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New life concept: Trickle-down brightconomics - A Little Alytude | A Little Alytude

New life concept: Trickle-down brightconomics

alybrighterOnce upon a time, friends would say they were drawn to me by my constant giggles and smiles.

I’d joke back that they had no idea of my dark and twisty tendencies, and they’d laugh in disbelief.

Truth be told, I’ve always been relatively happy with my lot in life — I mean, I make my living writing!…until this past awful year. When everything I thought I knew to be true began to fall apart.

Without going into detail on a story that’s probably veering on too much over-telling, in a very brief space of time, I very nearly died  and did lose a few people very close to me. Oh, and as a result of said brush with the not-so-great hereafter, I’m buried in debt.  Just last month, someone I’ve loved and supported for most of my adult life decided  to break ties with me – the day after a dear friend died.

I’ve been in a sort of spiral since.

 I thought I’d hit my low point. I cried daily for weeks. I think I began to get on the nerves of some of my nearest and dearest, too. (Really, how often do people want to hear about how sad you are? Everyone has their own shit to worry about.)

Eventually, the skies lifted, and life started to feel just a little bit better. Just as I felt like I maybe sort of  was becoming myself again, a major newspaper miscommunicated some things I had said on Twitter and a hate storm began. The paper ultimately printed a retraction but for a week, I received a constant storm of threatening hate tweets. I’d walk home and night fearful for my own safety, constantly looking over my own shoulder.

If we’re being honest, I haven’t been myself since. The Miss America drama eventually did die down, and as time has begun to pass, I’ve even started to deal this summer’s double hitter of unimaginable co-losses. But I feel like my trademark light and airiness has been replaced by a sort of darkness.  I have trouble trusting people these days, and I often find myself waiting for the next  proverbial shoe to drop.

My career mandates I live in a world where it’s part of my job to go out every night to parties and be social. However, I’ve spent weeks now wanting to do nothing by hide under the biggest rock I can find. I’ve gained weight, I hardly sleep, and I can’t even remember the last time I laughed – really truly laughed – and meant it.

And so – because I’m pretty OCD in this way  — I decided to work out a list of ways I could feel better. (Short of public shaming, various capital crimes, etc.)

1. I read recently how a great way to cheer up when you are going through a bad spell is to get some sun.  This increases serotonin, which is a natural mood-lifter. (Like drugs for the non-lawbreaker! It’s kind of brilliant.) That’s why people get seasonal affective disorder during the winter months. Aptly called SAD, it seems to apply. However, I’m as white as Casper under house arrest. The sun is not my friend.

2. Natural light is said to be the best way to cheer up a home, as well. I tried opening a window. It didn’t help. Screw everyone, especially my landlord.

3. A blowout. Every girl had that “thing” – that one beauty treatment that always turns their mood around. I feel so strongly about this that I’ve so labeled my own styling jonsing as going for a lady blow job. I treated myself to a really awesome blowout. That night, I got caught in the rain. Believe it or not, this is something that happens incredibly often. Screw everyone, again.

4. Eat myself happy. There’s a bunch of foods that are supposed to brighteners due to their own sun-like serotonin boosting abilities.  I (tried to) feed my soul with blackened salmon, dark chocolate, oysters. They were all delicious. I still wanted to kill everyone, though.

5.  Still, the hair concept got me thinking – about trickle down economics. My own economics seldom trickle anywhere but down the drain, but maybe the overlaying concept of starting on top and working our way down actually COULD work? No clue.  But I decided to put my hair to the test.

Last week, in my latest attempt at brightening up my life, I had visited my friend Yuksel at Sanat Hair Salon   in New York City for another blowout. The sun was shining, I was being as optimistic as my dark and twisty heart could manage and believed I’d not get rained on yet again.

Yuksel took a look at my non-seasonal attack of SAD (or, rather, sad) and suggested bright-conomics. Brightening up my hair a bit in hopes to brighten up the rest of me. It just may work. So, we dyed my hair a more golden shade of blonde and added a few highlights. And you know what? I feel a sort of brightening.

I won’t even begin to tell you that getting my hair did made my problems go away.  And, yes, people still suck. Especially people who treat me badly. However, with sunny locks, maybe I can create a bit of a serotonin placebo effect.

Or, rather, be so busy flipping them off with my new ‘do I’ll no longer care. Try it sometime…let me know how it works for you!


  1. Joanna

    I can attest to the Natural light. It really does cheer up a home (to me it does). I really enjoyed reading your post.

  2. Ravzie

    Two words: spa day!

  3. Nancy Reid

    Aly, Given the losses you suffered, personally and professionally, it is not uncommon to feel down and out, however if it persists you might be suffering from a low grade depression. October is Mental Health Awareness Month so I am passing this along to you. Visit NAMI’s resource page take a free screening for depression! http://ow.ly/pGAkh ; http://ow.ly/pGAn4 You can also follow them on twitter @NAMICommunicate for ways to beat the blues! Wishing you well and hope that this helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel! Let’s get our Aly back!! ;) My best, xox

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