I had a conversation with my hairdresser recently that I am convinced brought me closer to God (or maybe just self-acceptance}=).
It started over gin and tonics at an art opening at the hair salon. As we chatted on the fire escape, I said something I would never have said if I was sober. “You know Eric, I hate to say it, but I want Jennifer Anniston’s hair. Can you give me that?”
He rolled his eyes and said, “You can NEVER have Jennifer Anniston’s hair. It’s a texture thing. You have to work with what you have.”
To you, this might sound completely obvious, but to me, it was a downright revelation. I thought that I was only supposed to want my hair, but I could have Jennifer Anniston’s hair if I wanted it. Isn’t that what America is all about?
So I’m looking at my life these days with new eyes, trying to work with what I have, aware of how much time I spend wanting other peoples? lives. The gorgeous mom with the Camper shoes and the perfect sunglasses walking her baby in Cole Valley. The strawberry blond haired french girl at the boulangerie with the thin freckled legs.
It’s a texture thing. You can’t BE these people.
Sometimes I am haunted by the thought that our life is going be lived, dissolved into memory, whether we have a good time or not. It will pass, whether we love our hair, our bodies, or our lives. On some level, life is indifferent to how much we are enjoying ourselves.
I think that’s why I write and take photographs. Because in the end, all we’re left with is the stories. If you can tell a good story, or maybe, how you tell a story, literally gives you your life.
When I first met my friend Sasha, I showed her a photo album of mine and she was in awe. “You have such a glamorous life!,” she said. And when I looked at these photos, I realized that she was right. Not because it was “true” but because that’s the story I was telling.
What I really want to say is that I want to want MY life and I’m learning to let go of all the not-enoughness. I want to stop desiring anything more than what I have right now. I want to work with what I have. Apparently, it’s a texture thing.
Amen to that!
HEY! Allright girl, there you go!
Let’s try together 🙂
I’m guessing we’re about the same age (late 20s/early 30s). That’s what I love about being this age, figuring things like this out…finally.
This is one of the most honest things you’ve written. Thanks for letting me read it.
first of all Andrea, I bet you there are tons of women who walk by you all the time and wish they would have *YOUR* hair. That’s gotta be the second part of your revelation…… you are that mom with the camper shoes to a person who wants to be artsy and worldly….
When I was a young girl, I wanted pale freckly skin and sandy blonde hair. It took me a while before I realized that just wasn’t going to happen to a Filipina!
Your story also made me think of my dear friend Katy, whom I admired and envied all throughout high school. A few years after graduation, she wrote me a letter telling me that she felt the same admiration and envy toward me. I cried and cried when I got that letter.
I think we are always going to be Jennifer Aston to someone else. We are always going to be someone else’s hero. Especially, my darling, you.
That’s a funny thing to figure out – only because it is so logical, but we don’t want to see it. Only in retrospective do we see who we are, because … this is how things work: time. But it is more important to learn how to use this information. Instead of woefully looking back, we must take this insight along with us to the now, because it is what helps us build our future and look ahead strong and proud.
Do you think Jennifer figured this out already? You did, and that’s way cooler than having the hairdo someone already has . Cheer up, girl 🙂
it’s funny how we allow the people we look up to and admire to be human, but rarely give ourselves that much. That’s all we are – beautifully human.
I surround myself with inspiring, wonderful, beautiful friends who I think the world of, and it always comes as a great shock to find out that they see the same in me.
thanks for sharing your glamorous life with us. 🙂
Thank you for writing such an insightful, honest post. After coming home from an exhausting day at work, it was refreshing to read something so pure and true.
I think it really is a “texture thing” kind of like the weave of fabric…and each of us has our own different and special cloth that we are given. Thank you for reminding us that we already are enough, just as we are in this moment. Sometimes I want somebody else’s life too, but at least in my own life, I know who I am, and have learned to like my wonderful, imperfect self. You have so much richness and “texture” already….Who wants to be Jennifer Anniston anyway??….Well maybe if I could have Brad Pitt?….Thanks for being such an honest teller of your life stories, they are all of our stories too. You Rock!!!
What a great revelation! It’s just hard to remember that as the so-called ordinary moments take over and you get caught up in life.
I, personally, admire you and what it is you’re doing with your life. If you could only see it that way…
sometimes i am plagued by “not-enoughness”. my nose is too long or my thighs are too wide or my hair is too thin….
i have decided to try to embrace being “enough,” but have found it a challenge with all the emphasis we place on the exterior in our society.
to give myself the extra boost, i try to think of myself from the inside out. if my spirit or my heart were to shine, how bright would they be? bright ENOUGH, that’s for sure!
andrea, i just wrote a long post and then lost everyhting! how sad. in any case, the jist of it was that i have spent the better part of my teens and early twenties wanting to be other people, no matter who. i thought that anyone must have more going for them than i did. it came as a shock when at 25 i discovered that a woman i had been working with for months was awed and intimidated by what she interpreted as my confidence and strength. the most difficult and powerful step towards transformation is not only to recognize what you feel, but also to see just how many people share similar emotions, especially women! for me the things that have helped the most have been to learn how to listen to my emotions, accept them as they are, and be completely open with people around me, to not try to hide any part of me, no matter how i feel about it. i am also learning to not see myself (and my body) as made up of “parts” but rather as an integrated whole with many facets, complexities, and contradictions. my work as a biologist and oberver of life has also taught me a lot about how complexity and beauty extend far beyond ourselves to the point of there being little boundary between ourselves and everything around us. we spend so much time packaging life and ourselves, and forget that there is so much to explore and take in and redefine or undefine, so many moments to be lived fully!
thanks for sharing yourself and making me a part of your life…
I was tourning Independence Hall with a group. There was a young woman there I thought was gorgeous – blonde hair, perfect body, tasteful clothes. I thought, “I wish I looked like her.” When we were leaving, her mother made eye contact with me. “My daughter wants your hair,” she said.
Being happy with who we are is one of the most important and difficult things to accomplish. The fact that you recognize it means you’re on your way.
And if you figure out how to get there, please send me a road map.
Funny thing is, even Jennifer Aniston isn’t always happy with her hair… the straight hairstyle she wears today has been chemically restructured to look like that! If you look way back in her career she actually has naturally curly/wavy hair. So in fact, we can have want we want if we’re willing to pay for it!!
Funny…all this time I have been wanting your hair!
I thinks its a huge revelation in a country like america where the premise is always to want more,to always want more then you need.