In March I died my hair and I cut my hair. I know this is seemingly trivial or silly but it turns out it was a lot more than that, and it has taken me nearly four months to see that. I've been reflecting on it a lot lately and thought I would share.
For as long as I can remember I have had blonde hair, it's a part of my identity. And for the majority of my adult life, I have had long blonde hair. Anyway, this post wasn't meant to be about me recounting the colour of my hair, more so how my hair colour seems to be a visual manifestation of how I am feeling on the inside.
On the spring equinox, I found myself with my best friend, at the salon having inches of hair cut off and my blonde locks darkened. I was ready for a change. The next day I was interviewing for a new role, my "grown-up" role, a role in line with my passion that truly energizes me. Without a doubt, this was a time of change for me. I was putting myself out there, vulnerable and committed to accepting a new challenge. My internal shift manifested on the outside, but not in entirely the same way. I remember feeling like I should change, somehow do things differently, or show up differently.
There is one other time I can recall darkening and cutting my hair, it was right before I started University. I had taken a semester off to figure out what I really wanted to do - how lovely it would be to go back in time and tell myself that I wouldn't actually discover that until closer to thirty! In any case, when I decided to go back to school I remember feeling like my long blonde hair no longer suited the academic pursuit I was headed off on. And so, I changed it - cut it all short and with that cut all of the blonde out of it.
Society has quite the opinion of blonde hair and while I don't blame all of it on this opinion, I do believe it played a part. Blondes have more fun. But apparently with more fun comes less brain power, less common-sense. I am not sure why this is an assumption of our society and although it is certainly not true, it is still something I have heard most of my life. People make jokes and assumptions about others all the time based on appearance alone, blondes included. It might be why my change of hair colour happened at times when I was stepping up and out in the world. Whatever the reason it's clear to me that in these time when I felt I needed to shift or step up, I also felt like I needed to not just be me. I felt like I needed to set the stage in a different way and part of that included the way people visually saw me.
But here is the thing. Four months after having darkened and cut my hair, it's blonde again. I spent days in the desert sunshine, Mother Nature (acting on the talents of my incredible best friend and hairdresser) lightened my hair right up and you know what? I felt like myself again, and not just when I looked in the mirror. I thought like myself - I dreamed and got excited and launched ideas and believed like myself again. And, standing in front of the mirror I remember thinking to myself - you've gotten where you are in this life by being yourself. You are not defined by your hair, either way, dark or light, long or short. I wasn't chosen for a role because of my hair, I was chosen for my energy, passion, and values.
In most situations I have no problem being myself, truly myself, I can be loud, and outgoing, nerdy, and annoying. I can ask too many questions, hold strong to beliefs, feel things too strongly, and not care about what someone might think of me because of any of those things. There have been a couple of times I have doubted this and those times manifested in a physical change.
I have been thinking about this for a while - months - and here's what I have come to: in all ways, be you, unapologetically. You are the reason you are here, wherever here is.
Blonde hair, brown hair, long hair, short hair, no hair, it's you - and how you show up in the world is more than visual. This might just be an out-loud reminder to myself, a vow, a way of living. But just in case there is one other person who has or is feeling this - here's to you. Lead with your energy, the rest just follows.
- Love From Maria