This week I dyed my hair. Dark. Quite dark, in fact. You know when Ashley (The Bachelorette) was on The Bachelor and she was blond and then when she was The Bachelorette she was brunette? Its pretty much like that. (And yes, it is very embarrassing to admit that I watch that show.) I wanted a dramatic and drastic change and so I just went for it.
Oh, and I got bangs for the first time in over a decade. That was a HUGE decision for me because I despised my bangs all through elementary school, jr. high and high school. Seriously, they were the bane of my existence and I remember once telling my mom that I wanted to grow my bangs out when I was probably in 8th grade: she said that she thought my forehead was too high to go without them. I know she didn't mean that in a mean way, but that one comment affected my self-image for years. I would say that the biggest moment of defiance in my life was when, as a college freshman, I decided to go against my mother's advice and grow out the unsightly fringe anyway. I'm a rebel, I know. Incidentally, so far I am really happy with the decision to go with bangs again - they make it a lot easier to do my signature swoop to cover my widow's peak.
Anyway, I am still not entirely sure how I feel about the dark color after being light for so long. I told Paul that I feel like my overall look is "sexier" (why did I just blush typing that on the blog?) now that it is dark (a la one of the participants on The Bachelor) but that I feel like I looked cuter when it was lighter. My hair looks shinier and sleeker and less frazzled now. Part of the driving force behind the change was that I was sick of the upkeep that comes with heavy blond highlights and am hoping that once the dark fades a bit (which is typical) that my hair will be closer to its natural color, which is is either a light brown or a dark blond.
Honestly though, and some people might guess or ask this, another reason I wanted to go darker with my hair color is because of Clara. I am not sure to what extent she influenced my decision, but it was at least something I thought about beforehand. It does not bother me that people look at us and say knowingly that Clara must have gotten her hair from her dad (sort of true - she got her hair from her birthfather, but he is not her dad). I have no qualms with my daughter not resembling either me or Paul, even if other people might think she looks one or the other of us. But I wonder if at some point in her life it will matter to her. I guess I just wanted to know what it might feel like to have the hair color that she is going to grow up with.
And I feel like I have already learned some interesting things. See, my mom and both of my sisters have blond hair - very naturally blond. I have always had darker hair than any of them, but when I came home with my hair noticeably much darker than it ever has been before, I felt a distinctness from them that I have never previously felt. It made me wonder about if and when Clara will feel a similar distinctness. If she will ever feel her adoption, if that even makes any sense. We are going to do our very best to help her understand where she came from and who she is and how very special that makes her. Clara will grow up knowing her K (who, incidentally, has hair that is very similar in color to my own prior to the dark dye job) and how important and wonderful she is. We want Clara to know that she is adopted and we want to dispel any stigmas about adoption, which is another reason why I like to blog about these sorts of issues and why I admit that I don't have all the answers to questions about adoption. I think that every family that is created through the miracle and blessing of adoption just has to deal with these things as they arise.
Anyway, I am still getting used to my new reflection in the mirror and I'm not sure how long I will stick with the darker look. I don't pull it off as well as Clara does. :) But for now I am digging the bangs and am going to enjoy the novelty of being a brunette for the first time in my life.