In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I am thrilled to introduce you to my friends Sarah and Katya. They are from different parts of the world, but they both recently made a big change. Let’s join our friends as tell us what it is like to walk in their shoes, and with their new hairdos! ~ Love, Ginger
As a hairstylist, I’ve had many different hairstyles over the years. When I was working in a salon, I was constantly growing and cutting and trimming and changing my styles. But after I’d had a particularly short hairstyle for quite awhile, I decided to let it grow out. Partially because I was tired of it, and partially because I knew my husband would like it better longer for change.
So in January 2009, I got it cut short one more time before I started growing it out. Then it grew, and grew, and grew! I would get it trimmed occasionally to keep it looking healthy and fresh, but otherwise, it just kept growing. For probably about a year, I kept debating whether to cut it or to keep it long. I loved it long, and other people did too…but then again, I was kind of tired of just having long hair, and not a cute style. But I was worried about chopping it and then regretting it. Oh! Decisions decisions!
Finally when Ginger posted about her decision to donate her hair, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. All of a sudden, I knew what I wanted to do with my hair! I knew I wouldn’t regret chopping it all off, if someone else could enjoy my hair, instead of it just being thrown in the trash. I couldn’t believe that idea hadn’t even crossed my mind before, especially seeing as I used to help people donate their own hair as a hairstylist.
So on November 20th 2013, I went to get it cut and actually ended up cutting off about 12 inches! I haven’t missed my long hair for a minute and it’s already growing out fast again. After a good bit of research, I ended up deciding to donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
Now the great decision is upon me again…keep it short or grow it out to donate again?
One day in late October I was looking through the newsfeed on my Facebook page and came across a link to a blog post by my friend Ginger. Ginger and I used to know each other when we both were still teenagers, then parted paths for quite a few years, and now, thanks to a social media site, were able to reconnect again. The title of the blog post, The One about Someday, caught my attention and I clicked on the link. The article talked about things we would love to do in our lifetime that we keep putting off to ‘someday’… It hit it close to home for me. Since having my second son almost four months earlier I had often thought about the meaning of my life, my purpose, my hopes and dreams for my life and the life of my family. After reading Ginger’s ‘Someday’ list, I’d started to mentally compile my own. Even though a lot of items would be different for me (for instance, unlike Ginger, I have absolutely no desire to write a book or run a marathon, and I’ve already read War and Peace in Russian, twice (which, of course, is not such a great achievement since it is in my native language), but reading Consuelo in French would be another story).
However, a couple of items stood out, one of them being donating my hair to a worthy cause. Somehow it convicted me. I’ve been blessed with good hair, but I’m ashamed to admit that up until that day in late October it had never occurred to me to donate it. And I’m not talking about shaving my head bold (I doubt I would be courageous enough for that), but just cut it off a few inches shorter than my normal length and share it with someone in need. So I looked online at the length requirements, and the minimum I could donate was eight inches (20 cm). To take that much off would bring my hair to about my shoulders, which is a rather big change to what I was used to, but not really that drastic. I felt that now I had no excuse to not give out of the abundance that I had. So I made an appointment with my hair stylist and on October 31st I got a new haircut, having her cut off full nine inches. It was a big step out of my comfort zone, but it felt great! For a person who is not that big into change and taking risks, it felt surprisingly freeing and liberating.
Everyone seemed to like the new look, myself included. I don’t think I would have made such a big change unless I had a worthy cause to do it for – a free wig for a woman battling cancer. The organization I chose to give to was Pantene Beautiful Lengths, who partners with the American Cancer Society to provide free wigs for women with cancer. It was important to me that they do not charge anything – women battling cancer already have a lot to deal with, and this is something that may make their lives just a bit easier without an added expense. I’d debated giving it to the Children with Hair Loss organization, who makes free wigs for children, but had decided to give to the one that gives to adults instead. I have a friend (and a former colleague) who used to volunteer at a Russian organization that helped children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses – Gift of Life – and she once mentioned that it was much easier to raise funds/get donations for treatment of a baby or a young child than it was for a teenager or a young adult. I know that the medical care system here in the States is vastly different from what it is in Russia and having the money to pay for a life-saving procedure is not a requirement to get the necessary care, but her words stuck with me, swaying my decision toward donating to help an adult instead.
I don’t know if Pantene has already used my hair for a wig and given it to a woman in need of it or if the wig is still being made, but doing this has definitely given me a lot of satisfaction – there is definitely a lot of joy in giving, not just receiving. It will probably take me several years to grow my hair out again, but hopefully one day I will be able to do this again. Thanks to Ginger for writing the blog post about her ‘Someday’ – it was convicting and inspiring in more than just one way!
To read more stories, or if you would are interested in sharing your story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes. ~ Love, Ginger
Hey, y'all! It's my favorite time of the month again - time to link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer...