Thursday, July 29, 2010

Words Are The Strongest Weapon

A glance in the mirror catches the swing of my scraggly brown hair and against my will I am transported in time to 1988 as I hear my boss admonishing me to "do something with it".

A flood of memories rush up to cause a pit in my stomach and my throat choked. When did I come to realize that I wasn't good enough - that even my hair wasn't good enough? Twenty years of bleaching my brown to blonde, ironing my waves straight. Two decades of trying to make my hair loveable to other people.

Dragging myself out of hair fakery and finding the real me has been painful at times, yet mostly humorous. The words that came as weapons in my youth have given way to giggles and guffaws, although still an occasional comment will zing me, as I've followed this path of, as someone close to me has termed it, "mid-life crisis, Julie?"

Someone VERY close to me (can you try to guess who?) has felt that I am punishing them with cutting off my fake golden locks.  Another looked at me quizzically and said "Oh...? Oh...?? ...OH! I get it!" 

Really? You  "get" my hair?

Am I revolting against society's view of beauty? IS it a mid-life crisis? Have I completely given up?

No, I'm checking myself out - short scraggly brown hair and all - And I like myself and my new attitude, even if some people don't "get it". I think being in my 40s is WAY more than it's cracked up to be. I'm diggin' it.

Will I be blonde in my future? Probably...if these grays continue to breed and multiply. Will my flat iron ever again smooth these flyaways? Sure, the next time I want to look sleek and put together.

But today, I'm brown and a little scraggly and I feel good about myself. My hair shouldn't matter to you and how you feel about my hair shouldn't matter to me. Now, I'm not saying I don't understand the confusion a new hair cut can cause. After getting through the tears that busted out when my dad cut off his beard when I was a child, you would think I should not possibly have been so incredibly disturbed when my mom's friend cut off her long beautiful locks in what appeared to me to be unreasonably short. I didn't "get" it and I didn't understand it and probably would have voiced some concern if that youthful me would have been given the chance.

I must commend the children in my life, as my own kids didn't seem to notice as I gave up my long blonde "hot mom do" (as someone pointed out to me) and it became what is logically now a "NOT hot mom do".

What I know from kids is that they love you for you, not how you look. Two of my favorite short haired little girls smiled a conspiratory smile and said they liked my look and one little boy not only said he liked it, but he gave me a hug and told me I smelled good. One of my top hugs EVER!

So, today, I let my scraggly brown hair fly and I feel free to be me and that, my friends, is a fantastic feeling!


deb said...

So funny that you bring this up today. My Meg (10-year-old) had a crisis with another girl today that led to some bad stuff. I prayed about it, hubby prayed.

Lots of talk, lots of tears, lots of anger (not from me for once, praise God). We ended with Proverbs 4:23, "above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Why? Meg, like the rest of us, needs to learn how to guard her heart and not let others have power over her, power that she gives them.

It's a hard, lifetime lesson to learn. Sounds like you are learning it. :)

Julie said...

I'm so sorry for what Meg is going through!! Seeing the pain in our kids seems just too much to bare at times.
I pray that our girls learn it quicker than me. It's SO on my <3 right now!!

Melissa H said...

Julie, you are such a beautiful person; inside and out. I can't imagine that "scraggly" could ever describe you or your hair. Natural, free-flowing, untamed. Those are words that I would use to describe you. And your hair. You be YOU. You're great at it. <3