“Despite fear, finish the job.” Kobe Bryant

The shame of routines is that they often come to define a person. Maybe they eat at the same time or are particular about the kinds of foods they eat. Maybe they listen to music enthusiastically and share that with people incessantly. Either way, those people have reputations that are based on their routine behaviors.

I decided that I had grown tired of my routines, working out every morning, fasting as a method of weight loss, and watching the same news shows ad nauseum. To combat the lethargy and to rid myself of the fitness-political freak image, I set out to strip myself of the comforts of the dignity I was so practiced in. I wanted to go Cersei and walk through an angry mob naked, less of the heckling and dung throwing of course so that I might find a more pure and genuine self. Call it new routines through nakedness.

To get things started I stripped down to my roots, just me. I got to work early so that I could shock and surprise as many people as possible. I had been losing weight due to my exercising and fasting and my tunes were changing thanks to new Daily Mixes on Spotify. I headed down the hallway in all my glory, singing a song from the Wood Brothers.

The tune caught the attention of those who usually passed by me without a bit of attention being cast in my direction. I was flowing, out there, and to quote Kramer, “loving it!” The looks I got back included shock, disdain, and the gentle non-verbal suggestions that it was cool what I was doing, but under their dainty congratulatory nods were more likely a humiliating thought or two.

Finally, one person stopped me in the hall and said, “I like your hair better the other way.”

I was crushed. She had just thrown cow shit right in my face for the decision to go without any product to hold down my cowlicks down was a major one. I had changed nothing else, not my clothes, not my cable news viewing habits, or even the time of day I exercised. I was just allowing my hair to be free of the chemical shackles that kept the white renegade sprouts in place as a normal part of my professional look. I was tired of the routine and sick of the helmet head. Unfortunately, in my quest to go naked, I had been judged harshly. Worse, though, was the fact that I was ill-prepared to work through my vulnerability and collapsing confidence. I let the mob win.

I got fully dressed the next day and slicked my hair back down.