Thursday, May 23, 2013
It didn't matter that my hair was thin with a fine texture. I loved it. I was born a redhead which I felt came with a certain identity. Something I was able to use to connect to my deceased redheaded mother. It was a way to show that I was still a part of her despite the fact that I was growing more and more to look like my Dads side of the family.
And then somewhere in the middle of High School, my hair started falling out.
By the time I was about twenty-five years old, I rocked a ponytail constantly because I no longer had a choice. My hair was too thin to do much with, and horrible experiences with the salon caused me to fear anyone else touching it.
Between poor hair genes on both sides of the family, I also had to deal with fibromyalgia (which can cause hair loss) and OCD (of which the stress can cause hair loss). But I learned to cope with it by going extreme and dying my hair pink. It brought back the confidence in my hair I used to have, and despite the thin quality, I received compliments on it all the time. But then a few months ago I started going through fertility treatments. The side effects have mostly been really bad migraines, bloating, hot flashes and mood swings, but then a few days ago in the shower I pulled a chunk of hair out and panicked. I dried off quickly and ran to Google for help. Sure enough, though not extremely common, side effects of my fertility medications include hair loss.
After talking to Matt about it, I went to the salon with my sister and said, "Get rid of it." It's too thin to leave long, and pony tails are just pulling more of it out every single day. And so we covered the salon in my pretty pink locks.
But I left feeling different.
I left feeling okay.
Somehow, I'd lost something that used to be so strongly attached to my identity and somehow I'd not only survived it, but felt stronger in the end. I'll never have thick, luscious hair. That's not in my cards. But I can play the hand I've been dealt and still win the game.
All I need now is a new color!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I am so blessed!
I didn't have a big party or anything, but it was amazing.
On Monday I spent the day with one of my best friends. A now yearly tradition of eating sushi and playing around in the mall.
Then the morning of my actual birthday (after only two hours of sleep mind you LOL), Matt woke me up at six in the morning and tossed me in the car and headed north out of the city. I knew where we were going immediately, so it wasn't a surprise but it was an amazing gift.
He took me to Santa Fe, to Clafoutis, my favorite little French cafe. It was an hour drive to get there and he still had to work that day. But he went just for me. Just for my birthday. We could have gone anywhere else considering we just had a simple little breakfast but it's such a special place for us.
And it helped that we bought like thirty bucks worth of pastries.
I spent the rest of the day being overwhelmed by love from text messages, phone calls and Facebook posts (in addition to being overwhelmed by a massive migraine that put me down hard by the end of the night). I got to talk to my sweet Texan Grandmother, who despite living in Utah for over 50 years, has kept her accent. She's up there in age and has to deal with so many health ailments. She's got one leg, wheelchair bound, has ulcers, vertigo, sleeps with oxygen and is getting over a cold . . . and she doesn't have a damn thing to complain about. Just gives me one extra thing to feel so grateful for my life.
I ended the eve of my 29th birthday lying in bed next to my husband. I tried to ignore the pressure of my migraine while he combed his fingers through my hair and watched Cabin in the Woods.
A birthday is just like every other day.
And I love my every other days.
Monday, May 20, 2013
1. Life. 2. Loss. 3. Innocence. 4. Trouble. 5. Family. 6. Friendship. 7. Fear. 8. Growing.
9. Learning. 10. Wishes. 11. Stolen. 12. Bullied. 13. Breaking. 14. Drama. 15. Love.
16. Faith. 17. Change. 18. Confused. 19. Elated. 20. Happy. 21. Lost. 22. Struggling.
23. Determined. 24. Broken. 25. Emerging. 26. Independence. 27. Hopes. 28. Joy.
Then begins the countdown to 30.
As I've said recently, 30 doesn't bother me, but 29 was making me anxious. And then we had dinner with some friends of ours. Friends we've had since High School. Every few months we get together for dinner, to catch up with one another, and naturally to reminisce about the past.
Unlike many of my former school mates, I've always looked back on High School as this amazing time in my life when I felt free. When the drama of romance was the biggest problem in my life. When it was normal to learn about yourself, to explore who you are and who you want to be as a person.
And then I made choices, made changes, and tried to force myself into a box. I thought I didn't have a choice. And I struggled. I succeeded at covering up my imperfections for a number of years, but then I would fail and I would struggle to find worth in myself because of that failure. Good times would come again and suddenly I had value once more. But I had to fight for it. Fight for a value and worth I thought I needed, never seeing the true amazement of the person waiting just under the surface. I tried so hard to be perfect for so many years.
Remembering High School with my friends was an eye opening experience. We shared memories and told similar stories from different perspective and learned quite a lot. I learned that despite struggling to be a "perfect Mormon girl", when I left High School at the beginning of my Junior year in order to graduate early, there was a small rumor circulating that Matt had gotten me pregnant. It clearly didn't go far and was obviously false.
I laughed because had I known back then (especially considering how hard I was fighting to create a good girl reputation for myself), I would have drowned in the sorrows of misery and self pity, grieving for the reputation that I'd lost among people I wouldn't see again until our ten years High School reunion. I laughed because it doesn't matter. Because I'm no longer that girl who struggles to hide herself and fit into a box. I'm becoming that girl who is fighting to show her true self, and spray painting the box bright pink.
I feared 29 because I felt like I'd wasted my twenties. Like I'd spent so much time and effort trying to be something and someone I wasn't. Like I'd spent most of my years sitting on the couch, wasting time watching television with my husband and getting fat. But today I think back on my twenties and I say, "Look how far you've come!"
Just like High School, I spent my twenties trying to learn about myself, explore who I was and who I wanted to be as a person. And I feel like I've succeeded. I did spend a lot of these years on our old denim couch, watching television. Just sitting with my husband, cuddled on the couch, laughing and crying at a simple television screen. But that's not a bad thing. And I did get fat. But fat's not a bad thing. And I'm learning to see it clearly.
I don't fear 29 anymore. Because it's a new start. I'm coming in close to the end of a chapter in my life, and this is the last leg of this part of the race. 30 will come next year and I've gotten a new rush of energy and a new spark to keep going. Just one more mile to a new step in life.
I hope my 29th year brings as many memories, as many triumphs, as many friends and loved ones and experiences. Because my 28th year was pretty damn remarkable.