My First Adult Hair Cut

With a pair of scissors sharp enough to slice through an rhinosaurous’ collar bone and a swift flick of the wrist, years of long, Farrah Fawcett-esque, golden locks floated to the floor. What survived the blade onslaught was a look that could’ve turned even the strongest of stomachs upside down.

“Cut it all off,” I demanded as I sat in the elevated blue vinyl chair.

“Are you sure?” the beautician asked, raising one eyebrow to indicate she thought I was nuts. Typically, I’d only come to her for a quick trim.

“It will take a long time to grow back you know,” she warned me.

The year was 1990. I was the mother of four very busy young children ranging from eight-years-old down to two. I had a house to run, kids to chauffeur around town as well as a cottage industry (one I single handedly created) to manage. Large hair bows were all the rage for both women and children at the time. Having three beautiful models to advertise my creations, I designed and marketed these embellishments to Nordstrom’s Department Store and children’s specialty shops up and down the San Francisco Peninsula. With any extra time I volunteered at our church, in my children’s classrooms and at the dance studio where all four spent many hours prancing about. I was stretched to the max and something had to give before I completely lost my mind.

“Yep, I’m sure,” I announced with complete confidence and off came the luxurious thick curls that had been – until that day – considered my trade mark and crowning glory. Like a lamb that had been sheered for slaughter, I now sported a very short pixie “do” with a thin strand of hair curling down the nap of my neck.

“Perfect,” I whispered to myself as I stared at my new easy, breezy look. I was sure this would solve all my problems, but believing myself would prove to be much harder than I thought.

I arrived home, stood at my front door for a couple of seconds to prepare for the

my kids’ reviews.

It was a warm summer day, all for of them were running through the house in their bathing suits about to jump into the pool.

“Kids! Come here for a second. I have something to show you.”

Soon, the sound of little feet could be heard as they rushed towards me and as quickly as they ran, they stopped dead in their tracks.

“What did you do?” my eldest, Michelle, demanded. Taking her usual defiant position when about to start an argument, she stared me down with her eight-year-old fists digging deep into her hips. “I hate it! And what’s with the rat’s tail? Only disgusting boys wear those things.”

Jenni threw her small seven-year-old hands over her freckled face and sobbed hysterically as five-year-old Lauren ran away to her hiding place when things got testy – under her bed. My two-year-old baby, Timmy, stood completely perplexed, cocking his blond, curly head of hair from side to side as if mimicking our Cocker Spaniel. It was clear that he was wondering who this strange woman was standing before him and what did she do with his real mommy?

Desperate to bring peace back to my family, I cried, “I’m sorry! I just couldn’t deal with my hair any longer.” Completely dejected, I went to my room and hid my new hair style under my pillow. “Maybe I’ll just stay here until it grows out again,” I began to whimper. “One day they’ll be parents and then they’d understand why some changes are necessary.”

If I’ve learned one thing to be certain in life, it’s that is nothing stays the same forever. Changes come and go in an endless variety of contexts. Some simply happen, many are necessary, while others are crucial to make our world run more smoothly.

Change can come in all forms. Some are exciting. Some are essential and some are terrifying, especially when everything seems to be going just fine they way it is. So why alter the norm? Occasionally, change is not for the better, but most often it is, when we allow ourselves to accept it. There can be no growth unless adjustments and alterations are made to the path we travel. They are the true test of the metal from which we are made. Do you bend and break like a stick that has been forced one inch too hard or do you stand up strong against the winds that blow at your body in the same way a mighty oak tree weathers a torrential storm?

Eight years ago, it seemed my life was filled with nothing but changes. My marriage of twenty-two years was ending, my children were beginning to leave the nest one by one, and my mother passed away. Each major and minor change tore at my heart. I cried constantly. The knowledge that the life I had once known, along with the fear that I would never feel happy again constantly gnawed deep within my soul.

In the early years of my marriage, I dreamt of going back to school and studying for my Masters in Fine Art as soon as the children didn’t need me quite as much.  But with my divorce, I realized that my dreams would have to be put on the back burner. Instead, I would need to find a new career that would help keep the financial loose ends of our lives securely tied in a neat little bow.

I tossed and turned every night, pondering my next move.  I found myself praying to God, “What the hell do I do to make the kind of money I’ll need to keep this all together?” My prayers were answered. I was guided to do what I instinctively knew best – real estate.

In my early years, before husband and children, I managed commercial properties for large development companies. During our marriage, we designed, bought and sold our own homes, which once again I supervised. It was time to share all this knowledge with others, so residential real estate made perfect sense.

With the years, my practice has grown and I’m happy to say I’ve successfully helped many others with the largest investment they will ever make – home ownership. I’m even more delighted to know I’ve helped their family on the road to a happy future filled with lots of memories.

This career path was nothing I ever saw myself doing years ago. In fact, it was the farthest thing from my mind. I had envisioned spending the rest of my life teaching children to dance, working in my garden and exploring all the different mediums art provided on my easel at home. Though there are times when it’s overwhelmingly challenging and I find myself hitting my head against the wall trying to keep a deal together, it has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Sure I wish I had tons of discretionary cash to go play and follow my passion for art, literature and dance, but the true blessing of my profession is that it also allows me the time to follow my passions on the side. I have the best of both worlds.

Now, when my children go through photo albums of our younger years, I’m constantly asked, “What were you thinking with that look?” I like to remind them that that God awful hairdo did serve a purpose nineteen years ago. It was a change that freed me from hours of primping and fluffing, thus giving me more time to be the mother they needed – SANE! And with a few extra minutes to spare. Change is a good thing.

Don’t be afraid to switch things up from time to time once in a while. If big adjustments are too unsettling for you and those you love, then just tweak it a little. Welcome changes as tools to help you develop into the incredible person you were meant to be!