and how this can be applied to almost anything in your life..
I am the little girl in the middle of the picture, the one with the scowl on her face. This is my birthday party and I should be happy, but all I can think about is how much I don’t like my hair and how much I want it to be like the other girls in the picture.
How It Began..
My “love/hate” relationship with my hair began in grade school somewhere around 3rd grade. I didn’t mind it much before that or really even pay much attention to my hair or how it looked. However, at some point in 3rd grade, and I remember this as if it happened yesterday, one of my little “girlfriends” told me my hair looked stupid and that I shouldn’t wear it curly. I was so upset and barely kept myself from crying in front of her. How could I change this? I couldn’t, my hair was naturally curly and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. I don’t even begin to know how I made it through the rest of the day. And as soon as the bell rang I ran the whole way home crying so hard I could barely see. I ran in the house and told my mother what had happened and repeated to her what the little girl said to me. She tried to calm me down of course and then told me that the little girl was just jealous of my hair and how pretty it was and not to worry about it. Yeah, right!
This love/hate thing with my hair continued through elementary school and high school. My true friends never mentioned it or said what that little wench(being nice here) in the 3rd grade said to me. But there were those times on a rare occasion, like after I walked a mile to school in the rain, when I could see them looking pitifully at my wild, frizzy hair. I never made peace with my hair or should I say, the curls.
Things I Tried..
You have to know that I went to school in the 50’s and 60’s and curly hair was not in style. Straight hair was the norm and if anything it may have had a flip at the ends but that was it. No curly hair was ever seen in my days at school, so I was it, the lone curly haired girl in the whole entire school. It is hard to be different and very hard to be the only one. I tried everything to make it better or less curly, like sleeping with my hair rolled up in beer cans or ironing it and much later, straightening it. The beer can thing worked…until I walked out of the house on a humid or rainy day. The ironing thing did as well until my mom caught on to what I was doing, especially after the day I burnt both my hair and my neck. I was not allowed to do that anymore and I spent the rest of that day explaining why I had a “love bite” on my neck. The professional straightening thing wasn’t very professional back then so it last maybe a week. But it was a week I truly enjoyed…
We didn’t have the products back in those days like we do now. We had shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. That was it! Oh and also some goopy stuff that was like jello. But believe me when I say these things did not work (on curly hair) and in fact made matters worse. The hair spray we had then was like painting your head with lacquer. And when you went out into the rain or faced the slightest bit of humidity, you would wind up looking like “Medusa” (check her out in Wikipedia)…not a good look or one I wanted to copy. I just wanted “straight hair”…
How I am feeling today..
A few years ago at a class reunion a few girls told me they just loved my hair and how lucky I was that I didn’t have to pay tons of money to have curls. They went on to say they were aways jealous of my hair and wished they had it. Wow, who knew! Certainly not me, the curly haired 8 year old in grade school who ran home crying. It did one thing though, it made me realize that we never know how others are feeling or what they really think about anything. We assume so many things in life and most of the time when we do that we are wrong in our assumptions.
The real lesson I have gotten from this whole thing is that we just need to accept the things we can’t change. And maybe, just maybe even learn to embrace them.
Is there something you have always wanted to change about yourself?
“if you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit