Friday, December 21, 2007

Early Christmas present...


In the last week, it has come to my attention (through these endless surveys and "studies" - I mean, is there anything left to be studied out there?) that:


1. Utah ranks no. 1 in the nation for people who are depressed...


and


2. SLC is the vainest city in the nation...


So, depression (in the sense of not being happy with life verses chemical depression) signals either a) a population that is trying to always be better (which is a good thing verses not trying at all) or b) a population that is working hard to achieve goals that might be set too high and so there is a built-in / self-imposed failure rate for not ever being "good enough" or "measuring up" to always higher standards. The Church often inspires such thoughts, which in general, are good so that we always keep trying to improve - but these thoughts can focus our attentions solely on "perfecting ourselves" and falling short of perfection leads to unhappiness or unworthiness... such thoughts were never the Savior's! As a people, we fail to allow the Savior in our lives to bring the peace that the Gospel is supposed to bring as we do what we can. Is it any wonder why we are depressed instead of joyful for having the everlasting Gospel plan in our lives?


The vanity thing is interesting... When I was in NYC last month with my wife, we went into the Sephora store and were overwhelmed by perfumes and beauty products and gay-boys promoting the latest items. My wife commented: "there are a lot of people out there hungry to be loved". Now for NYC or L.A. to be concerned about beauty and vanity is one thing, but SLC? I guess it was determined by the amount of money spent on beauty products and cosmetic surgery, and the number per capita of plastic surgeons. Does this ranking of SLC have anything to do with a people wanting to "look good" for the sake of caring about their appearances (in a positive sense - good health, good hygiene etc.) or is this people "hungry for love"? And does that have anything to do with the unhappiness / depression ranking noted above?


On that vein, I finally cut my hair! For anyone who follows (the two or three of you out there), I really have a thing for long hair. I've concluded that it is a symbol of rebellion and since I don't "fit in" and never have (i.e. I'm not like other guys - especially those in my High Priest Quorum and neighborhood) I've always used my hair as a personal symbol of rebellion, purposefully setting myself apart from the rest of the gang. I don't remember the last time I got a haircut. This time, my hair was long enough to pull into a pony tail. But, alas, following the desires of my true love (read "wife" here) I cut my hair as an early Christmas present for her... (wasn't that kind and thoughtful of me???).


It's now missionary-short and spikey and ugly and I hate it... but she likes it. She says I look younger. I don't believe her. It shows that I'm turning gray... I hate that, too. When it's longer it hides that touch of gray that gives me the "air of distinction" (her words). In my view, I'm just getting older. It's another example of where I don't know who I am, that I try to be what others want me to be, and that I continue to live behind a facade... *sigh*


So do you think my vanity has anything to do with my depression?

9 comments:

MoHoHawaii said...

She says I look younger.

Your wife knows what she's talking about. Long hair on men over 30 adds years. Sad but true.

Of course, it's also true that the current fashion for gay guys is extremely short (missionary short) hair.

So while you appear less 'rebellious' you also are a lot gayer with short hair. Add some highlights if you really want to push it. :-)

playasinmar said...

You cut it short!

The tragedy is you didn't buzz the sides, spike the middle up, frost the tips, and say, "Honey, I got it trimmed like you asked." :D

Beck said...

MOHOH: Okay, okay... I may appear younger, and I'm vain enough to not want to add years, so maybe the highlights is the way to go!

PLAYA: You're right. I'm kicking myself for missing that perfect opportunity - but then, it wouldn't have been much of a Christmas gift if it was done in spite, right?

J G-W said...

I'm dying of curiosity to see your new look!

Course, next time I'm in the neighborhood, you'll probably have grown it out again.

One of So Many said...

You always express what I'm feeling so well Beck! Preach it!

I'm depressed and struggle with perfectionism of never feeling good enough and hungry for love (more like starving really). I don't know how to let the atonement in and feel I have to perfect myself. It certainly makes life hard.

Only now am I becoming vain...er.

Forester said...

I wonder where Las Vegas falls in these rankings? We have to be number one for something. Of course, I'm from Salt Lake, so I have personally high marks for depression and vainness.

Beck said...

JGW: Believe me when I say it's nothing to get too excited over - but it is quite different from the last time you saw me and I had it grown out from then, too... I about "died" when I saw what I did. I haven't had it this short in years. I think I'll bleach it white! That should cover up the gray, don't you think?...

Beck said...

OOSM: We need to talk! You and I seem to be on the same page in many ways - I especially relate with your feelings toward your "friend" and personal struggles.

My depression often comes from not being happy with who I am inside, and not being comfortable within my own skin... My haircut and change of style was not for me - it was for my wife... and my immediate reaction is in self-hatred. It's not that I spend all the time worrying about my appearance or in being vain about it - but in being uncomfortable with the image I project. It's all a facade...

I'm not comfortable with being who I am. I guess that's obvious.

FORESTER: Like me, your destiny is sealed statistically - the pollsters have declared it - having been born in SLC.

One of So Many said...

Like I've said before Beck, you are really writing my life. ;)