Letting Go.

I won't be held down, by who I was…

T(hair)apy

My whole life, I’ve had beautiful long hair.

Big crazy and curly, or soft and bouncy blown out – everyone always had something to say about my hair. It’s what I would call, a “defining” feature. If I would meet new people, and perhaps they couldn’t remember my name – someone would most likely say something like – “oh the one with the hair” – Needless to say, my hair was a comfort blanket of confidence for my physical appearance.

As a hair stylist, It’s my job to see people in a way that is most flattering to them, and hope to inspire them to be open to the idea of presenting themselves that way. I had never done this for myself. Although I had often wanted to change my style or look, the fear of not having my signature locks always won the decision.

I first got inspired to cut all my hair off at a training in Cleveland, Oh. Looking back on pictures from the event, I started to realize that my hair maybe had taken over my identity. The pictures of me seemed to just be pictures of hair, and I started to wonder what it would be like to get rid of some of it. 

Could I pull that off?

Maybe I had outgrown my security blanket.

A few months later, I had an “aha!” moment during a consultation with a guest to wanted to cut all her hair off too. I found myself saying things like-

“When you have long beautiful hair, people tell you how beautiful your hair is. If we direct more attention to your face and build a shape that works better for your image as a whole, the compliments won’t just be about your hair.”

And really I guess I was talking to myself…

I started thinking of how many years my hair has been around. Considering I only cut about 1inch max off at a time, maybe every 8 weeks – the oldest hair on my head was probably close to 4 years old. Considering all of the life change I’d had in the last 4 years, that hair had seen a lot. The silent confidence boost of my crazy curls had always been there – no wonder it was a hard decision to part with it.

A weight was instantly (and literally) lifted off my shoulders.

I felt light, airy, and actually stylish. I’ve always thought of myself as a long hair person, and never would have believed I could transform my idea of myself in a matter of hours.

I found it extremely freeing to cut all my hair off at a point in my life where I’m starting fresh in so many other ways. Change means letting go, and being not only willing – but eager to see things in a new light. 

transformation

Kuddos to my amazing stylist and friend Ross for making this magic happen!

The 7 Year Itch

It’s normal to question decisions in your life, especially big ones. 

When you’ve been together for so long, and been through so much, sometimes you have to take a step back and really look at the time you’ve spent together.

I started to feel the “itch” as they say. Wondering if Joel and I are still right for each other, or if we had grown apart over the last seven years. After all – we are completely different people from our 18 and 19 year old selves – (and thank God for that!) But what does that look like? I mean, 7 years is a long time – we’re not only different people, but we’ve been MANY different people over the years. Gone through all kinds of personal phases, religions, and careers. Did we somehow manage to still love each other through all of this, or is it just easier to stay?

It’s a hard question to ask yourself, staying because it’s easy implies that your relationship is based on attachment. Attachment implies lack of choice, and lack of real connection. Although we’ve spent our entire adult lives together, we have managed to still maintain separate lives. I think this is essential. We aren’t joined at the hip, and we don’t dictate each others schedules.  If you give each other room to breathe and grow, you tend to choose to spend time together, instead of feeling obligated.

The time you spend together will change because your expectations of love are different as an 18 year old, or really for anyone as they start a new relationship. When everything is new, people have a tendency to only see the bright side. You tend to forgive more, resent less and put more effort into all aspects of your life together. But somewhere along the way, comfort sits in, and maybe you take each other for granted. Maybe you start to see the glass as half empty, and think about the greener grass elsewhere.

Greener grass takes work, and a half full glass requires perspective. 

For our 4th wedding anniversary Joel bought me a potted purple petunia for our porch. He said:

“I wanted to get you flowers, and had a nice arrangement picked out – but I thought it would be dumb to buy you something thats just going to die. For a little less money, I figured I’d get you something that would last as long as you take care of it”

 ^I believe this is why we are still married. ^

Yes we were very young when we got married. We are extremely different people. We butt heads, and argue and can drive each other crazy. We also laugh a lot, learn together, and have grown through some serious emotional garbage. We challenge each other, and compliment each other.

But most importantly,

We are resilient

and we still choose to love each other.

Cheers to another 7,

 

25.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since my last post. It’s interesting to me that the more in life I feel I’ve learned, the harder it is to put it down into words.

