Life is what happens when you’re making plans.
My plans, though not intentional, ended up looking like acceptance.
It started off as acceptance AKA resignation. I couldn’t change anything. I was powerless.
But in that powerlessness came a certain power, knowing what lay outside my sphere of influence and truly coming to accept what I did not sit well with me.
It was not OK and yet I accepted it. I got on with my life. It started as plodding and slowly worked its way up to a jog. I liked where I was, even though it wasn’t a path I had chosen.
And then one day, totally out of the blue, I looked in the mirror and the hair was exactly how I wanted it to be. I knew it would pass and so savoured it: the colour, the shine, the choppiness. I was in love.
I realised, at that moment, that wasn’t me, that I hadn’t created this masterpiece - rather it had perhaps come about inspite of me. It could only be Grace.
In spiritual practice, all we seem to do is purify, slowly but surely and pray that Grace will come when we are ready. We take ownership of what comes, not realising the safety of an ever-present guiding hand in our endeavours.
I may talk a lot about hair, but how one does anything is how one does everything. My tumultuous relationship with my barnet is the perfect metaphor for my life: a magnificent work-in-progress, that always seems to delight me in the way in turns out - not least of all now.
This was not the journey I expected, and yet I cannot imagine having the long brown hair I one did. It was so normal, until it wasn’t anymore.
What has ultimately made this journey were the intentionally bold moves. I didn’t know how they would turn out, but I knew I had to try them. It was a feeling deep in my gut of something I knew I had to do, even though there was no “need” to do them.
I wasn’t trying to get anything (attention, say), rather it was a form of expression. I couldn’t not do it if I was going to remain me, whoever that was/is. It was like a river of life that took me with it.
As I see the next stage ahead, it scares me. Like the other bold moves, I don’t know how it will turn out or where it will take me, but as nervous/excited as I am, I know this is the only path. Anything less would be an injustice to who I am.
So how do I find the courage to do what is required? By falling in love with each stage, good or bad. The ups, the downs, the rollercosters, the puddles.
Safety suddenly feels overrated. I feel I am on a runway, ready to take off, my life having prepared me exactly for this moment. This is how all of my fearless (hair) moves have felt.
But should I feel the need for a little Dutch courage, I turn to the words of Anais Nin: And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
I can’t be a caterpillar forever, even I wanted to. It simply isn’t what I was made to be. I have to walk off that ledge and finally use these wings.
So away I go, over the hill and far away.
Let's see what adventures lie ahead.