I'm a Pixie

This is what happens when I'm making a Big Decision or contemplating a Major Change.

A seed of an idea presents itself. "No, no, I couldn't do that."

"Hmm. Well, maybe I could do that. But not now. Later. Much, much later."

"Except...it would be kind of awesome." I start visualizing the potential change and imagining all kinds of wonderful scenarios. (Being a novelist and book nerd can get me into trouble.)

"OK, no, definitely not doing that. I don't have the guts!" I start working through all the reasons why it won't work.

"Not true. I do have guts. And I kind of want to do it but..."

To my inner circle: "So I've been thinking about maybe kind of..." This generally elicits much enthusiasm and affirmation because I've already run it through every angle.

Ponder, ponder, ponder. Think, think, think.

At last, the decision clicks into place. "Holy buckets! I'm going to do it!" Then it's full steam ahead, no turning back.

This process can take months, if not years. Y'all don't even want to know the things I'm contemplating right now. Let's just say change is afoot.

In the last several months, a few different friends told me I'd look great with a pixie cut. Given how attached I am to my long hair, I'd laugh nervously and mutter about how I've tried the short hair thing and it's not for me.

It's easy to let hair define me. To say I feel more myself with long hair. I've wondered though, whether my long hair was another way of hiding.

Hair Before
This past month I started thinking losing a few inches of hair, adding some layers, and going for a sassier vibe. I was due for a haircut this month but wasn't ready for any major changes.

Maybe I'd work my way up to the pixie cut eventually.

Then my inner circle brought up Beyonce's short haircut on Thursday and I threw out the idea of lopping off my own long locks. Could I pull it off? They pounced and ran with it, telling me I'd look amazing and discussing possible styles. While a few counseled me to be really, really sure I wanted to do it, others began chanting "PIXIE CUT!"

Moment of reckoning: it was time for me to boldly and confidently become a pixie.

Layered-Pixie-HaircutPhoto source

I looked at pictures of pixie cuts for inspiration. Ginnifer Goodwin's look has long been a favorite.

I messaged my stylist Michelle Loomis and told her my scheme. She was instantly on board. We went back and forth on whether I would go for a gateway haircut to ease my way into a pixie. I wanted to go all the way but I had no idea what I would decide until I sat in her chair.

Let me remind you: while I'd loosely contemplated a pixie cut for months, this all went down Thursday. Saturday morning I met up with a friend at the farmers market and then made my way over to Synergy where Michelle awaited.

As we talked about haircut options, resolve and clarity emerged. Whether motivated by bravery or hair boredom, I was going for it.

While I've regularly grown my hair out only to chop it off (as recently as spring 2010), I'd never tried a pixie cut before. I didn't want another short bob. I didn't want a gateway haircut, especially when cutting it all off meant a hair donation to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

It was time for a change. Time to let go of the old and welcome the new.

Michelle sectioned off my hair into rubber bands so it would be donation ready. Then she cut them off. I couldn't stop laughing. There was no turning back, nor did I want to.

This is the new me. I'm marking a new season.

  2013-08-10 12.46.33Ta da!

  Hair AfterSuddenly feeling the need for a neck tattoo


Today, with my pixie cut in place, I have no regrets. I feel amazing and free and sassy as all get out.

I can't believe I did it.


Watch out, world. It's about to get interesting.

My Someday Something Blue (Four Years)

I'm perched on the edge of your bed, fingers traipsing through your jewelry box, admiring this piece and that. It is strange looking through your necklaces and rosaries while you lay in the living room.

I find a St. Francis medal and laugh. We had been in the kitchen as you washed dishes and I dried. You told me you were praying to St. Francis on behalf of my marital status. The patron saint of lost causes. I might have been offended but you reassured me that this was who you prayed to while you were waiting for Grandpa to propose. Since you've been married for almost 57 years, I'd say it turned out all right.

Even though I don't believe in praying to saints, I tuck the medal away. One more reminder of you and that day. It seems a lifetime ago, instead of a few months. I can't wrap my mind around these changes or think about all that you will miss out on.

How is it possible that you'll never witness my walk down the aisle or cradle the babe I hope to someday birth?  No matter that I'm not guaranteed either will happen. I just thought you would be there, the way you always have been.

It's almost two months since Aunt Teresa died. We are only now getting around to going through her clothes, photo albums, life. Making the piles doesn't ease the loss but we still open drawers and file items away. We say we are making things easier for Grandpa, for after. But maybe we're making it easier for us too. It seemed a natural progression to move on to other rooms.

Still, I knew my place. I could go through Teresa's belongings but not yours. Not until Mom summoned did I peer into your room and collection of baubles.

I don't remember noticing your jewelry before, though these bits and pieces are somehow familiar. How to pick out that which you hadn't yourself bequeathed to me...what was here that would remind me of you?

This is a rare moment in which I'm glad to be the only girl living in-state. Always outnumbered by the boys, today I have no competition and there is no rush.  Mom and the aunts have had first choice and now it's my turn before Clara and Emily arrive by plane.

And then I see it, lopsided from its weight, a large spot of unexpected turquoise. It is not your style but it is perfectly mine. No one remembers seeing you wear it.  But it's here, in your jewelry box.

The design is faded, indicating it was well-worn by someone. All I want to do is to wake you up and ask you about this ring. Did someone give it to you? Did you buy it while out in Arizona visiting your twin? Did you ever wear it?

You might wake up but your mind would be too hazy to remember.  The season for asking and talking and laughing with you is over.

I know with certainty that this is my ring now and I hope that no one else wants it, sighing with relief when it's mine to claim. It fits on my ring finger, which is strangely apt, as if you and St. Francis were conspiring.

It's not a fair trade, you for this ring, but the cancer didn't ask for our opinion.  I wear it for the rest of the weekend, the week, and then your funeral.

I don't know why this not-you turquoise ring speaks to me so. On days that I'm missing you, I put it on and feel a little more OK, a little sassier, a little more me.

And that's what I've needed this past week. You've been gone four years now, Grandma. I wear your unexpected ring and remember all of our talks, how you led by example and taught me so much. How faith in God was your greatest priority and then your family and friends. You deeply loved and were loved deeply in return.

If your then prayers to the patron saint of lost causes someday pay off, this ring will serve as my something blue. I know you won't be looking down on me that day; that's not how heaven operates. But I'll look at this ring and remember and hold you close in my heart just the same.