Putting on the Blues, Round 2!

I have a very short “bucket list”. Mostly, I don’t bother dreaming about things I want to do one day. I suspect there is some boringly complex reason for this that is rooted in my childhood. It’s hard to remember to dream when the people around you don’t take it seriously or treat it like a joke. Even if they don’t mean it in a cruel or mean way, that kind of thing sticks with you. Or maybe it’s just me. Not sure.

Anyhow, I have less than ten things on my bucket list. I want to visit Iceland. I want to see the Northern Lights in person. I want to visit Ireland. I want to visit the English countryside. I want to dye my hair blue. And I want to get a tattoo. In retrospect, it’s kind of a lame list, isn’t it? Can a bucket list be lame? I don’t know. I mean, maybe not. Everyone’s dreams are different, and that’s okay. Who is to judge which dreams are good and which ones are not? Not me. In looking at my list all written out like this, I’m sitting here thinking I probably should have included “finish my stupid novel”. I think I’ve mentally written that project off as a lost cause.

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Anyhow, this post is about my bucket list, not about whining over how much writing I am not getting done.  For the most part, I think there is very little chance I will accomplish most of the things on my bucket list. My husband, who (of course) is my travel partner, has absolutely no interest in visiting any of my bucket list places. I’m not sure the tattoo will ever happen because of my needle phobia. But, the hair thing is something that’s always felt attainable, provided I ever hit that right time in my life when having blue hair wouldn’t be a drawback professionally.

I’ve slowly been working up to my hair goals over the past several months. I started out with dying my hair a mid-tone brown/black. Then I moved to a darker, blue-toned black, which is a huge contrast with my extremely fair skin. I loved the black, and I loved the contrast. But my desire for blue was still alive in my heart. After wearing just black for a few months, I decided to add a little bit of blue into the mix. I thought this would be enough to satisfy my closet desire. For my first attempt with blue, I asked my stylist to add in little peek-a-boo highlights around my face. On the top, my hair looked like a normal black. Underneath, there was the prettiest sort of mermaid-y blue color that would show when I pulled my hair back. I wanted to make sure I was really okay with blue before stepping up my color game. Turns out, I LOVED it! For my last color outing two or three months ago, I asked her to put in blue highlights all over. It was magnificent. The only thing I hated about it was that it didn’t show up at all indoors. Outside in the sun, though, it was just … wow! So, so, so pretty, and I could not get enough of it. I was head over heels for it.

So, you already know where I’m going with this, right? Right! Yesterday, I dyed my hair blue, blue, blue. It’s oh-so-very blue. Scratch one thing off my bucket list! Woo Hoo! I’m pretty excited about it, as I’m sure you can tell.

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When I got to my appointment, my stylist asked me if I wanted to do the same thing we’ve done for the past few visits. I immediately gave her “the look” — you know, that expression that says “I want to do something totally new and maybe kind of crazy and a little bit scary and perhaps I’m insane for even wanting this at all.” Yeah. That look. My stylist is amazing. She got it immediately. She took one look at my very strange expression and said, “Oh boy. You’re ready to go all blue, aren’t you?” To which I nodded. I was wearing the most amazing, gorgeous sort of bright, electric blue nail polish yesterday, and I showed it to her and asked her if she could make my hair that color. And … we were off!!

It took about three and a half hours. She bleached out most of the black. Black never leaves your hair. Ever. And she couldn’t get it all out without ruining my hair, so she left some of the ends a sort of caramel brown color. On the spots where I already had blue highlights, the color bleached out to a sort of faded, greenish turquoise. Over that, she put the most amazingly gorgeous, bright electric blue. Because I had different tones and colors going on after she bleached my hair, I ended up with a few different tones and shades of blue because the bright blue mixed in with the underlying shades. It creates a lot of depth and interest, and I think it looks amazing. I feel like my stylist is a magician. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: It’s sorcery, that’s all there is to it.

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I have to admit I was super nervous about doing this. Deciding to do the black didn’t frighten me nearly as much. Maybe because black, although a pretty radical color for me with my pale skin tone, is a normal hair color. People are born with black hair. But blue is … different … weird … unusual … wacky … crazy … Blue is a color that people are probably going to notice. For an introvert like me, the thought of that is a bit frightening. And all the normal doubts kept running through my head: you’re too old to do this … you’re not pretty enough to have wild hair … you’ll look ridiculous … and on and on and on. I have a lot of doubts. Always. And the little Negative Nellie who lives in the back of my brain kept reminding me that I would regret doing this; that I would hate it the next day and every day thereafter, but I would be stuck with it.

It’s hard to push ahead amid doubts and insecurities. I’ve been thinking about doing this for years and actively talking myself into it for months. Even so, when it came time to do it, I was so close to backing out. The whole idea seemed too crazy and ridiculous to me. In the end, I told my Negative Nellie to shut up, and I went for it. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. When it was all done and I saw it finished for the first time, I was amazed. And so much in love. It’s so, so, so pretty. And, more than that, it made me feel pretty. And strong. And courageous.

And how did I feel today? I got up and looked in the mirror first thing this morning. I had almost forgotten about it, like maybe the whole thing happened in a dream or something. There was a momentary shock of surprise at seeing all the blue. But it was a good shock. And I told myself, “Self, why didn’t we do this sooner? Why didn’t we do this years ago?” I think my Self agrees. Blue is good.

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