Driving home from dinner with my mentor and the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that we didn’t talk about my hair…and thank GOD.
You see, I stopped dying my hair blonde about a year and a half ago…it’s been slowly growing out into an ombré style and not only do I really like it, but it feels like ME. I had been dying my hair for over 15 years and I had no idea what my natural color was anymore. I figured since the ombré look was in, this was my shot at growing it out…plus, it just fit into this more natural, less chemical lifestyle that I wanted to live.
Fast forward to the present when I cut my hair. I cut off all of the blonde leaving me with a long, brown bob (my hair stylist calls this a ‘lob’). Up until this point, no one really noticed my darker hair. But like the switch of a light, it’s as though everyone had an opinion and they weren’t afraid to share:
“I liked you better as a blonde.”
“You were prettier as a blonde.”
And the one that stopped me dead in my tracks: “You used to look so young and full of life. Why did you stop dying your hair?”
And these comments were made TO MY FACE. Maybe I should be happy that I’ve fostered an environment where people feel so comfortable to tell me what they think? or I should be happy that people even care about my hair? But, let’s be honest – after a while, these comments started to get to me. It hurt my feelings. How could you like me better? I’m the exact same person! Granted, there were a lot of positive comments too, but somehow it’s the negative voice that always speaks louder…know what I mean?
Let’s get back to dinner with my mentor…I can’t tell you how lovely it was to catch up and talk about what I was doing, what I was creating, and what the next couple of months will look like for me. It wasn’t superficial or surface conversation…it was nitty gritty. It was about goals and dreams…stuff that MATTERS. Stuff that makes me feel ALIVE. It wasn’t about my hair or the way I looked and I found it so refreshing. So refreshing that it was one of my biggest take-a-ways. I want to have more of these conversations!
One of my words for 2017 is “authenticity” and for me, part of getting closer to my authentic self means not covering myself up. For now, this also includes dying my hair. The surprising plot twist is that while I get comfortable with my authentic self…I’ll also be getting comfortable with the opinions of others. You know, in a world that can be quick to condemn, criticize, and overreact – I want to be the one who is quick to be kind. And in being kind, I hope this helps others to be their authentic selves with me.