In August of 2010 my life took such a turn that I never saw coming…..and it would change me forever. Seriously! You are going to love this story!
It was a Monday morning. We were just trying to shake the weekend off that no one wanted to end, and head back to the daily grind. Anyway we were running late and it was total insanity; everyone running around trying to find everything we needed to get out the door. I drove the kids to school in what I slept in, dropped them off, went home, and started cleaning. I threw a frozen hunk of something in the slow cooker and started the first of 5 loads of laundry I had facing me. Then I ran through to clean and vacuum every room in the house; I had to pick up from the night before; there had been about 22 people at our house until pretty late.
Just before I make my way to start scrubbing the bathrooms, I get that feeling I am forgetting something and maybe should be somewhere else. Sure enough, I am not dressed and in desperate need of a shower after my power workout cleaning my house like a freak. I think hard and it comes to me; I am scheduled to meet some one in about 43 minutes! I go through my head how long will it take me to get there….What is Silicon Valley traffic like at this time of day? I have to take Tully Road, and I HATE Tully Rd. It’s a nightmare to drive and always slow. If I am going to make it in time to meet this person, I have about 18 minutes to get out the door. This realization is doubly daunting because I’m convinced that adult ADD has kicked in; I’m imagining all the distractions and shiny things that haven’t distracted me yet, but could in the next 18 minutes. I’m distracted by the possibility of being distracted. Then, I looked in the mirror and everything comes to a screeching halt as I realized that in addition to finding an outfit, my hair looked stringy and greasy. I knew it was so bad that not even a ponytail would solve the problem. My hair was a mess and I was pushing it by not washing it the day before, but time got away preparing to host everyone the day before and I just didn’t want to face anyone looking like this.
I started to think of things I could do and say to this person to cancel, or at least buy some time, without lying to them. Now you see all this plotting and thinking is taking up precious time I need to prepare to leave and do the right thing, but instead it’s like I’m stuck listening to an argument going on between the angel sitting on one shoulder, and the devil sitting on my other; like in the cartoons when we were kids . . . remember that? Anyway, I’m leaning toward agreeing with the devil’s arguments. “People will think you are a slob if you go out looking like this.” Consumed with all the thoughts of what everyone might think if I leave my house with my hair looking like this. Just as that devil voice has made a really convincing argument, I have decided there is no way I can go like this. Then the Angel on my other shoulder whispers softly, ‘You’re going to let something so silly as hair get in the way of loving and encouraging someone when they need it most? Your hair is going to get in the way of that?’
As I stood looking in the mirror, it seemed so simple. Why had I not thought of this earlier? How many days had I been in this position with my self-confidence for the day being measured by how well my hair looked? For years I had coveted and dreamed that I would have long blonde hair and finally… I did. See I thought that hair was a super power; when it looked good, I felt good and could talk, smile and encourage people like I was on a mission. On days that I would consider it “a bad hair day” I barely made eye contact with people, much less talk to them.
I just stood there starting to buy in to the lies, and something rose up in me. I was pissed because I almost fell for it again. I said out loud, ‘I will shave my head bald before I ever let a bad hair day have any power over me again!’ I stepped out of the shackles and walked out the door. I went to meet up with this gal; even though I ran late by a few minutes, she got stuck in traffic as well and showed up 5 minutes later. Thank you…. Good Old Tully Rd.
She was brokenhearted over some big stuff in her life. I realized that if I had cancelled on her, it would have been an awful thing to do. I was also reminded that when I go out of my way, it is never for nothing. Our lunch was amazing; she was in a way better place leaving that coffee shop than when she arrived. To be honest, I was in a completely different place as well. I could hear the music from Rocky playing in my head as I walked out to my car I could feel the victory and it was so sweet. I loved that I got to speak the words that brought encouragement and hope that helped her battle her own little red guy on her shoulder. She just needed to be reminded how amazing she was and those eyes became a little brighter with each word. It occurred to me that my hair had no super powers, but my words did.
On the drive home, with the Rocky theme still beating in my ears, I remembered my declaration about shaving my head. The first salon thought I was having a “Britney moment”, and refused to trim it shorter than my shoulders. That wasn’t good enough. I went to a second salon, and they would only go to a ‘short bob’ length. Still not enough. I wanted it shaved. The third salon took it to a ‘short pixie’ style, when it hit me; I have a set of dog clippers. When I arrived home, I asked my husband to shave my head. My husband, preparing to shave it off, suggested I keep some on top in the middle and do a Mohawk-like style for a few days just for fun. So I shed my long blonde tresses which I had coveted for years. I was so excited, but a little scared. I never realized how much my identity was wrapped up in hair.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to do was walk out my front door for the first time; I had no idea if I could even pull this new look off. That red guy on my should was in over-drive. “You look ridiculous. People are going to make fun of you.” The Angel on my other shoulder reminded me that my haircut was a giant “F___ You” to the red guy, and that he was just pissed off and a sore loser over my new-found freedom. I decided that for that reason alone it was all worth it. ‘wear it high and wear it proud’ as my husband says.
My kids call it my MomHawk. I worked for hours on my hair when it was half way down my back, and no one complimented it or stopped me to tell me how much they liked it. Now they do all the time. It has been almost four years and I have not blow dried, curled, flat ironed, combed or brushed my hair since that day. It feels like freedom and bed head is my friend now.
I have tons of stories of what has happened since and I have more self-confidence then ever before.
Getting rid of that long hair was such a small thing, which didn’t feel that way until I stood up to the lie that was stealing from me and others around me. I pulled a 180 on that voice by going that day. I pulled a 180 on that voice by cutting my hair. I started to look out for other lies I’ve bought into, and that has changed my life. My hair was just the beginning.
You are so much more than that voice ever tells you.