“Start as you mean to go on.” This is one of my mantras. Nowhere is it truer than at the beginning of a new year.
And I started this new year with, what can only be politely termed as, a mullet.
Of course, I camouflage it reasonably well, and yet it gnaws at me.
Oh, the mess that a caterpillar must go through to get her wings.
I have been down this road before - many times in fact. Every time, I last a little longer before turning back around, rationalizing that I don’t want to be at my destination.
Having done that so many times and given that square one is starting to look a little boring, I am persevering this time. It has been eight months.
For someone who takes things “one day at a time”, this is huge. And yet, I am aware that one false move can have me exactly back to where I started.
I have gotten better with slippery places and people, “keeping my eye fixed only on the far horizon…never looking down to test the ground before taking my next step” (Dag Hammarskjold).
For someone who would probably fail the marshmallow test, this takes everything I have.
I thought the journey would get easier as I went on. I don’t think it has. Neither am I resigned to the bad hair days. Rather, my eyes remain firmly on the goal. I am proud of myself, but also not. Why can I do this with my hair and nothing else? Is it because I am willing to mess up? Apparently, you only fail at something when you give up.
Why is hair so much easier than a new diet/career/home/boyfriend? Because I know I can just stop looking in the mirror, and stop judging myself for where I am not? Is it because there is no effort and only allowing? Is it because getting cutesy highlights and colourful clips makes the journey that much sweeter?
And so I ask the question again, why am I not doing this elsewhere? Why am I not struggling with lanky and/or untameable hair there?
What would it take for me to do this there? Not care.
Not to care means not to judge, not to assess continuously where I should be, not to ask my inner critic for constant feedback on how I’m doing, and how much longer the journey is going to take.
It means letting things evolve at their own pace, regardless of how fast I think it should be happening. And with no regard for how quickly someone else’s hair is growing.
The hair has been so easy when I’ve not been overthinking it. The hair has been so easy when I do what is necessary that day. The hair has been so easy when I take the help of gels and purple shampoos and deep conditioners when things are totally and utterly out of control.
And when the curls on my neck started to look remarkably Gruffalo-like, I had the courage to go to the hairdresser and ask to have just that teensy-weensy-weensy bit trimmed off.
One foot in front of the other. It’s just hair. It doesn’t matter. And quite frankly, neither does any of the other stuff. Yes, let’s look at that big picture once in a while: happy, healthy kids, a roof over my head, money to pay the bills, and a sunny garden that I regularly spend hours rolling around in.
And fabulous hair, which has finally just got long enough to tuck behind my ears.
All in good time.
All in God’s time.