This month marked my 25th birthday, and let’s just say, it’s been an interesting month. 

 

I want to go back to April and talk about a life-changing experience I had the opportunity to be a part of. A great mentor of mine, Christine, recommended me for an education position with a styling and tool company. I perceived this opportunity to be nothing more than what it was presented to me as, an education position. The truth of the matter was that I was wrong. This was not an ordinary position. 

I had the privilege of being introduced to a team of people who challenged my expectations of not only myself, but the entire hair industry and what my role in it would be. I was presented an education that was not only relevant to the tools that this company designs, but relevant to my approach as an educator in general. Let’s just say the experience changed my perspective on hair, and my future as a professional stylist. (more on this later)

It became very clear to me – even though I was already aware of this – that the two most important things about my career were mastering the craft itself, and being active in the education process. It is with these two things, I not only thrive, but continue to exceed my own expectations. The clearer the picture of what I wanted for myself and my career started to become – the clearer it became that I wasn’t currently working towards that goal. In fact, the goals that I had been setting, and reaching, were a different kind of success than what I ultimately wanted.

My job had become just that, a job. In my opinion that’s the worst state of mind for a stylist to be in. The focus became numbers, and productivity, and very very little about technical skill or artistic growth. Each moment of my day was scheduled, and tracked, and “reflected” upon. There was no time to enjoy what I was doing because there was barely any time to eat.

I’m an artist, not a factory worker.

What I really wanted, was freedom. 

Well, Freedom sure isn’t free.

I was presented with an ultimatum, and decided to quit my job, and open my own Salon Loft. The following week/s were a nightmare, and I mean that to the fullest extent of the word. $Lawyer fees…. $Client fees….There has never been a time were I have felt more doubt, fear, and angst in the midst of excitement, joy and relief. Thankfully I was not alone in this endeavor. ❤ #youknowwhoyouare 

 

Here’s to new beginnings, entrepreneurial spirit, dreaming big, hard work – and breaking free.

Here’s to 25!

-M 

 

 

MOve.

When you’re a young dancer, you don’t know it yet, but the reason you love to dance is because you forget everything else.

I remember being a kid, and taking class for 3 hrs. In the first few minutes – you’re warming up and by the end of the first hr you feel amazing. I used to think this was just because your body is physically warm and moving and you just get more fluid as your muscles keep adjusting. Now that I’m older I think it has more to do with getting farther away from the world with each minute.

Sometimes it’s as easy as walking in to class, and you start to let your day fall away. Today – it took me almost the full hour to really get away from it all. I wasted time worrying about choreography because my creative blinders were still strapped to my face by everything else going on in my life right now. We spend so much time thinking about what we have to do, and where to go, and how much money to make … blah blah blah. If we pause for a second, we might actually enjoy something. To experience the freedom that you get from truly dancing in the moment is probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have the experience at all, even if my walls are up so high that I don’t get through them each time.

When I don’t dance, I’m agitated. I get stressed easier, I care less about the bigger picture in life. I don’t sleep as well, I don’t even do hair as well because I don’t hold my center. Our posture and our thoughts and our feelings are all connected.

Dancing (or really any free movement) is a way to reconnect.

 

dance, contemporary, blurry, movement, jump

Accountability. 24

I haven’t written in a while. 

A long while actually, and I can remember multiple times thinking “man I need to write about that” and of course a couple months later, here we are – with missed opportunities for reflection. I think it’s fitting actually, because I want to write about accountability. 

On May 10th I turned 

24. 

Big whoop. 24 is boring. 24 is not 21 or 25 – and both of those are exciting and sad. Real life adultism (yeah I think I made that word up) has set in. My brothers are graduated from High School, I’ve been married for over 5 years, I HAVE to go to work even when I don’t want to. I go to the grocery store with a plan, I clean on a schedule, I take care of pets, and have a hard time planning vacations and saving money. Sound familiar? Almost a quarter decade and it’s just now starting to sink in. 

This is life. 

I don’t know where I’ve been the last 6 years of my “adult” life but it’s like I’ve been coasting without any sense of what I was supposed to be doing. I think my attitude must have been something like “Hey, I’ll figure it out – nothing bad has happened so far, so I guess I’m doing okay” What a SILLY state of mind. 

