Sunday, January 1, 2012
it's january first, two-thousand and twelve. TWELVE. can you believe it? january first is a good time for being nostalgic and hopeful all at once. it's a good time to dream about how to make your life everything you want it to be and let everything you don't want dissolve away into last year (even if it was just two days ago, you can completely blow it off now by saying, "oh, that was last year, i've moved on.")
this morning i have been reading random entries from one of my favourite newly-found bloggers (who is not at all new to many people), kelle hampton. when i read about kelle and her girls and her life, i am struck by how full it all is. when you read about her adventures, large and small, exciting and mundane, it's hard not to see how her heart and soul explodes with a fullness of love and life.
that's how i want to live. that's how i try to live. and then i get caught up little things that pull me out of my fullness like a grouchy customer at work, a messy kitchen, a broken glass. not to be all pollyanna, but i have a really good life: a really cute apartment (even if small), an amazingly loving partner, the sweetest cat known to woman, an unbelievably supportive family, a job when many are jobless, two cars that work - i could go on. sure, our apartment is too small and impossible to get completely clean, our friend circle is small, our jobs don't really pay quite enough to be as comfortable as we would like, and i am really, really tired all the time. but my life is good, and it's the only one i have so i'd like to enjoy it.
i have some resolutions. they are about my work, and my food choices, and exercising and many of the typical resolution-y type things. but my bigger goal is to live my life fully. to hold my joys, my sorrows, my hopes, and my dreams in my heart and mind in ways that build me up and build up those around me. i want to bask in the goodness, learn from the sadness, and make my life what i want it to be.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
every time i think about how i haven't written on here, i think about what i would write and realize that in the hustle and bustle of work and life, i've let the heart, fun, and life drain out of this blog a bit. every once in a while i'll slap a post up to fulfill my posting duty, but that's hardly why we do this, right? i was recently inspired by a new facebook friend who writes the most lovely blog posts and another friend who posts some refreshingly honest reflections on motherhood, and i have been encouraged to let this blog come back to life. this is different than my usual post that says, "i promise to post more. no really, for real this time!!" instead, what i mean is that i want to use this blog for its intended purpose: to share and spur creativity. to write about what's on my heart and mind, to ramble about arts and crafts, to be encouraged to stop business as usual and do something different.
so, first i'll do a little ditty about what's been on my mind lately. my hair. it's no big surprise. i have made about 18 posts about my hair in the couple of years i've been blogging, and anyone who knows me in person has been subjected to frequent interrogations: short or long!? light or dark!? i recently cut my hair really short, which i initially loved.
as i contemplate growing out my hair, the constraint of my once-long tresses and the liberation of shaving my head remains on my mind. i think about what it means to others and what it means to me to have long hair and to care what others think about how i look.
The first time I really cut my hair I was in love with Nicole Richie. Though she had cleaned up her exterior thanks to an overhaul by a team of image renovators, her messy, sloppy, wild interior still sparkled in her eyes, and I loved every bit of it. I drove to the salon ready to reinvent myself with Nicole’s sassy bob and side swept bangs. I would shed my long, youthful tresses for a modern, grown up but still mischievous style. Little did I know that my haircut would only further catapult me on the journey I had already begun. For a while I was completely enamored with the cut, and it never fully did lose its shine; however, while I cut of nearly a foot of hair, its length only seemed grow inside of me and around me as it tightened its grasp, slowly, sweetly suffocating me each day.
After a series of failed attempts to make the hair more interesting, I finally got the courage to chop my now bleach-blonde hair into a short, cropped ‘do. With Selma Blair and her brief moment as a blonde as my inspiration, I went to the salon and had what I thought was the last of the feminine drag amputated from my head. I was free. The boa constrictor’s grasp loosened from around my waist, neck, released from my internal organs. I could breathe. For months I felt relief. However, in the back of my head I knew that I hadn’t gone all the way. I knew shaving my head was the extreme end of the trajectory I was on, and no matter how much I enjoyed the freedom of my new, shorter hair, I could still see that there was more.
In August of 2007 I was sitting at my desk preparing to teach later that morning, and I rose from my chair thinking to myself, “I’m going to shave my head now.” I thought it just as I might have said to myself, “I need to brush my teeth now.” I hadn’t been thinking explicitly of it earlier that day or even in the days preceding that moment. It hit me all at once with such decisiveness that I didn’t even need to consider the choice. My body decided it and my brain was simply alerting me of the fact. I didn’t shave my head just then—I had to go teach—but I couldn’t push is out of my thoughts. As I was walking home from class with a friend we passed a butch woman in jeans and a t-shirt with close-cropped hair. We nodded, giving her the super-lesbian high five.
“I love that,” S said. “Sometimes I just want to say, ‘fuck it,’ and just look real gay. You know, my cut off cargos, some old t-shirt, cut off all my hair.”
