After a decade as a redhead, I made the decision about, oh, a few hours before my scheduled hair appointment a few nights ago to go blond—very blond. And the way I’ve been explaining the change the past few days has been, “Uh, what’s the fun of being a girl if you can’t change your appearance drastically at the drop of a hat? Life’s too short to stick to one color. The blond is fun, right?”
But I’ve started to realize that my change in hair color goes a bit deeper than that. It’s indicative of an inward change, too.
I’ll put it right out there. 2013 was a rough year—medically, financially, emotionally. Don’t get me wrong, there were high points and I’m very aware that I live a charmed life, but on New Year’s Eve, I was far from nostalgic. I was ready for a new year, a fresh start, to move forward.
According to Chinese culture, this year is the Year of the Horse, and that seems pretty fitting for where I’m at personally. Horses are wild and have to be tamed or broken to play nice with humans (Do you see the metaphor with 2013 here? I do. I definitely felt a little tamed and broken last year.) But horses are also smart, emotional creatures who can still let go and run. I feel like that’s 2014 for me. I’m learning how to run again. And in order to do that, there’s a lot of change a-brewin’. Good change, change that I am stupidly happy is taking place.
I’ve accepted my breakup with dance. I will always love to move, but I’m finally respecting the constraints of my body. I had to stop abusing it, breaking it down, justifying something I knew was unhealthy.
I’m learning how to accept the changes in my body composition. I’ve lost muscle. I’ve gained some weight. It’s a challenge, but I’m learning to accept it. I’m still beautiful; I’m just not a professional athlete anymore. With retirement comes a new body—and it’s mine. And it’s glorious. Just in a different way.
I’m stupidly in love. And that doesn’t need any further explanation!
I’m relocating. I’m getting really serious about moving. My house is a shell at the moment—very little furniture, lots of packing tape, lots of boxes. It’s time for me to go where I feel at home—Central Phoenix.
I’m starting to pray regularly. And it’s been a real long time since I’ve done any of that. I’m still navigating my connection to faith, but there’s something there.
I’m investing my time and energies into new projects. I have to pinch myself sometimes, because I’m in a band, which is something I’ve always dreamed of. And not just any band, but a band that’s going places. I have so much more confidence in my voice and my craft. I’m surrounded by the most amazing people in this endeavor and it enriches my life in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time. I’m also leading a women’s group for my church, which has been such a cool experience. I’m exercising my leadership skills. I’m creating connections. I’m building sisterhoods. And I’m making a difference. My feminist self is pretty satiated.
I’m kicking ass at my job—and it’s not that I didn’t before, but I more and more competent in my position each day. I’m starting to feel confident not only as a communicator but as a consultant, which I never pictured for myself. My writing has improved tenfold. My intra-personal skills are pretty polished. The end of this month marks six years at my current company and I will happily celebrate that date when it rolls around.
I have a personal goal to get published at least twice this year. I don’t need more than that, although it would be very welcome. But I know that I’m good enough. I’m ready to really put myself out there as a writer. Rejection letters? Bring it. Won’t stop me. My writing just needs to find a good home out there.
Change. Change. Change. New perspective. New goals. New me.
So, for me, the hair color change isn’t just aesthetic; it’s a reflection of me feeling like I’m going through a pretty life-altering transition. Blond just felt right. Maybe it’s blond ambition. Maybe it’s me seeing if blonds really do have more fun. Maybe it’s a tinge of a quarter life crisis (hey, at least it’s hair and not a Porsche!).
Regardless, I’m ready. Blond hair and all.
PS – Lydia at Salon D’Shayn Phoenix performed the miraculous hair transformation in the picture at the top of this post. She’s the shit. Call her today.