So what’s different now? What’s this 24 year old “light switch” that I have discovered in my brain? It’s called being accountable. 

I think the main difference in the state of mind of my “pre 24 existence” would be following through with my ideas. Sounds really simple right? You have an idea of something you want to do or accomplish and there are certain things that you have to do to make that idea happen. In the past I probably would have put minimal effort into actually realizing my idea and now it has become very real to me that if I don’t put my full effort into these ideas – not only are they not going to happen, but whatever aspect happens organically will continually frustrate me because it will only be a portion of what I actually want for myself. 

Most of you are probably like … “yeah where you been….” and good for you incredibly self motivated people. But for the rest of us – realizing this is HUGE. Especially when you work in an artistic field. First of all…

Raw talent only gets you so far. 

There’s definitely a difference in people who are naturally gifted and people who have developed a skill through discipline – however the people who are the best at these skills are ones who have mastered both. 

I lack discipline.

This is no secret. However until now, I was failing to see that accountability factors into discipline a LOT. If there are no consequences for your actions – how will you change? It’s easy to say you want to be more disciplined, make a schedule and then say you’re going to stick to it – but what happens when you don’t? This brings me to my next point…

Choose the cast of your life carefully. 

If we are to be more disciplined and efficient, our time will be spred thin. Wasting time and energy on people who are not supportive in whatever your goal may be is not only exhausting, but its counterproductive. I used to try to catch up with people just for the heck of it, and now I’m realizing that maybe there is a reason that people have fallen away from my life in the first place. Im not saying dont re-connect with people who are worth it, just being able to tell the difference is a huge progress. And finally…

Let it GO!

It’s no accident that this is the title of this blog. I don’t know if it’s a Greek thing or what, but emotionally – I find it difficult to let stuff roll off my back without picking it back up again later. Recently my Dad did something interesting… he got re-married. He’s 50. This is not to be taken lightly. You see, I inherited this trait from both sides of my family, and somehow my Dad kicked his natural inclinations “ass” and decided he was going to move on and be happy again. I think that’s pretty cool, and it’s a testament to choice. We can choose how much of our past we let control our future. We can choose to be held back by our mistakes, or have them propel us forward faster than we thought possible. Either way its OUR choice.

No more playing the victims in our own lifetime original movie. 

M

Image

a little Alanis…

Do I stress you out?
My sweater is on backwards and inside out
And you say how appropriate.
I don’t want to dissect everything today,
I don’t mean to pick you apart you see
But I can’t help it .
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off
Slap me with a splintered ruler,
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn’t there already
If only I could hunt the hunter.

And all I really want is some patience,
A way to calm the angry voice.
And all I really want is deliverance,
Do I wear you out?
You must wonder why I’m so relentless and all strung out,
I’m consumed by the chill of solitary.
I’m like Estella,
I like to reel it in and then spit it out,
I’m frustrated by your apathy.

And I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this land,
If only I could meet the Maker.
And I am fascinated by the spiritual man,
I am humbled by his humble nature.

What I wouldn’t give to find a soulmate,
Someone else to catch this drift,
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred.

Enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute
Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses
Falling all around…all around

Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?








Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines
Or when you think you’re gonna die,
Or did you long for the next distraction?

And all I need now is intellectual intercourse,
A soul to dig the hole much deeper.
And I have no concept of time other than it is flying,
If only I could kill the killer.

All I really want is some peace man
a place to find a common ground
And all I really want is a wavelength
All I really want is some comfort
A way to get my hands untied
And all I really want is some justice…




I like to pretend this song doesn’t apply to me anymore because of how much I’ve grown since I first identified with it in high school, but it still resonates with me. Maybe it’s just a couple lines, but I think the big picture of this song is kind of evident in my life these days.

It’s crazy when you’re busy you just keep going and drown out the “rest” of your life – even though the “rest” is usually the important stuff that goes to the back burner. Family, Faith, friends, exercise, health and really anything else that requires work outside of “work” become a nuisance.

Filling our schedules with mostly work turns us bitter, and makes us hoard our free time in which we end up wasting because we are so concerned with keeping it free. It’s like a vicious cycle. I’m trying really hard to figure out a way to balance all of the important things in my life and adjusting how much time I spend doing things that are lower on the priority scale. It sounds easy, and it’s very easy to prioritize, it’s just not as easy for me to schedule it and stick to it.

