After years of long, black hair, I had my hair whacked off and bleached. I decided I needed to try platinum at least once in my life so here we go! Making this change in identity has been an interesting one. I get WAY more attention out in the world being blond which I was not expecting and has been hard to deal with at times. Having my hair so short makes me feel less cloaked and more “out” in the world. I feel both stronger and more vulnerable at the same time. People see me differently and I am seeing a less static version of myself through that reflection. I’ve been avoiding that sort of change for a long time.
This past year has brought a lot of change my way. I’ve learned a lot about trust, loyalty, independence, love, community, and fear. More than anything, I’ve learned about courage which I personally define as living from my heart.
Throughout this time, I’ve peered into my fears and realized how much I’ve been living from them. Afraid of pain, afraid of being “captured” in relationships, afraid of change, and, most especially afraid of being seen as less than perfect or as other than my own ideal version of myself. What a set-up for failure and pain that is!
It’s so easy to let the avoidance of pain or failure inform our decision in life. As I type this, my eldest is in Costa Rica on a service learning trip. I got her a card for her care package that had this quote on it:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Donald Walsch
I know the trip will challenge her physically and emotionally. It’s challenged me too. Challenged me to face my fears of losing her and to peer into the future and see what life will be like when my kids are grown. It’s a good lesson in both detachment and the gift of emotional freedom. Realizing how little control I really have over my childrens’ well-being out in the big world puts my life into perspective. I think I also realize that I have very little control over my own. I realize I can shape my response to life and that’s enough these days.
I’ve been living at the edge of my comfort zone quite a bit and have no intention to stop. I am really seeing myself in my beauty, grace and strength these days. Interestingly, I notice these things more as I learn to be open and vulnerable. I see myself more clearly when I see a more multi-dimensional version of myself.
This new way of seeing brings even more determination to live out loud and take a big, juicy bite out of life. I’m determined to follow joy and curiosity rather than avoid fear and to respond in a life-affirming, empowered way.
Cheers to living on the growing edge!