I was a toe head kid. The kind with wispy white curls, that later turned into golden shiny locks. Then suddenly, or so it seemed, it turned into a non-color: it was an ashy, reddish, brownish muddled dishwater mess. And so, I got highlights. At age 11. I know, I know, I know, I know know know know. It sounds bad. Like ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ bad. But my Mom, knowing my persistent nature and my inability to let sleeping dogs lie, decided it would be easier to agree to highlights than listen to hours of begging. I promise I was never a pageant kid nor is my Mom a pageant Mom. In her (and my own) defense, I have blonde lashes and blonde eyebrows, and the brown just didn’t look quite right. Beyond that, the beauty of blonde hair has been indoctrinated in my mind since birth–I come from the Midwest, where blonde hair and blues eyes aren’t just the ideal, they’re the norm.

Fast-forward 10 years, to a girl with hair on the verge of going the way of Gwen Stefani, in terms of damage and breakage. It was long, and luscious, and required more maintenance than reasonable. But every time my stylist tried to give my hair a short reprieve and tone down the bleach levels, my confidence would dip and I would silently hate appearance for the next six weeks until my hair could finally be given the hit of bleach it needed. On a weekly basis I had strangers come up to me in public and compliment my blonde hair. It’s the unassuming blonde hair–it looks natural, as I look about as northern European as they come, and it does a nice beach-y wave. It represents my personality: fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. The thought of brown hair on my head gave me heart palpitations.

I knew that my hair just couldn’t handle our volatile relationship anymore. So I moved 500 miles away from a single soul who knew the blonde me, and dyed my hair brown. When I moved here, it was (and continues to be) a big adjustment. The brown hair version of me represents a lot of things. It represents someone who is now a responsible, completely, for her well-being. It represents someone who is bolder in her actions. It represents someone going through an identity crisis. It represents both the good and bad of where I’m at right now. But I have grown to love it. I take myself more seriously with brown hair, and I feel like others do as well. I am more confident—in my thoughts and in my outward appearance. The brown-haired version of me likes to think of herself as Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (that is a reeeeach). On the other hand, this hair also represents someone who is trying to figure out what it means to be an adult. Does having brown hair make me an adult? In my mind…it kind of does.

It’s interesting how attached we become to our hair as women. It ends up becoming an extension of our personality. A horrific haircut or bad hair day can jilt even the most level-headed lady.  Very few women wear their hair exactly how it grows. We add layers, we color it, we braid it, we pin it. What does our obsession with our hair say about what we value in ourselves? What we value in women? Rarely do you see a man taking the time to add pomade to his hair, or even run a comb through it.

Anyway, what’s your relationship to your hair? Have you ever gotten a bad haircut? Do you have a constant love/hate relationship with your hair? Do blondes have more fun? Do you spell blonde with or without an ‘e’?

So…I read the hell out of blogs. I read lifestyle blogs, I read healthy living blogs, I read fashion blogs, I read blogs about cool houses. I do it all. It’s a dirty little secret I’ve had for years, and I think has actually been really beneficial for me: I’ve started cooking, I dress better, I (sometimes) get motivated to go to the gym. But now that I have my own blog, I can finally start engaging in blogs without being an anonymous commenter, and it feels weird. 

I don’t play online games, but I feel like the sense of community is the same. It’s just people who don’t really know each other creating bonds across these huge distances because they share a common interest or goal. The thing is: I feel like I really know these people. Like, I could safely make a comment such as: “Ha! Oh, that so and so, she WOULD love something like that!” about a blogger who I follow religiously, but in many ‘real life’ acquaintance relationships I don’t think I could make a statement like that. I just don’t know them that well. It’s interesting to think about how attached we become to our virtual lives. 

At this point, is there a separation between ‘real life’ and our ‘online lives’? Where do you think you are the truer version of yourself? Or are you YOU all the time?

I think the anonymity of the online world can make us bolder in our convictions, but can at the same time make us more understanding–it’s a step back from real life and allows us time to process. I don’t know that I am any different online than I am in person–I think that I can just adjust my levels of “self” according to what’s appropriate for the situation. The beauty of the online world is that it gives us the opportunity to really geek out. I mean, I wouldn’t normally tell someone on the street how much I like their outfit, but you can be damned sure I’m going to tell my favorite fashion blogger that she’s looking fly as hell in her recent post. It’s a space where you can be the loudest level of yourself but don’t have to see the stink-eye of someone who doesn’t agree with your delivery, opinion or methods. 

I’m 500 miles away from home and feeling the pinch of it. I need some sort of outlet, because some days, it might be hours before I utter a single word to someone. And that just blows my mind. Lately I feel kind of indifferent to everything, and hopefully this will help me infuse some of that old passion in my life–right about now I could take or leave just about everything. School-incurious. Work-meh. Location-humph. I don’t know what this blog will be exactly but a bit of the unknown is exactly what I need.

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