19 September 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

 ‘Hair Envy’ was something I experienced at a very young age. My older sister was born with beautiful blonde curls that brought her a lot of attention. Later, that grew into wild untameable waves that became her trademark. I too wanted to be untameable. But my hair was straight and boring.

Then my younger sister came along with wild chestnut hair. In exasperation she’d pull it into ponytail, and I’d gaze in envy at the determined curls that would escape from the elastic, and hang down the back of her neck. I wanted hair that would escape! It just seemed so alive. But when I put my brown hair into a ponytail, it did in fact, look exactly like the tail of a pony.
The Old Me (I'm in the middle)

Curly hair had personality. Unpredictable, sassy, bouncy personality - offering endless possibilities. I so longed for curly hair. During high school, I suppose, I had every chance to try it. Back then, everybody was getting perms, but there were two reasons why I didn’t. Mostly, I was chicken. I didn’t think I’d have the guts to walk down the hall with curly hair. People would stare. And I wouldn’t be able to use the washroom.

The Italian girls who smoked in the bathrooms scared me, and I was afraid to walk into a cloud of smoke from their DuMaurier extra-mild’s and have them say, ‘What did you do to your hair!?!’  I even had my imaginary answer prepared. I would say that I had naturally curly hair, but had just stopped straightening it. Then they would have rolled their eyes in disbelief because they all thought they were cooler than me. Which they were, in a slutty kind of way.

The New Me
But as of today, I think I may have their hair. Though not a total slut-head, I definitely have some curls. I’ve heard of chemo people who’ve had hair that grows back like a poodle, and I’m happy to say that my curls are looser (More Phyllis Diller than my Nanna ).

I haven’t determined if I like it or not, cus I’m still a little in shock. And I a still have to wear a scarf around my head because everything stands at attention, and my hair always looks like it’s just been yelled at.

Chemo curls
The Newest Me
What I wish is this. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time wishing for something that I didn’t have. What a waste of time.  I wish I’d been able to admire my sister’s curly hair without thinking that mine wasn’t good enough. Because it was. In fact, it was fantastic. I wish I’d recognised that it was thick and dark and straight and shiny.

Now I’ve got the curly hair that I longed for, and it’s not that thrilling. I’m not any closer to being wild or untameable or interesting. To think – I spent all that energy wanting my idea of what curly hair would be like. And I was so busy projecting my fantasy, that I lost sight of how adorable I looked with a swinging brown bob. Some might say I was boring (Sue), but others (me) would say I was a timeless classic.

I am not going to envy someone else’s hair. I’m not going to wish that it was sraight. In fact I’m not going to wish for anything at all. Because the down side of wishing, is that it doesn’t give you the chance to enjoy what you already have.