At the local pool recently, a young girl of about 9 or 10 started chatting with my five year old daughter, Molly. They were both wearing cornrows in their hair and the girl mentioned it excitedly to her mom.
Then she set her sights on me and said “I like your pink hair.”
“Thank You!” I replied. I get that compliment a lot…. usually at daycare and around other random people’s children. 🙂
The mom turned to me and said “She has a friend who is always talking about wanting to dye her hair pink.” and then the daughter interjected “yeah, but her mom won’t let her.”
So I said “Yup, well, being able to dye your hair pink is just one of the perks of being a mom!”
and the mom looked at me funny…so I continued “…without having to ask permission.”
And she still looked at me funny, and we parted ways.
And then I started thinking about it. Seriously, as adults, we (generally) shouldn’t have to ask permission to do the stuff that we may have wanted to do as kids, but suddenly we feel like we have to ask some unknown, non-existent entity permission. WHY?
For months before I dyed my hair I talked about dying my hair. I wanted to gauge people’s reactions…. and everyone had one.
I was told it was childish. I was told it was a cry for attention. I was told that people would think I was ‘sleazy” or judge me harshly. I was looked at sideways and with concern by people who cared about me. I was asked would I keep it pink if I dyed it and my husband truly hated it.
And I tried to answer all those questions. I tried to debate them, negate them, consider them. I took it all very much to heart.
And as long as my brain was moving through those thoughts, thoughts that were conceived in other people’s brains and implanted in mine, I didn’t dye my hair.
Until, one random day, I just said to myself ‘Eff it.- I wanna look in the mirror and see myself with pink hair.” And ya know what I did? I dyed my hair.
And the heavens fell to the earth.
Absolutely nothing happened. My five year old told me it was pretty. My two year old reached out to touch it like it was a foreign object, told me she didn’t like it and promptly forgot it was ever anything other than pink. And everyone else? They all just concluded I was an immature, insecure hussy. Maybe.
Or maybe they really didn’t care.
Maybe their opinions only existed when they were based on the idea that they were entitled to have an opinion. Once I stopped caring about their opinions, I dyed my hair pink. And once my hair was pink and I liked it, their opinions suddenly became invalid, and they knew it.
What’s my point?
Don’t let other people’s voices inundate your brain. If you’re currently trying to process something that has to do with YOU and YOU alone, don’t let other people decide it has to do with them. Those voices only have any volume when we allow them to. You are an adult (presumably. If not, you’re in the wrong place, kiddo). You don’t need others’ permission to do things- certainly not things that your 14 year old self would have loved to do.
I recently caught a glimpse of my jdate profile from the era when I snagged my hubby. (Yes- we are an internet dating success story) In it I’d written that I like to dye my hair different colors, but that it had only been “socially acceptable” colors for the last few years.
WTF was I thinking? Reading that made me kinda wanna gag at the muchlessness of it. Socially acceptable…. whatever.
…I was, however, very proud to read this gem that I’d written about my ideal man: “He should worship the ground I walk on, but only after I’ve proven myself worthy.”
I’ll give myself an A+ in that department, Thank You Very Much….
Go out and be Muchtastic people!!!!