Roughly three years ago I asked my hairdresser, Missy, to add a small, discrete streak of blue to my hair. A touch of fun. I never knew I could love a strip of blue hair so much! The next time I went in, we decided to do a layer of colors under the top layer of hair. So if I put my hair half up, you’d see it. Again, I fell in love with the color. So much so, I rarely wore my hair down. It made me so happy to show others the beautiful colors. It got to the point that I would get annoyed that I couldn't properly separate my hair so that the colors could be seen right.
The time for being discrete was over. My next trip to the salon I went all out and we did full on My Little Pony hair. We went with purples, teals, pinks and yellow, all very soft and pastel.
Since that December day I have had quite an array of colors. I tend to lean toward the purples and teals, but not too long ago I was really inspired by Tae’s pink/magenta and had to try it. When I went to Korea in the summer of 2017 I had bright blues, yellows, reds, pinks and purples. Talk about standing out.
When I started this colorful journey, I was afraid to stand out, to look different. When I first added color, it made me happy, really happy. It felt good. I felt good. The more color I had, the happier it made me, the happier it made me, the less I cared about what other people might think. Then an interesting thing began to happen, it made other people happy too.
Over the last three years, my hair has brought me so much JOY. In this time I realized that color was an expression of who I am and how see the world. Over the last three years, not a week goes by, that I don’t have someone say something me about my hair. It has never been a negative interaction.
Of all the things said to me, my favorite is, “Thank you”. The first time it happened was at KCON last year. As I was walking through the convention, a young lady stopped me and said, “Thank you for coloring your hair! It has made my day.” It really took me by surprise.
Recently, I was at church, services had just ended and people were making their way out. A man came over to me, hand outstretched. He was probably in his mid 20’s, had long hair and cheerful smile. He said to me, “I had to come over and just tell you how happy your hair made me. I looked up from praying and saw it and it just filled me with JOY.” He then gave me a hug and said, again, how much he loved it and then headed out.
A few days ago I was in the food court at the local outlet mall. I was heading out when a woman, probably in her late 70’s early 80’s stopped me and said “I love your hair so much! The colors are just so pretty! I was even going to try and sneak a picture of you but my phone is full.” She had the biggest smile on her face. Again and again I am having these experiences. It is so genuine, so heartfelt, I can’t help but feel my own JOY from theirs.
When someone goes out of their way to tell me I’ve brought them JOY, I am humbled immensely. I am so grateful for their words, their kindness and their openness. It has made me less afraid to say my own admirations to others, things that in the past, I would just think in my head but not offer up. Imagine what kind of world it would be, if we all expressed our JOYS as we came across them.
It really starts with loving yourself and embracing what makes you happy. Your JOY will become JOY for others.