Change is Hard

Going gray was totally not enough to change my life (surprise, surprise). After 4 interviews, no new job, and general unhappiness with my situation, I knew it was time for a more drastic change. Still gray, but now checking another of the “things I want to do in this life” box. As of July 1, I have reentered the life of a student, and I will get my degree this time. I’m getting a BS in Health Informatics (and I know that plenty of people have no idea what that is; it’s an IT degree with a healthcare focus) via Western Governors University. I am very excited about this, and did enough research to know I made the right choice for my school. The school’s tagline says it all: Online. Accelerated. Affordable. Accredited.  My program comes with several IT certifications, and 6 weeks into my first 6-month term, I have completed 2 of the 4 classes to meet the minimum for the term. At this rate, I can graduate in 2-1/2 years and that is starting with transfer credits for a grand total of 2 classes; I am essentially doing the entire program start to finish, and I am kicking ass.

On the other hand, I’m still not happy in my current job, and I’m looking for a new one, but I’m looking at other transcription jobs for the time being. We’ll see how that goes. I know that in the long run, the degree will help me get out of the house, and maybe I can get out of the house before I actually graduate, but my current situation is untenable in the long run, so clearly I have to do something.

And I’ve achieved nothing in terms of weight loss. That’s the thing I’m probably most unhappy about. Oddly enough, if I actually try and not just pay lip service to the notion, it’s the one thing I can do something about the most quickly. I still hate tracking food, which makes me bitter and resentful, but I did get a FitBit (and I was using a smart phone pedometer app for a bit before that, but it wasn’t accurate enough), and I’m so hyper-competitive that it’s making me move more. I even have the Wii controllers recharging now (which hasn’t been done for months) so that I can make use of that and not have it be a $200 dust collector anymore.

Finally, I will be blogging with my friend, Lindsay (she’s made of awesome) about our Knit Along which is taking place while she is in Japan and I am here. We’re at Yarn Over An Ocean if you’re interested. So far, there’s 1 post, but more will come.

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First trim and thoughts on how to transition

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At this point, it’s been 12 weeks and 3 days since my big chop and getting rid of all the dye. Today’s picture is a before and after collage of my first trim since that cut. If you look at my last picture, the one taken in October, you’ll see that I had a good amount of growth. I didn’t get much taken off this time; in fact, nothing above the middle of my ear, but my bangs are pushed to the side which makes them look shorter. I’m experimenting with letting it grow for a while and seeing if the curly, wavy hair that I had as a kid comes back. I’m granola-crunchy enough that I really do like the look of long, curly gray hair, as long as it’s well maintained.

I’ve been giving the matter some thought, and I really do think that it’s better to go short than to keep the hair long and transition slowly. I know there’s a school of thought that a pixie cut is aging, but that’s a stupid school, and I’m not buying into their program. Long roots are far more aging, IMO. I’m definitely in the cut it short and get it done camp. Looking back, I almost wish I had just gone ahead and gotten a buzz cut back in August (she says with all the swagger of a woman who did not shave her head). I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt me in the job interviews that I had in September and October any more than my very clear half-and-half hair did.

I think that half-and-half can look like “I don’t give a shit about my appearance,” far more than fun, funky short gray hair does. I may be turning 50 (much) later this year, but age is just a number. I still care about my appearance (hence my disdain for half-and-half hair), and I have certainly not given up on myself (another thing I hear about naturally gray hair).

So, in conclusion, long curly gray: Good. Roots that are more than a couple of inches long: Bad.

But that’s just my opinion.

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Slackers unite!

I’ve totally been a slacker on this blog lately. Must remedy that. Back soon. Promise.

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No More Dye (17 weeks)

No More Dye (17 weeks)

Final haircut after the decision made not to dye. This is 17 weeks, so less than half the length of a full-term pregnancy since the last time I dyed my hair. It feels great to be free of the every 6-week cycle of cut and color and the constant worry every time an event comes up as to where in the root/dye continuum I would be.

Meanwhile, in other matters, I’ve had a grand total of 2 job interviews and 0 offers, but I’m dealing with that disappointment, moving on, and filling out more applications. I even worked out today. It might be nuts to view it in these terms, but with having the last dye out of my hair finally, it feels like now is a really good time to get on with the other changes that I want to make.

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About 14 weeks’ post the last dye

About 14 weeks' post the last dye.

My most recent hair picture, plus I’m learning to wear lipstick. Exciting times.

Also, I’ve had a job interview (for a job I really want), received a rejection letter (for the first job I interviewed for and would have taken but probably wouldn’t have loved), and my son (whom I like to refer to as That Boy) has left for Army basic training.

Seriously, exciting times.

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As promised, a selfie

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This is the after picture from my most recent haircut. I went quite a bit shorter, and I now anticipate my hair being 100% dye free at my next cut on October 28.

I took some minor crap on Facebook for the fact that I’m not smiling in this picture, but I almost never smile for the camera. It’s not that I’m mad or sad (although I do have bitchy resting face); I just don’t like the way I represent on (virtual) film when I smile. IRL, though, I’m generally pretty damn cheerful.

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Ten Weeks

That’s how long it’s been since I last dyed my hair. I’m off to the salon shortly to get some more of the dyed portion cut off (it’s been 4 weeks since I made the decision not to dye any more and got the first big hair cut, and also since I started this blog).

As I get further and further into the journey, I’m noticing two things. One is that I’m not alone. It’s like when you get new car and suddenly you see your new car everywhere (I drive a Nissan Cube; it’s still a rarity to see those out and about, although I am seeing more now than when I got my car 16 months ago). I am seeing a lot of women who seem to have stopped dying and growing out their natural gay hair.

The other thing I see is a lot of bad dye jobs. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have a problem with dying your hair for whatever reason, it’s just that the more I look, the more I can tell a home dye job because the color is so flat and lifeless. I also see a lot of women my age or older who are still clinging valiantly to the deep, dark shades of our youth, and frequently it’s just not flattering anymore. Our skin naturally fades as we age, and most of us have wised up and started wearing sunscreen, so we are, of course, paler. With these paler complexions, the dark color of our youths only serves to age us; the exact opposite of what most of us want.

This is pre-hair cut, a selfie with my 10-week skunk stripe. I’ll add an after selfie after today’s cut.

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