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Baggage claim

Over the past months, yours truly has encountered many people that seemed tired. A blank stare when being spoken to. Quick to answer, even faster to object to anything anyone around them had to say. Snap decisions being made and words uttered that should have been held silent. I am starting to think the culprit to the above is holding onto baggage and trying desperately to look perfect. Now that would be exhausting.

Over time, you get to know people. You see when something has changed. Sometimes for the better, be it a new hairstyle, a new fashion sense, a spring in their step or more smiles than grimaces. Some of the time the changes you see aren’t what you hope for them. Their hair not styled, shirts untucked, their Louboutin’s have been replaced by Crocs…you get the picture. The person you once knew who had a smile for you now has a scowl or snide remark about any opinion other than theirs.

In this life, as I am well aware and those who follow my blog are well aware, things do not always go as planned. Hell, more often than not, it never goes as planned. In my 45 years in this earthly realm I have come to one absolute truth… it’s not about you. Sure, there is the chance that you were talking out of your ass and offended someone – something I am guilty of (who isn’t), but it is a safe bet that something else is going on. It’s easier to blame others, blame your boss, blame your ex, hell, blame the family dog for your life not going as planned. Guess what? Until you put some of the blame on yourself, nothing is going to change. Nothing. You gotta own your shit. You gotta. It’s your baggage sunshine, and every time you blame someone else and pass them your baggage, it just goes back to baggage claim and waits patiently for you to arrive.

Now, before you begin to throttle me with comments about there are somethings you can’t control, I totally agree. You cannot control a loved one’s illness, a hormonal teenager, a jerk for a boss, a job loss, you name it. You can however control how you deal with it and how you let it affect you and how you deal with everyone around you. Spreading anger and resentment will get you nowhere but alone and even angrier at yourself and the situation you have now found yourself in. Trying to fake your way out of your life is even a worse road. You know what I’m talking about, we do it all the time.

“Oh, I love my kids! They are perfect!” – meanwhile you aren’t speaking to your kids unless eyerolls and hand gestures constitutes conversation.

“Everything’s great! Life is wonderful” – as you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage since your spouse just lost their job but doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

“Never better!” – although it took you 1 hour to get out of bed that morning because you didn’t know how you were going to face another day.

“Let me get this” – as you cross your fingers and every available body appendage hoping your card isn’t declined.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. Here’s the deal. Your life is going to be messy. Relationships are going to get messy. Parenting…Jesus, there will be days when you completely understand why someone gets in their car one day to never be heard from again. You know what? Everyone has felt the same way or is feeling the same way – most won’t admit it, but they do. Maybe, just maybe, getting real with people will help not only you but them. I know it has helped me and countless people I know, many who have become cherished friends. When my life is going down the toilet and someone asks how things are, I tell them “my life is going down the toilet”. After the initial shock of truth wears off, I usually find out their life isn’t all moonlight and roses either. We bounce experiences of each other and somehow, someway, we feel better and solutions are found. Sometimes my honesty sends people running for the hills and that’s okay. This is my journey and that is theirs.

Here’s the deal. Own your shit. Be kind when you can, and you always can. It is not your job nor your responsibility to carry other people’s baggage. If you are carrying some baggage around with you, be sure it’s your own.

 

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What road are you taking?

Been sitting here staring at the screen, then I begin to type, then I hit delete, then stare at the screen once again. This is what happens to me when I am holding back. When I worry about other’s opinions of what I am about to write. As I was hitting delete for the twentieth time, I had one of my LIGHTBULB! moments.

This is what woman do in the Salon, everyday. We show them the color swatch book, they gaze adoringly at the red hair swatch, they say “Lets do it!”, then they look around at the other women in the Salon and with a shaking hand and voice to match they say “Ummm, ahh, maybe I should take a look again”. We hand the color swatch book back to them, they flip back to the browns, sigh, and then say “better stick to the usual…what would people think?”.

If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am a firm believer of being your own person, doing what you want and the hell with what others think. Yeah, yeah, I know…I started off today’s tale worrying about the thoughts of others. Give a girl a break would ya? I am a work in progress…and see, I am writing about what I want. Now, back to the tale at hand.

