I went out with my hair up yesterday.
Most of you reading this are probably thinking, "So what?" And I know, for most people, this is not a momentous occasion. For me, it's huge.
I have rarely put my hair up, or even put a barrette in it. I have always been incredibly self-conscious with the way I look. If I couldn't get my hair absolutely perfect, I didn't want to do anything with it. I didn't want to make it look like I spent time on it for it to end up looking like crap. I figured it would draw more attention to it if I had something in it; at least if it was just hanging down, it would just look like I didn't care. Even as I write it I can't get my thoughts to come across clearly - I know it's a totally messed up way to think. But this is why I rarely wear makeup or do anything with my hair. I know it's the perfectionist in me: "If I can't make it look perfect, I'm just not going to do anything at all." But this is the way I've lived my life.
It used to be worse.
In high school, I had a job working at a summer camp as the music and drama counselor. I had free time that I could use the pool if I wanted. Please. I couldn't even bring myself to wear shorts. I was so painfully aware of the fact that even with freshly shaven legs, you could still see the hair follicles (the curse of dark hair) on my leg. And don't even get me started about my bikini line. I STILL can't wear a "normal" bathing suit. But I used to wear jeans every day. And it was HOT!! I just couldn't bear allowing others to see my legs, so I opted instead to be beyond uncomfortable all summer long. And what a long summer it was.
So yesterday, sweating as I ran around the house getting the kids ready for school, I pulled out a clip, grabbed my hair into a ponytail, twisted it around and secured it to my head. Every half hour or so, my bangs would fall out enough to make me do the whole thing over again. Not once did I feel compelled to check it out in the mirror. It was up, it was off my neck, it was fine. I even went out to run a few errands like that and worked in the backyard.
It made me think back to how I used to be, so hyper-aware of what everyone else might think that I could barely function. I got pretty good at putting up a front with people that I knew, afterall, I am an actress! But rarely was I able to relax and be comfortable, to be myself. I'm happy with my life now, but sometimes I get to thinking about what my life could have been like if I was able to go back to the girl I was then and tell her what I know now. I'd tell her that most people don't even notice the things that I'm so self-conscious of, that even if they did - who cares?!! I would tell her to relax and stop trying so hard to fit in, that it's more important to just be happy. I almost wish I could relive some of those times again, but as I am now. It would be such a different experience, I think.
How about you? Would you relive any of it, if you could? Or would you go back and give your younger self a "talking to" if you could? What would you say?