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Do You Feel Heard?

whale-sharks

Do you ever just feel like no one hears you? As if you’re floating under the Pacific screaming “SHARK!” and the rest of the world is sunning themselves on the beach and watching their kids splash in the waves with sand on their arses?

Case in Point:

For the past few weeks my hair has looked like a particularly worn down coat of a buckskin mare who has been rolling around in the mud.  Sort of dingy blond with a dark brown stripe down the center.

I do not exaggerate. The difference between the color of my roots and the rest of my hair was as stark as a skunk.

So I went in search of a new stylist as the last time I got my hair cut in Utah it resembled a Q-tip that has been forgotten in a travel bag for the past seven years – slightly yellowed, frayed off of the cardboard tip like the last wisp of cotton candy on the stick, and, not to mention, forlorn.

I found someone at a reputable salon here in Utah and made my appointment.

Yesterday:

Me:  I look like a buckskin mare (Googled stripe on mare’s back to show stylist).  I want to get rid of that and blend it with the rest of the blond and I’m not loving the orange/copper color in my hair, it’s too much and the colors are too cool. I look washed out.  And I’m REALLY trying to grow my hair out. I don’t know what I was thinking when I cut it off last summer. Mid-life crisis, I guess.

Stylist:  (Chuckles) Sure. We can add in some warm tones and keep the light blonds and just shape up and trim.

Me: Perfect.

(Exit stylist as she prepares three bowls of color that all look exactly the same. Enter stylist.)

Note to self: Something is wrong. Where is the tinfoil? She’s using that big paintbrush to slop color right down my horse stripe. What’s happening? My 5 year old niece Adri paints better than that. It’s on my forehead, whatever color that is will stain my forehead and I have to go to a wedding tomorrow. (Hyperventilates)

Me: Can I ask what you’re doing?

Stylist: Have you never had color without tinfoil?

Me: No

Stylist: This is the easiest way to handle color like yours.

Me: (squirms in sticky leather seat)

As I exited the salon and glimpsed myself in full sun in my side view mirror, I was stunned to realize that I now look like the Heat Miser from “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (combined with a buckskin mare and a hog-nosed skunk.) My hair is blond with a streak of flaming orange down the center. Add to this the fact that she took a good two inches off of parts of my once-all-one-length-in-an-attempt-to-grow-it-out haircut and had wielded a razor like a whirling dervish, ensuring that after tomorrow’s first wash I’ll once again look like that flaming Q-tip of old.

Sigh…

I recognize that this is a first-world problem. Kids in Africa are walking miles for drinking water and a place to dip their combs. But for fuck’s sake wasn’t I clear? Didn’t I say I didn’t like the flames? Didn’t I say I was trying to grow my hair out after a mid-life crisis gone wrong?

But this blog isn’t just about vanity and wearing a hat for the next three months. I do have a larger point to raise here. Last week I watched Oprah’s commencement speech to Harvard and it really struck me when she said that no matter who is on her show, from Presidents to rock stars to soccer moms, invariably at the end of the taping, in some form or fashion, they ask her if they did okay; if they were HEARD; if they were seen.

Isn’t that the truth? Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Simply to be heard and seen from those we interact with? There have been many times in my life where I haven’t felt heard and yesterday was just one small glaring (literally) example.

And I’ve noticed that when I don’t feel heard I will keep saying the same thing over and over and over in an attempt to force someone, subconsciously, to hear me.

Yesterday, I told this stylist in a myriad of ways, how much I wanted my hair to grow out.

And I’ve heard others do this with me.  I’ll be having a conversation with someone and they’ll say the same thing again and again and in my mind I’m thinking “what are they doing? I get it.” But here’s the reality – they’re not feeling heard, seen or acknowledged by me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve heard them loud and clear, the point is that they don’t feel as if I’ve heard them. Have you had this happen to you and wondered what that’s about?

If we go back to the basics – back to Communications 101 – in those scenarios, wouldn’t it just be kind to repeat back to the person what we’ve heard them say to ensure that we get it – that we really do hear them? Maybe that’s why we feel so alone at times – so separate and cut off from the oneness – because, let’s be real, sometimes we aren’t really listening. Sometimes we’re playing Candy Crush on our smart phones while checking Facebook every 3.5 seconds and thinking about the Almond Joy pieces hidden next to our beds.

I sure do wish the stylist would have repeated my words back to me yesterday, “Okay, so you don’t want to look like Mr. Heat Miser reincarnated as a buckskin mare who coupled with a hog-nosed skunk and you regret the decision to cut off all of your hair during a 700 kelvin hot flash. Got it.”

Hair… Not the Musical

121H

I wore my hair down the other day; it had been about 8 months since I’d done so.  My classmates at CSU said things like, “Whoa, your hair is really pretty, I didn’t know it was so long.”  Or, “you should wear your hair down more often.”  These were awesome things to hear, and I might admit to having done a casual hair flip, but inside I was ready to claw my face off. The wind was blowing, as per usual, in the vortex of the quad and the pale pink Mac lip gloss I had applied earlier that day was acting as a magnet to my hair.  Every strand was stuck to my lips until I looked like a blond crazed version of Cousin Itt.  Loose flyaways reached up and tickled my face so that by the end of the day I ended up with a trail of fingernail ruts across my nose from the scratching.

Why do I have long hair then, you might ask?  Dorothy Hamill, trauma, and a 4th grade promise, that’s why. Read more

meh. A Quest for Mojo

spiky-hair-crane

I recently lost my mojo.   I don’t know what else to call it but, as I’ve been devouring the contents of the Owning Pink website recently, I’ve decided that they are on to something BIG.  Mojo means different things to different people.  According to Owning Pink, for some, mojo is sexual, for some, mojo is being present in the now.  For me mojo is that inner glow, the one you often see on pregnant ladies.  Mojo is that smile inside of you that shows on the outside.  It’s that inner spark, that feeling of connection to everything and everyone around you.  It’s feeling truly alive.  When you’ve lost it, things feel gray and dingy and it’s as if that tinge of hope within has buried itself somewhere and is too busy licking its wounds to present itself.

After days of blah and meh, I wasn’t sure what to do and, damned if it isn’t superficial, I dashed to my black Beetle and raced to the salon.  Once there I hobbled up to the counter, my pasty skin stretched into a grimace, with hair that looked like the end of a Q-tip that’s been hanging out in the bottom of my travel case since a European vacation in 2004.  I asked for my stylist Nicolette.  The receptionist’s pink and tan glow hid what I imagined was her own grimace at my pallid state and said, “Have a seat, she’ll be right with you.”  As I looked around the salon I saw smiling faces, heard endless chatter, I saw hot pink highlights with streaks of robin egg blue, I saw people glowing, and not from some radioactive hair gel. Read more