life. I’m not perfect – um, obviously. But I know I don’t have to be. And I can laugh at the craziness, the mistakes, the missteps… they’re just part of the adventure of living MY life.
I encourage you to give it a try. Not the sporadic showering or the DIY shampoo, necessarily (though I’d cheer-lead the hell out of those decisions) – but the loving yourself. Because you ARE already amazing. You’re already beautiful. You’re already really valuable in the world. Knowing that is incredibly empowering, and humbling, and freeing. I hope for you that you can love yourself so much, so deeply, that you can brave “public” with rye flour dust on your shoulders or half-cooked egg yolk in your hair.