Change Is Good

12049463_1057710290928526_4212117911408893238_nThis post is about my hair.  No, really.  My hair.  Yesterday, I walked into my salon and told Maria, the best stylist ever (david ryan salon in Manhattan – just sayin’), that I wanted change.  So we did.

Now, my hair has changed pretty dramatically many times over the years, but for whatever reason, this one feels different.  First off, I’ve always thought I should be a redhead.  It works for my personality, but not necessarily my skin tone.  So we’ve eased into change over years…a lighter brown.  Reddish highlights.  Blonde highlights on a reddish brown.  And yesterday – bright.  Really bright.

My hair has been curly, straight, short, long, symmetrical and non-, and many different colors (including some purple once courtesy of Vidal Sassoon London in the 80s).

And I feel empowered.  The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and tomorrow, I’ll go to the office and see if that’s true there as well.  But in a very real way, it doesn’t matter.  Sure, it would have been disappointing had I posted my process photos (I made a whole album!) and gotten poor reactions.  Still, it’s my hair.  Mine.  For many years, I felt like it was one of the few things I could control.  We wore (truly bad) uniforms at school, and I was always fat.  But hey, much of the time I had great hair.

It’s almost a feminist moment.  Please, don’t tell me that caring about my looks is not something a feminist should do, because I’m a feminist and I care.  So what makes this moment a feminist one?  Because while I care how I look, for one of the first (if not the only) times in my life, it’s all about me and how it makes me feel, not what anyone might think when they see me.

I could go into a long analysis of how taking risks, even with hair, can help prepare you for risks in life, and that practicing change makes it easier, and blah, blah, blah.  But I think you already know that.

And wow, do I have great hair!

 

 

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What Makes A Great Class?

I really didn’t want to go to my Bikram Yoga class today.  I came up with every lame excuse possible, and when I was done, I hauled my fat ass out of bed and went to class.

imgresSee, I’m on sort-of restriction.  Due to injuries, I’m only supposed to practice every other day at most, and even then, I have to be careful.  So all my excuses came to naught, as today was one of my days.  I had to adult, like it or not.  And I did NOT like it.

Until the class started.  All of a sudden, it just felt right.  Perhaps my postures looked like crap, but my muscles felt loose and long, and I balanced better than, well, pretty much ever.  When the teacher said “smile” and I did and she noticed, I smiled even more.

It was a freaking great class.  But even during a great class, my mind does wander on occasion (yes, that was me forgetting floor bow and trying to move ahead to fixed firm), and I could not help but wonder why I was loving this class, today, on the day I didn’t want to go, during a week in which I’ve been sad and angry.

And I think that’s why it was a great class.  Once I was there, there was nothing else to do but practice my yoga.  Just staying in the room at first took so much discipline, that by the time the class started, I could not help but let go and let my practice happen.

I’m not sure this can translate to any other part of my life (and it was not a great day, though I like to think it was better than it would have been), but for ninety minutes today, I kind of had my own version of “let go and let God”.

So, let go and let yoga.  Let walking.  Let Pilates.  Let whatever.

But haul your ass out of bed and make it happen.

It just might be great.

Labor Day

imgresSo, it’s almost Labor Day – the last long weekend of summer (even though summer isn’t “officially” over).  I’m taking a moment here, self-indulgently, to think about what Labor Day means to me.  (Full disclosure:  I’ve spent the vast majority of my career employed by a labor union (the same one, in fact, for over 21 years), and I could not be happier about that.  I’m a lucky girl.)

But sometimes I get asked why I care about the labor movement.  After all, I cannot deny I’ve led a pretty privileged life, even if parts of it were really, really hard.  And while there are both union members and those who do not believe in the value of unions in my immediate family, I saw first-hand the value of the unions to those who were members.

I started college thinking I would be a professional theater artist of some kind – or an entertainment lawyer – but after college, and after being part of an organizing campaign that left me unemployed – I really wasn’t sure.  So, I took yet another regional theater job, and I got fired.  I headed back home with my tail between my legs, and freelanced at local theaters while I decided what to do next.  Grad school had always been in the back of my mind, and in fact, if I had not been fired on the deadline of my school of choice, it might have come a year sooner.   The freelancing got to me pretty quickly – HATED IT – so off I went to study with some real giants of the modern theater (and incidentally, get an MFA in Theatre Management).  During my three years at the school that shall not be named, I did an internship at the union that now employs me.  That internship was a revelation, and when I was staring at the real world after graduation, I called up and there happened to be a job open.  The rest is history – I got not only a job, but a career I love and that adds value to the work lives of others.  As I said, I’m a lucky girl.

If you’ve read this far, I’ll leave you with a favorite quote (yes, I know, it says “men” throughout – historical context is a bitch.  I read it as “people”):

“With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men.” — Clarence Darrow

And that’s what Labor Day means to me.  Enjoy!

 

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