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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maybe I Am My Hair After All

I was really excited to go to my hair appointment on Friday. My mother had unexpectedly made an appointment for a big family photo late on Sunday afternoon. My signature curly, past-the-shoulder tresses were starting to get weighed down by frizz and, well, length. Compliments on my hair were like currency for my self-esteem. I'm a big girl, and not slender, so any mainstream attractiveness was attached to my hair. While I didn't like people touching it (they did without asking, all the time), I never got tired of compliments.

Friday I decided to have it cut. I'd discussed it with my spouse to be sure it was a good idea (I have lots of ideas, but only about a third of them are ever good, and that's on one of my smarter days). After some encouragement, I went in to my appointment with the woman who has done a fabulous job with my hair for at least the last four years. She did her thing, and did it well.

And I hate my hair.

I don't hate it because it looks bad. It looks great. The just-below-the-chin length is perfect for my face. My spouse seems to love it. My curls are back. There's no reason to not like this hair, except that I don't. I've been thinking hard about why, and I think I figured it out.

The years my children were young, I kept this same hair style. It's practical. It's still stylish. But those were not happy years for me as a woman. Every area outside motherhood in my life was terrible. I felt subservient and walked on by everyone. I didn't know how to assert myself (and for those who had known me in years past, that might be hard to believe) and I let myself be yelled at and ignored, insulted and disrespected.

It took a tense moment in my home tonight to figure out that this was my issue with hair. It reminds of bad times. Right now, even with the lingering sadness of loss and the stress of making ends meet, I am not not in bad times. My life is wonderful. I have love and affection and affirmation and respect. I am fulfilled in ways I really never thought I would be.

My job now is to turn this new hair into the hair of a new and liberated woman, so I can feel comfortable in it. Empowered. When I looked in the mirror this morning, I saw an overworked and underappreciated Dusti, expected to handle any and every complaint and emergency silently. Tomorrow morning, getting ready for work, I will see a Dusti who can handle her life, and who is not expected to care for others but wanted for that reason, because she is good at it, and because she has the love (if not the temper) required to do these things.

What would your new haircut say about you?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Apartmentalizing

Since my family's big move (which I'm convinced took longer than any other move ever did), I have been really busy relaxing (easier to do in a house that doesn't have mold growing in the hallway) and attempting to unpack boxes (not really happening since we have been so busy relaxing!). I never thought I'd like apartment life so much! The hustle and bustle outside our window is curious but mostly quiet. The kids are enjoying the playground a lot and we love our surroundings and nearby attractions. Our library is the best, with a huge selection of movies that can be checked out for a week at a time, and lots of books and programming.

Also, last week was my first wedding anniversary with my very amazing spouse. We enjoyed a long weekend of free time devoted to one another, which included a Saturday spent with our Smashbox makeup artist friend Daphne and her colleague Maryjane who made us look super gorgeous. We also took a trip to Sur la Table and found the best pan ever for cooking eggs. My sweet sister-in-law and her husband had sent us a nice anniversary gift that we used to make the purchase. I feel very passionately about my marriage and am determined, even through all my faults, to always make it a priority. We like to do something special on the 8th of every month when we can, even if it's just lunch together, so we can always remember the day we got married, not just on our anniversary. Still, making it a special day and a special weekend was really wonderful and reminded me why we got married in the first place! The ability to work for common goals combined with being just madly in love really makes the difference!