My New Year’s Resolution in 2008 was to stop dyeing my hair. Two years later, I have long, somewhat brownish hair (I think the correct term is “mousey”) and sometimes I still don’t recognize myself passing by storefront windows or mirrors. Until 2008 I hadn’t seen my natural hair color since about the age of 13, unless my roots were starting to grow out. I thought once I got to this point all temptation to slather scalp-searing chemicals on my skull would have diminished to nothing but a passing whim, but these days I find myself in an all-too-familiar situation: wanting nothing more than to slather scalp-searing chemicals on my skull.
My green St. Christopher medal went missing for a little while today. I was boiling oats for my breakfast when I heard a faint metallic clink on our concrete floor, but I didn’t think anything of it. Later I felt for it, as I sometimes do absentmindedly, realized it wasn’t there, and immediately set about looking for it. I was somewhat surprised at my reaction. My gut feeling was that I had to find this medal, that I couldn’t go anywhere until it was located and back on the chain around my neck, that losing it was somehow a bad omen. But why? I haven’t seriously believed in any religious being for many years now. Although it’s only been within the last eight that I’ve admitted to myself and others that I don’t believe in God, I have never truly felt connected to a higher power in the universe. I feel strongly about many things, I have a pretty strict moral code (I’m a feminist vegan social worker, of course, and I always say “yes ma’am”), I have no plans to cover up the religious symbol tattooed on my wrist, and many of my closest friends are Christians. But I have never experienced the kind of spiritual sentiment that most people describe when they “have faith”.