December 29, 2010

my life: becoming brunette

my brown hair

I have been a natural blonde my whole life, until a week ago. As I've gotten older, my hair has gotten darker and darker blonde, and highly dependent on the sun to lighten up a bunch in the summer. This was no problem since I did sports and worked outside for the past several years. However, two years ago I began to chop my hair off: a couple inches at one point, a few more inches a few months later, and even more inches several months later. It got to the point where all my really blonde, sun-induced natural highlights had been chopped off and I was left with dark blonde hair, just light enough in places to be considered blonde but dark enough elsewhere to be mistaken for light brown.

I have been dissatisfied with this dark blonde state of my hair. I was so used to having clearly blonde hair, that I felt weird with this in-between state. I started debating dying my hair brown. Not really dark brown, but a light brown. I couldn't bring myself to do it, though. I'm a blonde! I've always been blonde! I need to take pride in and embrace my blonde-ness! It's part of who I am!

I chickened out. It will get blonde again in the summer, anyway, I thought. But it didn't. And I still felt stuck in a rut. That's how I found myself in front of the hair dye aisle in Rite-Aid a week ago, holding a blonde highlighting kit in one hand and a light brown hair dye box in the other. I bought both and went home. I sat on the couch, still holding them, debating. I talked it over with my mom. I told her how I was thinking about dying it brown for a year, and how this was just a light brown, maybe a shade or two darker than the darkest tones in my hair. My mom said, "If you been thinking about it for a year and you bought the dye, just do it!" I was still scared, so she said, "You have to take risks in life."

So I did it. I took the risk that's not that big of a risk anyway. I dyed my dark blonde hair light brown. It's a subtle difference, nothing drastic, but noticeable to those I see on a frequent basis - and most importantly, to me. I feel more put-together. I feel neater. I feel more confident. I don't feel like I'm hovering in an in-between state.

About two years ago, my sophomore year of college, I went through a lot of different, difficult situations in a short time span. It was unlike anything I had been through before. I recently realized I've spent the past couple years attempting to recover from everything that happened. I feel like I lost key parts of who I am and who I was becoming, and I'm still working hard to regain them, if it's even possible. This past spring and summer I got really complacent about my life, so to speak, and this past fall I think I finally started to regain the motivation and optimism for life I used to have. That I finally started to prioritize, organize, take action, and move out of the in-between state I was in.

My hair color doesn't define me. My anxiety doesn't define me. My grades don't define me. Over the past few years, I've learned so much about what really defines a person, about what matters in life, about what I want from life and what I have to give. I'm not the same person I was when I started college, but I am confident, optimistic, and stable-feeling again. I was blonde. I was in-between. And now I'm brunette.


Kristin Dudish said...

Wonderful realizations... you look beautiful (and happy)!

Thanks for the movie ratings below - I've been wanting to see "Away We Go"

Rachel said...

who knew how much you would realize just from dying your hair?! :P
it looks great, by the way! this post was really well-written, and i love that you're coming to these realizations and starting to return back to your confident, optimistic self :)

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