Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Super Amazing New Hair!

You know the saying, "Fake it 'til you make it"? Well, I love it. I use it all the time when I don't feel happy, forcing myself to smile as I wander around the house, or I'll make it a point to Google silly kitten videos, or if neither of those work, I try to change something about my appearance to change my attitude. The problem is that I haven't been feeling that great about myself for quite some time. Although you can't see all the short patches of hair on my head (because I am a hair ninja that pins, and tucks like a maniac), they are there, and usually, at home, Dan and I look at the awkwardness all the time. It bothers me so much that I don't like to shower. I hate the feeling of putting my fingers through my hair, feeling the scar, and the knobs around my head where screws hold the metal plate under my skull. Since they basically sliced my skull from front to back, when I suds up my hair, if I rub both sides of my head at the same time the scar pinches, and it's horribly painful. Similarly, when I sleep and lay on my side, it pinches the scar, causing my head to feel like my head is a nesting doll being unscrewed. Back to the shower conundrum, don't worry, I still bathe, but feels like it's a chore, not a point of relaxation.

I often live with my hair in a bun because I don't know how to style my hair around the short patches, or I'll do a "half up" style which I don't love, it's pretty Snookie-ish, but at least my hair isn't in a knot. Anyway, it's a silly thing, but when you don't feel pretty, you're not nice to yourself. You don't feel worthy. When you don't feel great about yourself, you aren't the best partner. Dan has always loved me no matter my hair length, body size, mental capacity, and I am very grateful, but it's important for me to feel good about myself, to feel proud, and to love myself not just for what's on the inside, but to enjoy my shell too. I mean, some people argue that looks don't matter, and I agree that they shouldn't, but I do judge myself. I judge my looks, and I want to feel good about the face looking back in the mirror.

With all of these thoughts hunkered in my brain, I started reminiscing about the most fun era of my life, a time when I was carefree, I felt loved, I felt capable, independent, that the world was mine to explore, that life was truly endless. These past several months have had me so nervous to cut my hair, not sure what could be done to fix the patches, but instead of thinking back to happier times as memories, I decided to take matters into my own hands, to harness my resources and just wing it. So, yesterday, I headed into the city to see my buddy Jesse (he's cut my hair since I was 14ish), and brought with me a photo of my favorite hair from my favorite era for my friend McKenzie who does my color. We conferred together and decided we couldn't do the hair style, but we could absolutely do the color. Success! I haven't wanted to spend the money on getting my hair cut (it has been well over a year - other than Dr L's shaving for the October surgery), but I'm over that. It's just silly. There are things you can cut back on, other areas to save, but getting your hair done doesn't have to be one of them. That's my new stance anyway.

So, now I have fun new color and cut! And it makes me feel happy, and smiley, and sassy, and normal, and just like string theory, it connects me back to my favorite time of 2008-2009, it's almost as if I've been reading a book about my tumor life, not living it.

It's really odd that hair makes such an impact, and I don't know why I keep forgetting that fact. And also, I don't think I'm going to continue to feel guilty about spending money on getting my hair cut. That's just silly business. I wonder if I was just punishing myself, in a way, for having the tumor. I know that I told myself many times that I didn't deserve to get my hair done, that it was ugly, and gross, and not worth the money or the effort. Then, I would put my hair up in a bun and delve into stuff that actually matters, like research, communicating with friends and family, ordering pills, scheduling appointments and travel, etc. Why do we do that? Be mean to ourselves? Nothing good comes from that mean voice in your head. I shut her up the only way I know how, by doing the opposite of what she says. :)

This first photo is from 2008, the year I met myself. It was the year I blossomed. And it was the year I ran into Danny, when he swept me off my feet (literally, there's an actual story behind that). In fact, Dan took this picture...

 Quite a far cry from last October...

And, of course, the new and improved Jess...

I forgot to take a picture of the actual 'do', but it's awesome. It's shorter on the top, and tapered in areas. It's very Joan Jett, except, clearly my hair is curly, and now honey colored. It's very rocker chick meets island girl. I'm pretty excited about it! It's breathing new life into me. Change is good. Unless it's describing tumor growth. (Sorry, can't help it, macabre is my middle name.)


  1. Fantastic Jess - looking good girl! I empathise with you about washing your hair - I feel physically sick when I touch my head as the scars and burr holes are just yuck! I went back and got my hair cut even shorter yesterday and coloured a very bright blonde - anything to distract me from the fact I know longer have lovely longish curly hair!

    It sounds vain to worry about your hair and looks when you have a tumour but it's not - its part of who you are and if you don't feel good then you won't look good.

    I'm glad you're feeling more upbeat - take it easy.

    Big hugs

  2. You look fabulous and you look like you FEEL fabulous which is even better!
    Love it!

  3. PRETTTTTTTY PREEEETTTTY LOVES it :) xoxoxooxoxoxox

  4. You are so beautiful...inside & out!!! Love you L.

  5. Good for you Jess!!! Every girls cares about her hair to some sort of degree, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
    "...never feel bad for wanting to feel good". (there's a little Joan Jett for you) ;)

  6. I love the highlights!! And I agree that good hair does make such a difference on how we feel about ourselves. It seems so silly though when you really think about it, it's HAIR for cryin' out loud!! I wish you could see yourself how Danny sees you. I know looks are important to us, I'm the same way, but if I could wish one thing for all of my dear girlfriends and our daughters, I would wish that we could all see ourselves the way that our husbands/fathers see us. :)

  7. Hi Jess, I'm a fan from Friday Harbor. Came across this guy's blog from a friend on Facebook. Looks like a fighter, like you.
    Best, Tori Zehner

    1. Tori, thank you so much for sharing that story/website, it's amazing. HE is amazing. It's exactly the inspiration I needed right now.

  8. Hey Jess, I now have someone else to add to my prayers, so far, they are being answered, so hang in there, god is good. I'm sure you will are beautiful and courageous and now in my prayers. I came upon your sight, from a comment left on my grandson's blog. I also hold prayer for another small boy and the good news, is he is cancer free, a true super hero. How can we not believe and keep faith. You rock, stay strong, you are amazing.


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