Growing Pains — “Show Us Your Lucky”

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #1: Incorporate the phrase “stop looking at me like that” into your post.

I sat in the “waiting room” chair for no longer than 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.  “Why did we always have to come here on a Wednesday during the school week?” I thought to myself as I choked down clouds of hairspray permeating the basement salon.  I looked at my mom in the chair chatting happily with our veteran shearer as I clumsily chopped down on a fat juicy piece of dubble bubblegum. She made it look so easy.

I would be up soon, I quickly realized as a nervous pit formed in my stomach.

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The greasy pages of the magazine turned hesitantly in my 16-year-old fingertips.  The salon was the first place I remember being exposed to magazines.  I always looked longingly at the pages full of images. Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Christina Aguilera.  The embodiment of female perfection stared into my fragile soul. How was I supposed to remember their around-the-clock team of hair stylists, make-up artists and assistants when they seemed so plainly accessible in those glossy pages?

Yet, wasn’t this my lucky moment?  The one out of four days a year when my mom and I made the 45-minute commute to chop our locks and pretend that we were some of these women.  Shouldn’t we each have a chance to look like a model in a magazine?

So, I did what any 16-year-old would do and I blindly showed our beloved chopper what I wanted to look like more than anything else.  She agreed.  Who could blame her?  No 40-year old hairdresser is going to tell a teenager she doesn’t have a round enough face to pull off Cameron Diaz’s new bob.

An hour later, I cried.  Cried!  My hair was too short; everyone at school would think I was hideous, I thought. I dreaded the “stop looking at me like that” feeling.  Tears laughed mockingly in my eyes.  I remember her saying that she could fix it; bless her heart. You can always cut more hair; the other way around, though, that’s a duty left to time.

Looking back now, I have to laugh.  I’m sure no one at school even noticed my “Cameron Diaz bob” and if they did – who are they to remember anything now.  Secondly, isn’t this what magazines are for?  To experiment.  To explore our style.  To teach us that when we get the crazed new haircut, we might realize our oval face works better with a long-layered style?

I think so.

So, this month, don’t be scared of some potential tears.  If you’re feeling adventurous, if you’re feeling an ode to your 16-year-old self or if you just want to figure out what it means to be a little more YOU… check out Lucky Magazine, will ya?

Specifically:

  • The Great Jeans Try-On (pg. 68)
  • Hot Pink Lips (pg. 123)
  • Inspiration: Black Calla Lillies (pg. 128)
  • 9 Secrets of Top Beauty Bloggers (pg. 138)

Because we should each take the opportunities to look like that model in a magazine.  All too-short-bobs included.

*This was for an unpaid writing opportunity for Lucky Magazine.  All expressed opinions are entirely my own.

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Day 22: One Way a Text Message Leads You To Balance

She texted me about my writing and as I sat there typing reply after reply back to her, I suddenly and sorrowfully realized the nature of the words that filled my phone’s screen.  “Thank you.  I appreciate it.  I should fix that. Me. Me. Me.”  What about her?  What about her circumstances, her dreams, her deadlines?  I finally sent the questions after there was a noticeable end in our conversation.  And, although I’m glad I at least sent something, I know at the same time that it was neither soon enough nor engaging enough to truly consider my outreach authentic.

For some reason, my mind drifted to Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton; their new song came on the radio earlier in the day.  In all things pop culture, I’m normally several breakups behind.  For Christina, I’m still stuck on Jordan Bratman.  And so I thought about Christina and what it must have been like to meet Blake – to form a duo so out of the ordinary of musical harmonies – after a somewhat recent emergence from a break-up.

cairns

Christina and I live completely different lives, but something tells me that our hearts break similarly.  I remember what it’s like to emerge from heartache - the seemingly endless black hole of self-pity and me, me, me – and what it was like to come across someone, like Blake, so out of the ordinary of our normal social circles, yet evermore genuine and humble.  A silent sign to our damaged selves that there is still good in the world.

We are taught that only we, as individuals,  can stand up for ourselves.  Yet, also taught to be compassionate and selfless towards others.  I think about these things when I struggle to find the balance between living for myself and also beyond myself.  How do I stay selfish in myself, my goals and protecting my heart, but also selfless enough to engage thoroughly with others?

It’s been only hours since the texting conversation with her, but I know that I must carry on.  I must pursue my dreams and also follow along with hers.  Not all of our conversations will be perfect, but if their nearly perfect enough, I’ll feel the good and authenticity in all of its glimmer and Christina & Blake star-status.  And, for right now, that’s enough to balance me.

**I’m participating in a 31 Days series with numerous other writers.  To read my entire series, please view this page.

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