What is your favorite part about yourself?
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I took a pass on January 26, and with good reason. It was the anniversary of the day my mother died and, although she passed away 26 years ago, the wound can still feel very fresh. Personally, I don’t celebrate anything to do with our national day of celebration, but rather I prefer to reflect on the time I spent with my mother only weeks before she died so suddenly.
In answering what I like about myself, speaking on the favorite part about yourself according to the Bloganuary prompt, I could say any of the following:
- I’m a good person.
- I’m a good mother.
- I’m a good wife.
- I’m a good friend.
- I’m a good worker.
- I’m a good citizen.
But they all sound too lame to me. I am a good person, mother, wife, friend, worker and citizen and I do like that about myself.
However, I’ve chosen to identify something else about myself that I really like – my hair.
I was blessed with a head of thick curly locks thanks to the genetics my parents passed onto me. Although, I was never allowed (or permitted) to have long hair as a child – think between ages six and late teens – I can understand why my mother kept my hair short, just like my brothers. It was easier to look after for both me and her.
I remember my mother saying that if I wanted my hair long, I had to brush it 100 strokes every night. I would lose count, but I would try. No wonder my hair was fuzzy. I was often called Hair Bear at school because if my hair was any longer than my ears it stood on ends, all fuzzy and frizzy and all over the place.
But I continued to run the brush through it never realising that what I was doing was the worst possible thing to do to curly hair.
Hairdressers would ‘fix the problem’ by attacking my locks with a set of thinning scissors. Nice try. This only meant that as my hair grew it was thicker close to my scalp and thin and whispy towards the ends – cue the Hair Bear taunts at school again.
When I was 18 years old, working and earning my own money, I was able to pay for my own hairdressing experiences. I tried several without much success. At one point I even had a reverse perm to tame my locks. Those oversized rollers worked a treat, at least until my hair grew a bit longer and the frizz returned.
Nothing it seemed would make the mess on my head acceptable or presentable. I tried wearing my hair long, I tried wearing my hair short, I tried wearing it at a mid-length but, no matter what I did, it was an unruly mess full of frizz and fuzz.
I admit I was never very successful with finding the right hairdresser and could not begin to count the number of times I’ve returned home in tears. There was that one time I cried great sobbing tears at the salon and ended up not paying and being given a bag of products to take home for free.
It didn’t make up for the mess they made of my hair and the hell I went through trying to hide their mistakes. I guess I put up with it for maybe two weeks before walking into another salon (still in tears) and begging for someone to make my hair look better.
And then, one day, I met a hairdresser who taught me how to care for my curls. (I won’t tell you how old I was at the time, but let’s just say I’d had more than 20 years of disasters I’d paid for.) This hairdresser knew her stuff. I threw out my copious brushes, gave away my hairdryer, and started using a wide-toothed comb. I started applying products that nourished and other products that stabilised (or amplified) my curls.
My hair began to shine and take on a life of its own and I guess I’ve not looked back since.
Sue looked after my hair for the next twenty years. She tried different things, encouraged me to grow it, made it look amazing with various colour combinations, but, most importantly, she never touched my hair with thinning scissors.
It’s been just over 10 years since Sue last touched my hair. Sue retired and I live in a different city now. But I still use the products she put me on to and I’m still very thankful she taught me how to tame my mane.
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Read more about Bloganuary here.