Reading back over the post, I had to laugh in that way you laugh when you're laughing at yourself. I'm still very much that same girl from a year ago. Overweight (check, but I've lost some pounds recently), in almost constant and varied pain (check, dammit), and occasionally frustrated (check). It would seem I haven't learned a darned thing prancing around with pink in my hair.
But I have.
When I originally got my hair done, I had only the barest ends done. I was afraid what people would say when they saw me. For someone not fond of my face, why in the world was I bringing attention to it? Now, the pink is slowly becoming more obvious as my hair grows longer. I have the tiniest beginnings of gray, but I kind of like that dichotomy, the pink of youth and the gray of well-fought-for age.
One of the things that still sticks with me from last year's post is what a stylist said as I sat in the chair.
"Everyone is pretty, they just don't always know it."
And they are! There's external beauty, internal beauty, beauty of a spring day, beauty of a child's hug, beauty of a card in the mail you weren't expecting. Beauty doesn't have to be skin deep because it really is all about perspective.
This is what I gave as my reason a year ago for dying my hair pink...
Because life's too short to wish for things we can actually do.
This still holds true. I still fight the same demons of pain but I've come to term with feelings of inadequacy. I've come to terms with my jewelry design and am striving forward, exploring more, and not wallowing in "you're not as good as X". Such silliness.
In the past year I've written a book (with major help from lots of contributors), explored beaches and woods and museums and hidden up in Zack's loft reading books. I've gotten entranced in antique malls, taken a ton of pictures, made a heck-ton of jewelry, and read a million books.
Not too shabby for someone who did this hair thing because she was ticked off at pain.
I don't always have good days, but my good days are spectacular days. All I have to do is watch Zack, play card games at dinner with him and Rick, plan Adventure Days when he's out of school, and watch my OWN self start to try to break out of the vicious cycle my pain has put me in. I'd like to get off that Ferris wheel and I'm working at it, and I hope you'll forgive me when I wallow in self-pity.
To that end -- I am who I am. I'm a work in progress. I've spent almost all my life trying to please every single person who comes into my life, no matter how peripherally, and that's fine, but when they are disparaging or discouraging or just not good for me ---
That is NOT to say that gentle criticism, help, and concern from friends isn't a good thing -- it is! But bad vibes aren't good vibes and a pink vibe is a happy vibe.
I wear my hair as a banner, and it's become part of me. It's my way of thumbing my nose (politely) at convention and telling myself it's fine to be who I am, nearly 42 with completely unconventional hair. If I get sneered at (I have), if I get laughed at (I have), and if people think I should grow up already (puh-lease), I no longer care. The woman last year who was nervous about walking down the halls of the school now often forgets she sports pink until someone points it out.
I wonder what my next metamorphosis will be? (Remember, that's my word for the year). I know at age 50 I'm getting another tattoo, although what it will BE, I have no idea. I think that following metamorphoses will come in the change of invisible but tangible mind changes -- things that will help me become the woman I strive to be.