What I really want?
Is some DISCIPLINE.
A way to get things done,..

Ok that was my “Alanis” moment…
moving on lol

Lent starts next week and I really want to do it. I’m apprehensive to even attempt because it’s only going to show me how lacking I am spiritually these days, and even though I know it, I’m currently burrying it away in my busy work schedule and poor health habbits. Unacceptable. Lent couldn’t come at a better time.

“You can’t chan…

“You can’t change what you can’t control”

You know how positive dog training works? I do, because we are currently training our puppy that way. The biggest difference in this method is that the dog makes the choice to do the right thing and gets rewarded for actually making the choice. You teach them decision making and good work ethic instead of just good actions and bad actions. 

Sometimes you have to learn to ignore someones bad behavior, because what you don’t realize is that you’re rewarding them with attention and energy and wasted breath. The difference is your dog learns this very quickly and it’s much harder for us human folk to grasp. 

If you can’t change what you can’t control – then figure out the best way to change what you actually CAN control. You can’t change someone else’s behavior but you sure can change your own. 

New Year, New ….

hmmm so 29 days after the New Year, I realized I hadn’t taken my usual reflective time so seriously this year. 

Turns out a LOT has happened in just the last few months – I think 2012 ended up being a launching pad year into what’s going to be an insane 2013. 

SO, what’s new?

 

New JOB(s)

Joel and I both made new advancements in our careers. 

Those of you who actually read this blog already know that I am back at Waldo’s On High salon. Premier just wasn’t working out – for many many reasons that I don’t care to really go into BUT lots of changes have happened in the Waldo’s world as well. – The salon has actually merged with Phia Salon, down the street. We are now considered “sister salons” and act an operate as one team working towards the same goals. It’s a much different environment from when I worked at Waldo’s previously. I feel like I finally have control over my business and future, and that attitude has not only transformed my way of thinking, but also helped our home life. I like to take a little bit of responsibility for Joel’s new job, because I was so hopped up on inspiration from one of our meetings one day – I cam home and told Joel to apply for jobs even if he didn’t think he was gonna get one! Guesssss who got one?

New Puppy!

Image

 

This is Luna – a girl I work with found her wandering the streets in Whitehall! Can you imagine! Who could throw that tiny cute face out on the street??? Anyhow, she’s our little girl now. Juno loves her and we love her, and she’s a giant handful but it’s nice to have a puppy in the house again. 

 

New Car(s)!

Joel got a brand new car, and I got a used car that is new to me and in much better shape than my old one. As much as I like to pretend that driving a rust-bucket doesn’t bother me, I surely can’t complain about having a nicer ride to work. 

 

So 2013 is set up to be a year focused on careers and saving $$ for a house. Some of the things we learned in 2012 about almost buying a house, and choosing to rent instead are really paying off. 

We are also going to focus on building more of a family life. We have this great space, and two puppies and a kitty, and I want to fill our house with friends and family in 2013. Focusing on dinners in and movie nights and lots of outdoor activities. 

 

Cheers!

A wasted vote?

I tend to not get really political, but this year for some reason I decided to jump right in to political America.

Before the heat of the election started, I wanted to see where I stood with the different parties. With an abundance of information online, and quizzes, and comparative charts – I was told time and and time again that I was a Libertarian. This may not be entirely accurate, and to be honest the more I read about the application of Libertarianism… the less I agree with it. But hey for the purpose of this discussion, I’m going with it.

Wikipedia defines Libertarianism here.

 So if there were a Presidential Candidate representing these ideals, and I fully agreed with these ideals- I would clearly vote for said person … ahem…. Gary Johnson – Right?

Not so fast.

Our political system is funny because everyone harps on you about how much voting matters – but at the end of the day the Electoral College decides who wins the Presidency. If there’s an Electoral tie, then the popular vote can break the tie, but if one person wins popular vote and the other wins electoral – the electoral takes the cake. That just plain sucks for people who would like to vote for someone other than a Republican or Democrat.