As women (sometimes the gents, but mostly it’s the ladies), we worry far too much about other’s opinions of our hair to our child rearing. Everyday I meet a woman who has a hairstyle she didn’t want, thinks she is too fat to go to the gym, has a hair color she detests, or is buying a product that she hates the smell of. The reason? It’s always the same…fear of what people will think. Don’t get me wrong…no judgment here. I have been that woman, and from time to time I have to keep that old girl at bay. I have had haircuts that made me cry. Hell, forget the gym, at one point I thought I was too fat to walk around the block. I have had hair color that, lets just say, was not me. I have used products that reminded me of a skunk in heat. All because of fear of the opinion’s of others, or fear of upsetting the apple cart.

In the big scheme of life and all it’s mysteries I may not know much, but I know this. It isn’t all about you (hardest pill for yours truly to swallow) and all that matters is YOUR OPINION. Oh…and screw them. Yeah, I said it. Now I have the hair style I want, I no longer think I am too fat to walk around the block, hell, I don’t think I am fat at all. I LOVE my hair color…blonde with dark underneath (so when my  roots show it looks like it’s on purpose…smoke and mirrors my friends…smoke and mirrors) and all my hair products remind me of the beach and the spring. Oh, believe me, I am still told that I should change my hairstyle, usually by someone who hated their own hair. I am told that I could still stand to lose a few, usually by someone who is trying to be skinny for their spouse, instead of being healthy and fit and supporting her husband’s dietary restrictions like yours truly. I am told that my blonde looks fake…well duh…my roots are dark… and I am constantly being told there is something else I should be using for my hair, usually by a rep. trying to bring in a new line,(which is excusable…they are just trying to do their job.).

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a tough road. It’s also one hell of a high road most days, so high I need to strap on an oxygen mask, but it is the road I would choose over any other. It is the road to personal redemption, to happiness, to wanting to look in the mirror at your reflection and liking who is looking back at you, the woman with the rockin’ hairstyle and awesome color.

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The lady has guts

I started this blog to share the tales of my daily escapades in the shop/salon I work in, to give a different perspective, to educate and enlighten the masses about the world of beauty. There is something I feel I need to share with you all, an  educational tool if you will. Although today’s blog isn’t about hairspray or rash ravaged bikini lines, it is about beauty. The beauty of honesty and pain. Of sharing your story and speaking your truth.

There is a book that kept coming across my path. Every time I was at the book store, there it was. It was never in the section it was supposed to be in. So, I picked it up, flipped it open to a random page and the first thing I read had me laughing. I bought the book. The book is guts by Kristen Johnston. With each chapter I found I myself laughing, crying or shaking my head in acknowledgement, or all three. You may think I am romanticizing (and if so power to you), this book gave me that last little nudge to take a leap of faith in myself. I am not an addict, nor have I battled an addiction in a traditional  sense, but I have battled with the voices in my head saying “You are not good enough”, “You are not pretty enough” and so on. Come on…admit it…we have all been there at least once, ladies and gents alike. Kristen Johnston tells her story truthfully, she puts it out there for all the world to see. Most of us can’t even admit to ourselves in the wee small hours of the morning our shortcomings. I always thought I knew what it meant to have guts. Now I am sure of its definition. Her story confirmed what my father had told me all along…different is good, and she confirmed what I had always felt to be true, sometimes being a smart ass is a good thing.

Here is the reason I am sharing this tale today. I am all for voicing an opinion (if you have been reading my blog you know that) and freedom of speech, when it is the truth, not when it is a lie. Every once and a while I come across or hear an uneducated remark and it gets me a little fired up. Be it about our beloved author, bad hair advice or anything negative in general. (maybe I am entering early menopause…still got the ol’ ovaries).There is difference between being a smart ass and just being an ass.

Choose your words carefully. Do not use the internet as courage. If you won’t say something to someone’s face, maybe you shouldn’t say it at all. Be kind, because in the end, it may be your story being shared.