birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

A Mind of Its Own

My hair has been both an asset and a liability throughout my life.

During my young adult years, my hair was thick, wavy, long and looked almost black. Looking back at photos I’m bewildered as to why I wore it parted down the middle. It was definitely not a becoming look. Not having great products to control my hair it would grow exponentially with the humidity. It was almost like having a tree on my head! Never knew how big it would grow or how out of control it would get.

In my late twenties to late thirties I went thru the wash and go stage. With young children, my hair was so short it took about five minutes for me to rub some product on it, and let it dry naturally. My hair would stay put until I woke the next morning. Then I would have a bad case of bedhead.

My hair also began to go white in spots. At the start it was a great look as it was just one small patch in front. It was so short I didn’t feel it was really noticeable so I left it alone for years. Then one day a lady at church came up to me and asked if I knew that they made hair coloring to color my patch of white. I was stunned. I stood my ground for a few months. The sting of those words stayed with me and I never felt the same about my gray spot. With tears I called a friend who was a hairdresser. She helped me decide on a medium brown color. And so, began the coloring stage of my life.

The short cut was great for a few years but I needed a change as I approached my forties. Plus, I felt my hair had changed after having our two daughters. I repeatedly asked my hairdressers to let it grow longer as I felt it had become curly. It fell on deaf ears. Three hairdressers later I finally found someone who listened.

My hair began getting longer and with it came the curls. Thanks to the Curly Diva book, a lifetime of struggling, turned into embracing my curls. Today, I’m really fortunate as I wear my hair between chin and shoulder length. Some days it’s straight, other times wavy or curly. I part it on the left as I like how it makes my eyes look. I never have to worry about whether the curl will stay.

Even with all the great products, curly hair has a mind of its own and will grow if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the humidity. At those times I embrace the curl. When it’s the dead of winter I embrace the straight look. In between I love the wavy look. I get compliments on all styles. Men tend to like me in straight hair, women like the curly look. I let the weather and my mood dictate how I wear it.
I’m still not ready to give in to the white hair look, still have a few years before I do, but like everything else regarding my body, when the time comes I will embrace it graciously.

Mother Daughter Eyes

Paul Newman Eyes