If I were to vote for Gary Johnson, my conscious might feel better, and maybe I did the “right” thing for my own personal beliefs but does that vote make a difference? I would say yes, and no. Of course it makes a difference to Gary Johnson and to support the movement of the Libertarian party as a whole. When they look at their numbers, hopefully there is a growing amount of people who are supporting new ideas and getting rid of 2 choice government. That being said… there is no way at this point in the election that Gary Johnson will win. I don’t care how idealistic you are, it’s just not going to happen.

The race is tightening down and I live in a battleground state. What does that mean? That means Ohio voters could break the Electoral College tie if it happens. Our vote counts a lot this year. Because of the way the systems are in place, if I were to vote for Gary Johnson when I knew that it was very possible Mitt Romney and Barack Obama could tie and have my state weigh in on the final decision – it would be like not voting at all, because really there are only two choices at this point in the game. Does that mean I would be voting for someone that perhaps wasn’t my first choice? Yeah. But sometimes you don’t get what you want people! Sometimes you have to realize that not enough people want what you want, and if you want an opinion in the masses you have to choose from whats available. It would be like going to an ice-cream store and wanting strawberry when they only serve chocolate and vanilla. You know strawberry exists and you think they should serve it … but they don’t. So guess what? chocolate, vanilla, or NO ice-cream at all.

The Libertarian Party, and other independent parties have to do a better job of getting their ideas out there in the public BEFORE its election season. They need much more time to gain the kind of momentum that the Republicans and Democrats already have by default.

That being said, who do I vote for then?

The lesser of two evils.

In my opinion this person is Mitt Romney. 

If you do not wish to read my reasons for choosing to vote for Romney this term, please feel free to stop reading now.

I am going to limit my reasoning to reasons that I refuse to vote for Obama because I am more compelled by things that I know I don’t stand for, than things that I think I want.

1. Baby Killer!

Sorry to be so frank, but this issue disgusts me. Partial Birth Abortion is murder.

There’s a difference between abortion in the instance of rape or incest or danger to the mother. Though I personally don’t agree with it I understand everyone currently has a right to chose. Partial birth abortion can never be an option.

2. Religious Persecution

Sorry Obama. As much as you want everyone to pop the anti-prego pill…. you can’t tell Catholics that they have to hand out free contraceptives to their employees in a Catholic Hospital. Last time I checked there were lots of hospitals in America. If employees care so much about free birth control,  they should go work somewhere else, it’s not like all hospitals are Catholic.

3. Unhealthy Taxes

If I hear one more thing about Obama-care I might puke. Who do you think is going to pay for this “free” healthcare people? It’s not free. It comes out of your check by the hundreds. You think it’s a good idea to require employers to pay for your insurance? Good luck finding a job, they will hire less of you if you cost more to hire. THINK. We shouldn’t be REQUIRED to buy/purchase/opt into anything regarding our health.

So there you have it. The top 3 Reasons I CANNOT vote for Obama.

As much as I would like to vote based on shear ideals – it does not help the situation that America will be in if this election ends up in a tie. At the end of the day my conscious feels much better choosing anyone besides Obama based on the issues that I previously listed.

These are just my opinions, and of course you’re welcomed to yours.

Happy Election Season People,

May the odds be ever in favor of the least evil candidate! 

😉

Location, location, location!

Ok, so I’m not exactly shy about talking about how much we wanted out of our (previous) apartment. We struggled with it for a long time – did the cheaper rent really justify our environment? I’m not talking about the WORST environment possible, but I honestly didn’t understand how bad we had it until we moved about 3 weeks ago.

Joel would make a huge deal about me taking the dog out to pee after dark at our old place, now we walk and run Juno almost every day. There was always a helicopter circling the surrounding areas and it wasn’t that uncommon to hear the occasional “bang bang” in the middle of the night, now it’s so quiet and calm in our area you can hear crickets. Our kitchen was so small we had a rolley dishwasher and barely enough space to stand let alone cook, now we have a brand new kitchen and have cooked dinner almost every night since we’ve been here. Oh and the best part…. no smelly Asian food!

Let’s just say, we made the right choice.

I can’t believe the effect that all of those “small” things make such a big difference in our every day life.  Just getting up in the morning and making breakfast / packing lunches has become stress free, and sets the tone for the whole day. Coming home to a clean, nice house and friendly neighborhood is the difference between going to bed relaxed or frustrated.

Location is everything! but home is where the ❤ is.