One Year Bald: 365 Days Later
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Today, March 24th, officially marks ONE. YEAR. BALD. 😳 When the sun finally rose on that morning, 365 days ago, I had no idea what to expect. And, yes, that left me feeling more "sick" than I had ever before. More nervous than I felt at any point on our wedding day just 48 hours prior. I couldn't eat. I couldn't drink. The world was spinning and I couldn't slow it down...although it felt like quicksand at the same time.
And it wasn't because I wasn't ready. In fact, I had never been MORE ready for a haircut.
It was more so that I'm NOT one to hop up on stage and claim a spotlight. I much prefer to operate comfortably behind the scenes, and have often been called a ninja for my stealth like quiet-until-absolutely-necessary behavior. Case in point, you know when you've gotten to me because I can no longer be silent...
Spotlights might not be my thing, but fighting for these kids certainly is.
And, y'know, nine years later, once you're up there and thrown a microphone...well, summoning those fighting words that reach deep in to the hearts of strangers and empowers them to give is all second nature to us.
But in the morning hours, I was terrified I'd be an ugly crier. Sick that perhaps I hadn't done "everything I could" for these kids and their families (a notion I nearly live with at this point in my life).
I only truly breathed a sigh of relief once I saw $20,000 and when the hair was gone, neatly braided in my hands. I cried, but it was a happy cry. A cry of relief, and pride. A cry that was SEVEN YEARS in the making...
Even then. Even in those moments I was thinking, "What more can I do?" $20,000 was just one number in my path to help these children have long, healthy lives.
In the 365 days that have followed as I've gone from bald to mohawk'd I've experienced....
✅ The Quiet Stares. The ones that would rather continue their stare of assumption than dare to ask why a 35 year old woman was walking around without her hair. It took me about 6 weeks to realize that they likely thought I was sick.
This was a HUGE reason for going back to #PurpleHair -- to signal to society that I wanted them to talk about it, and that I NEEDED them to know...every 2 minutes a family's world is rocked as they hear their child has cancer, and THAT is why I did this.
Literally my first day with fuzzy purple hair I counted 9 conversations started - NINE! - in the weeks after, I'd lose count of how many conversations were sparked by, "I love your hair!"
✅ The people who spoke, and let stupid fall out of their mouths. From the guy who called me "sir" simply because I was wearing a "Dog Mom" hat to the lady who asked (after hearing a compliment on my hair) if it was "because of the gay thing." 🙄 More on that here.
✅ The questions like, "Why haven't you worn a wig?" Ahhhh, because - for me - a wig was never a factor into my journey. And, in fact, covered up the daily reminder I wanted to give the world that just because our event is one day a year - these children and their families fight 365/24/7. Wigs serve a purpose, but - for me - I've been proud of this short hair every step of the way. From fuzz to 'hawk. I'd never want to cover that up. And, genuinely, can count on one hand how many times I even threw a hat over my head these past 12 months.
✅ The Good Hair Days. (aka: Sept - January.) The ones that were easy, the ones that felt right, the ones that required minimal maintenance. They're my jam. The love I have for rolling out of bed, throwing my head under the sink, giving it a quick towel dry, and being on my way...will never be lost on me. Never.
✅ The Bad Hair Days. Yes, there is something SO easy about a pony tail. I didn't have too many of the bad, but there were moments that left me far outside my comfort zone - and required more maintenance than I cared for - and the mornings where I thought, "Well, this is life now." I don't want that lost on anyone - this is NEVER easy, least of all for women.
✅ The Yellow Hair Days. These were actually (oddly) some of the most difficult. There are things in life that feel innately "you" - and yellow hair wasn't that for me.
✅ The realization that, yes, it WOULD be far easier to continue growing my hair out. Because I understand that society will never stop staring at a woman with short hair — in particular a young woman. Still in 2019, they just can't figure it out. Having purple hair since 2012 semi-prepared me for the way society judges, but I've never felt that more than this year. There's little that can prepare you for it. That all being said, I've never been one for the "easy way out."
✅ The realization that I *LOVE* my hair now. I worked HARD to grow this Mohawk, and I'm actually going to be more sad to see this go than the 19" I had last year. (Which, for the record, was never really "me" -- and, you guessed it, always for these kids!)
✅ The realization that it may not be how much hair you have, but how much heart you have. I worked hard in 2018. Money didn't grow on trees. Pigs never flew. I didn't snap my fingers to have pocket change fall from the sky earmarked for a charity I was passionate about.
It was, genuinely, A LOT of people coming together and giving what they could to help fund children's cancer research.
91% of those donations were under $100.
53% were under $25.
Showing, to me, that those "small" donations All. Add. Up.
For a long time, I thought it was more about the length of my hair.
The past 365 days proved me wrong on that. The past 365 proved more to me about my heart than the length of my hair.
So, yes. I'll keep up with my late nights and early mornings. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll tell EVERYONE I know about St. Baldricks...and then tell them nine more times. My heart fuels the fight for these kids, and my heart is something fierce.
People always ask me what my goal is...this year, it's to go to bed on the night of March 30th with a freshly buzzed head, and a sigh of relief, KNOWING that I did EVERYTHING - EVERYTHING - I possibly could for these kids.
I hope that means big numbers — heck, 3 out of our 8 team members have already raised $1,000+ with our 4th ever so close and Team Live Out Loud is just narrowly in 3rd place — of course, we always want more.
These kids deserve more. And we’ll be there to fight alongside them every step
of the way until no child has to suffer.
Here’s to bigger, better, balder in 2019 — 6 Days to Bald! Here. We. Go.
And if you made it to here and now...you know what to do... 😉
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