My hair seems to be taking over my life.
I embraced very short hair for a very long time. I loved it - the unique look, the lack of effort to style it, the way I was in The Club with other short-haired women. It took a lot of maintenance (cut & colour appointments more often than I care to admit...) and was expensive (especially when one considered how little hair I was dealing with), but I liked that the look was interesting and set me apart. It was a calling card of sorts; when meeting a new client, for example, I'd tell her to look for "the short blond hair, Annie Lennox-wannabe style", and they always found me.
Then, a couple of months ago, I got really busy. I was happily occupied with many other things, and hair appointments got further and further apart. Before I knew it, my hair was long (okay, not LONG long, but certainly much longer than it had been in years), and, weirdly, curly. I hadn't embraced my curls in many years, and here they were again.
So once it was long(-er) AND curly, the comments started coming in, typically several times a day: "what ARE you doing with your hair? are you growing it? is that your natural curl?" As much as some comments were complimentary, others were almost accusatory, as if I had neglected to fill friends in on my plan to grow out my hair and, thus, hadn't solicited their opinion first. They seemed a little ticked.
It was interesting to me, as I started to realize that many, if not most, of my daily interactions were about my hair. It really did (does) feel that my hair is taking over my life. And I'm well aware of the fact that, over the past few years, I've made some pretty significant changes in my life (inwardly), and it didn't occur to me to ask many people's opinions before I started that journey, either. I wonder if they were ticked.
Change is hard; the very definition of stress is that it is "the body's reaction to change". And when people around us, who have always behaved (or looked) a certain way start to change, things can get weird.
Have you ever changed the rules in a relationship? I know I have: once upon a time, I decided that my marriage needed to be much more open and honest, and nothing (not even my then husband's resistance) was going to stand in my way. Note that I said my "then husband." Yes, lots of people have trouble with change.
What many of us might not realize, because we are inherently narcissistic beings, is that other people's changes really aren't about us. My decision to take a new path in my life, while perhaps making a few close to me kind of uncomfortable in the process, wasn't intended to do anything but take me on a new path. I have embraced my own journey, and it's made me more open-minded about others launching on their own journeys. Excited for them, even, because I know that change almost always is a good thing, once we get used to it.
Here's a cool thing: when we seek a new path, we end up finding like-minded people along the way. This doesn't necessarily mean we say good-bye to those who we were hanging out with before; we're just drawn to those who are on a similar journey. In some cases, we start to emulate their behaviours and perspectives, when they mesh with our (perhaps) new-found philosophies. In a similar, if more superficial, way, I found my curlier hair reminded me of the hair two of my cousins have -- both women I adore and would love to emulate in many ways. How fun, that my own hair now reminds me of them.
Unlike my decision to take a new path in life, my new hair growth wasn't actually intentional; like I said, it was the result of skipping appointments and that's it, but now that it's here, I'm okay with it, and I'll take the comments but not seek them out. Others' opinions are fine, but they don't define. My hair or my life.
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laughter, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.