“I know!” I exclaimed and told her about my brush with shaving my head earlier that morning. “I’m just done with it.” She agreed, and we continued on our way home.
A few minutes later on the phone I told the woman I was dating about it and she replied simply, “Then do it. Shave your head.” That was all I needed to walk to my car, shaking a little, and drive to Sid’s. As I pulled in the parking lot, I remembered what I was doing and turned down my last chance to back out. “Oh my god, you’re shaving your head!” my girlfriend exclaimed when I told her I had arrived. I promised to call the second I was done, and rushed inside, certain my courage would fail me if I didn’t hurry up.
I only had to wait a few minutes for Merritt to sit me in the chair and turn on her clippers. She began running the cool blade against my scalp and fuzzy, bleached clumps of hair began falling to the ground. Within 3 minutes, my blonde styled head of hair became a dark, quarter-inch velvet blanket. For the first time, instead of hair, when I looked in the mirror I saw my face looking back at me.
Shaving my head was just as liberating as any evangelizing radical lesbian feminist could profess it to be. I felt free. I felt exposed and open, but powerful and in control at the same time. My students ranged from being amused to completely enamored with my shaved head. Old women and African Americans regularly stopped me to tell me how much they liked my hair style. One woman stopped me in the hallway at school and declared me an “honorary black woman.” For ten minutes she told me unsolicited stories about her hair, her sister’s hair, and hair in general. “It’s just perfect for you,” the 85-year-old Italian woman at Target told me. Most importantly, I felt unencumbered. I had nothing left to hide behind, and I was surprised to find that I didn’t die immediately without the protective covering.
It wasn’t all wonderful. People stared, whispered, and shot judgmental looks at me. Sometimes feeling open was too much. There were times when I just wanted to look regular so I could go to the grocery market without doing any emotion work. I kept my head shaved for about two months, and I miss it sometimes now as an inch and a half of hair covers my head again. I’m not sure what my hair is doing now, but I know that it feels different to me.
written november 2007
the second problem with growing out my hair is that it's a pain in the ass! it always goes through a very long phase of looking cuh-ray-zee until it gets to something decent, and last time i went through this process, the end result was just kind of meh.
so for now, i wait. i wait because i am not sure of the answer. i wait because i work all the time and have no time to get my hair cut. i wait because i am stubborn and will only let jen b cut my hair and she's in raleigh and hardly ever works. i wait because $50 is a lot of money. and i wait because i am just not sure.
and for the part deux of this post: the creative bent. i have spent far too long removed from my beloved craft box. years, YEARS ago i started making a black, white, and pink blanket. i have a pink and orange blanket that is pretty much the best blanket in life. i'm not trying to be conceited, but it's pretty awesome. i love it, e loves it, sunny (the cat) loves it. you get the idea. well, the black and pink one is meant to be the same, but it's just not done. i hereby solemnly swear on this blog, the little violet dress, on this 30th day of june in the year of our lord 2011 that i will finish that freaking blanket. i will put needle to fabric and sew the batting to the daggone thing! and then i will start a few other projects, beginning with this:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
but i didn't end up liking it as much on me as i thought i would. it was a lot more casual on than i thought it would be and while it was really pretty it just didn't work.
as i was shopping i saw this one and tried it on too and i loved it. i'll post pictures of me wearing it soon.
it's a really pretty raspberry color that will work for spring and fall, which i adore. it's a nice flowy rayon that's really comfortable and lightweight.
oooh! also! i got my haircut!
this is the picture i took in:
Sunday, April 3, 2011
what i'm wearing:
t-shirt: threads for thought
cardigan: banana republic
skirt: american apparel
- i like her hair/outfit/look!
- her hair/outfit/look is weird!
- are they or aren't they a couple?
- i want a piece of that!
the second is the real wildcard here. somewhat like the third, when it's weird but only weird (not weird-bad), i don't really care. i think people could be more polite and keep their eyes on their own paper, but people look at things that get their attention, and i know i wear strange things sometimes, so c'este la vie. when the stares are clearly, "her look is weird and that bothers me," i just don't really understand and it hurts my feelings. i do live in a pretty conservative city, so get this a lot. show some leg, cleavage (even if you're a member of the IBTC), back, or wear something fitted or odd and you'll get a few of these. i really don't see how my outfit affects anyone else, but apparently they feel it does. after an hour or so today, i just wanted to go home and not be looked at anymore.
when it comes down to it, though, i don't make my outfit choices with these opinions in mind at all. i consider how i feel in the outfit and, if i'm going to work, if it meets our dress code and will be conducive for what i have planned for the day. that's it. yesterday i wore mustard-colored tights and plaid shoes to work. one little girl told me my shoes were pretty and another petted my tights, so my eccentric fashion (if you can even call it that; i honestly think i'm mostly boring) is working for someone. i hope you enjoy it too.