If you listen to my podcast, Style & Grace, you may be familiar with the story I am about to share. I am going to share it because from the outside it seems like a very ordinary and not-big-deal moment, but to me it was a defining moment. And to be fair and clear, I don't think it was meant to be...Here we go.
When I was in high school, I was a cheerleader. I was pretty mediocre. I could do gymnastics so that's what helped me and I was pretty easy to get along with, I think. Anywho, I didn't take it super seriously. I took it the right amount of serious, I worked hard at practice and had fun at the games. At some point in my senior year during a game my coach pulled me aside and wanted to have a little talk. She began to tell me how my hair looked crazy and unkept, both things I was aware of but, trying to move past like any good teenage would. Painfully aware of my imperfections, but still required to show up in the world. And my coach then pointed to another girl on the team who happened to be named Courtney as well, (because there are always lots of Courtneys- I have embraced this fact :) And she began talking about how high and tight her hair was and how her bangs were on point. And if she thought maybe I could try to do something like that with my mop. After our little chat I went back to cheering and felt a little weird, but brushed it off, smiled, and cheered my little heart out. Go big blue!
After some time, like almost 20 years (crazy!), I have done some reflecting on this moment. And if I were to go back to that conversation, I would speak up rather than stand there like a bump on a log, in stunned silence. I would say that YES, my hair is crazy and I'm doing my best...thanks so much for your observation, but it's a really good depiction of me...what you see is what you get..I'm OK with my imperfections. I have made peace with them and if anything, they have become my style. And now I live in the south where the humidity is a REAL THING. Coach, you should see my hair now- it's bee-yond. And for the most part, I'm cool with it. Like, I try, but it's not something I am going to stress about. Just as the other Courtney's perfect hair was a great picture of her, my frizz and flyaways are accurate of me.
And now I have daughters, and just today I was noticing their rather unmanaged, clean but, not perfectly styled hair. And I SMILED as they ran to the car at pickup. That's not to say we don't brush it or go in phases where we really try, but it gets tiring and we all decide we have better uses for our time... I'm glad they are at a stage in life where they don't care, where they have more important things to do- like running around at recess and doing gymnastics. Living their one and only lives to the fullest. I wear their messy hair with so much pride I could burst. High fives, girls.
Again, I know this one comment wasn't meant to be mean-spirited or such a big deal, but I am thankful for the clarity and challenge it has provided to me. I am also thankful for a coach who was truly doing what she thought was best to help me. We never know when a seemingly innocent mundane moment will become something more. As a parent, I am painfully aware of this truth. So I have nothing but love for her. I also have an appreciation and confidence that was born in that moment. I hope my girls can stand on my shoulders and let that be their ceiling, because it's not really about the hair is it? It's bigger than that. I'm OK and even good with who I am and how God made me. And more than just about anything, I want my kids to experience that feeling and truth as well, loving themselves, completely with full knowledge that they are not perfect, but they are worthy. They are valuable and that they are beautiful. So girls, rock that messy hair with all the sass and confidence you can muster, you come by it honestly.