Thursday, July 24

Change is Hard or Healthy or Whatever.


The other day I went to the park in my old neighbourhood to swing on the swing set. By "old" I'm not referring to the neighbourhood I grew up in, nor the neighbourhood I spent my teen years running around the streets in. By old, I mean most recently left behind. Some days you just need a swing set. Some days are hard and some days you feel lost and you don't know why. Sometimes you just need to get your feet off the ground and let the rhythm of swinging calm you down, but sometimes you don't know where the closest swing set is. Change will do that to a person.

I don't like change. I don't like that I spent the day alone by choice. I don't like how the fear of people was strong enough to prevent me from trying.

People never used to scare me like that. People used to excite me and energize me. Show me sides of their complex, beautiful personalities that would reveal to me more of how I wanted to live my life, or more of how I didn't want to, but they never used to scare me. Its different and its new and I don't like it.

This year has been all about change. I moved into a new house and though its nicer, and cleaner, and quieter, it also takes me an extra 10 minutes to get everywhere and I don't know where the nearby park is, and the daylight comes in at all different angles and its weird. This year I also graduated from university, and I'm not going to camp for the first time in a long time and apparently now I am afraid of people. Change freaks me out. I like things to be what I expect and for people to be who they say they are and for them not to reserve the right to change their minds about anything. But its a double standard I hold because I refuse not to reserve the right to change my mind about everything and everyone all of the time. When things change around me, I don't know what to expect and therefore how to react or feel. And when I don't know what to feel, I get lost. I feel lost and unsure and different. I need to be able to embrace change so that I can change. I need to learn not to avoid the things that scare me. Like love or one day having a family to fuck up, or being an adult, or accepting short hair. Change is healthy, but that doesn't make me appreciate it any more. It doesn't make me miss knowing where the swing set within walking distance is. It doesn't make me less scared of it.

Monday, July 14

An Open Letter to Hairdressers: It's All About Trust

Dear hairdressers,

I have a confession to make, I haven't had a professional hair cut in over 2 years.

In 2012 my relationship with hairdressers came to an end due to a terrible breach of trust. My explanations were ignored, my examples not considered, my authority over my own head of hair, denied.

I understand that hairdressing is an art, and that as a professional there is a lot about hair that I could learn from you. So please, share. I have been obsessed with hair for as long as I can remember. When I was five I used to put these red tights on my head with an elastic around the legs and wear them for hours pretending that my hair was long. I currently invest a lot of time and money into learning about how to care for my hair, how to cut my hair and most importantly how to get my hair to grow faster, or to grow at all. So I am all ears if you want to explain to me why a certain cut would look better, or why I should stop using certain products, or why you think setting my curls free is a good idea (hint: its not). But please do so with your words before the cut, not with your actions during the cut. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have a certain decision made by a hairdresser, against my previous wishes, defended to me while I stare in the mirror debating whether to scream or cry or both.

please stop breaking my trust.

I believed in you. I thought, you know what, this person has great hair. This person looks like they know what they are doing. This person is listening to my requests very attentively, finally someone who will give me the cut I want. But then its all, "surprise bangs"

I wish that I could trust that as my hairdresser you would have my best interest in mind. You are so good at acting like you care. You ask me what I want, and how I want it. You ask for inspiration you want me to show you pictures. But the thing about bringing in photographs and detailed instructions about what type of hair cut I want is, it's useless. In my experience, a hairdresser will politely listen to my "not to short, not too choppy" but full on know that once they get in there, they are going to do as they see fit, even if what they see is an opportunity to try out this new thing they have been thinking about, on my head, without permission. You may feel as though you need to be on the cutting edge of hair technology and that you need to be taking more risks and trying new things, but I am the one that has to wake up everyday to what you did.

I do take responsibility for the times when it was my fault. Like the time I decided to drastically change my hair colour and how I decided to save dollars by going to the sketchy hair dressing school in my neighbourhood. Ya, that one's on me, okay? I know that I am to blame for all of the hair that fell out. I know that I make bad choices. I also take responsibility for the times when I've felt impulsive and became crazy, less responsible Emily and told the hairdresser to chop all the inches off because why not, I was bored and needed a change.

But most of the time, it's not my fault. I have been very clear in the past about what I wanted. I have always been particular. I have always done my own hair, unafraid to offend my aunt who just spent the better part of the morning braiding my "I'm 7 and my hair is crazy tangled" locks. I will always rip it out because I always know what I want and I have always been skeptical of others attempts at inserting their own agenda.

In 2012, my hairdresser broke my trust and it resulted in the shortest haircut I have had since like grade 2. To say that I went into shock would be an understatement. From that moment on, I vowed to never let anyone cut my hair again. Then I cried. An embarrassing amount.

I have since bought a pair of hair cutting scissors and have been making due on my own. But I would love to be able to make-up with hairdressers. I would love to be able to go to them with my questions and crawl to them when I know what I've done (heat heat and more heat). I would love to go and chat about my day and not feel like they were out to get me, analyzing my instructions, searching for the loophole. But I cannot. Trust is a tough thing to build. And I'm kind of a grudge holder. Myyyy bad.