Nothing reveals more about a woman than her hair and her shoes. Even if she hides her gray, the styles in her grammar school photos will reveal the decade she was born and probably tell a story about the journey that got her to where she is today. Her hair style speaks volumes about her life style ~ is she relaxed and easy going, high maintenance, a trendsetter, a trend follower?
I've strayed from long hair a few times and regretted it every time. I'm not a trend setter, a trend follower and I don't have it in me to be high maintenance. In elementary school, I wore two braids for most of my school pictures with a slight detour for that awful mullet of second grade. By junior high, I had matured to a french braid paired with some fringed moccasins that were about 20 years ahead of their time. Fast forward to college. My years at OSU were a bit conflicted. I was struggling for an identity and terrified of pretending to be anything that wasn't part of my nature. That mostly meant long-natural-barely-brushed-rarely-trimmed hair. It was a nice compliment the Birkenstocks w/ socks "fashion" statement (that had been out of style for about 20 years). However, I also enjoyed dancing with the local cowboys, so on Thursday nights, I left my "style" in the dorm and wore a high ponytail, a pair of ropers and some way-too-tight-Rockies to Tumbleweed's. It was like a costume party every weekend.
But all good costume parties come to an end, and in 1999, I joined the real world. I took a job in a manufacturing plant so the hair went into a bun ~ everyday. EASY. I loved it!
Then, I started working with fancy people. Que a new costume party. I adopted an actual hair style and bought high heels to match. Though my colored-highlighted-stacked-razor cut-flat ironed-hair looked nice when it was styled, I despised the morning routine and the constant upkeep. A haircut every 8 weeks & color every 3 months made me feel like I needed a second job.
Three years of being a stay-at-home-mom and being somewhat alienated from popular culture has helped me to be more okay with the way God created me ~ cow-licked hair and all. Growing it out has simplified both my routine and my upkeep schedule. I'm even learning to accept my "natural" highlights, finding inspiration from other ladies who are Going Gray and Looking Great. No worries though.. I haven't completely gone back to my Birkenstock days. I can still rock the scarf look to hide a bad hair day, but I have learned to appreciate the magic of a straightening iron for taming runaways (and most of my hair is runaways).
Life is a journey and along the way, things change. We adapt to our environment, but the challenge is to remain true to ourselves ~ to embrace what comes naturally even when it isn't the most popular trend. It's Plain & Simple as That.