Change Starts with New Hair

erin haircut rev

It’s been a hectic, stressful few weeks, so I did what any rational person would do: I made a rash decision to change my hairstyle. I booked a last minute appointment and chopped off a few inches, using these photos as inspiration. I’ve had my hair all different lengths, so it’s not completely insane, but even as I sat in the stylist’s chair, I kept flashing on that old saying about not making big hair changes during periods of stress. Anyway, what’s done is done. The beauty of hair is that it always grows back!

I read this quote on Sho and Tell this morning and it resonated with me all day long:

Anytime you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna lose something. You’re losing what you’re hanging onto to keep safe. You’re losing habits that you’re comfortable with, you’re losing familiarity.
— James Hillman

That’s it. I’ve lost my safety net this year. It’s not the hair. That’s just one tiny symbol of the bigger picture. I’m learning everything from scratch at work, all on my own. The good? When I want to try something or to experiment or to take on a new type of event or project, no one tells me no. The bad? I have no one instructing me on how to do it. I’m succeeding or failing all by myself. I have a staff that I love, but I don’t have a mentor. The freedom is exhilarating and terrifying. I’m finding strength I didn’t know I had but I’m also realizing that I’m intensely vulnerable. I’ve burst into tears at work at least four times in the past few months. That’s more than I cried in the twelve years I had my last job, though overall I’m happier now than I ever was then. It’s just that everything is new. Everything is strange and unfamiliar.

I’m scheduled to be on the news this Friday promoting our California Bookstore Day events, another first. Rocking my new hair, just to make me even more nervous! Wish me luck…

P.S. I loved this blog post on changing careers. Jenna is so often on a similar wavelength (though always more eloquent).

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4 Responses to Change Starts with New Hair

  1. Felicia May 2, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    Not only do I love the new cut, I admire your bravery. As a fellow entrepreneur {or freelancer}, the lack of safety net is real, but I often remind myself that this ache in our stomachs, this tug, is REAL too, and it’s good and it’s an adventure and it’s something that can never be found in the walls of an office building.

    • Erin May 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      Late replying, but I love your comment. That is real, and it is good. I’ve felt that way this year, for sure.

  2. Cloud May 6, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I am, as usual, incredibly late to comment. I’ve given up feeling bad about that, but it does mean that I’m always missing amazing chances to have cool conversations! Oh well.

    Anyway, I recently just up and quit my job with no “next thing” lined up. The next thing is now falling into place, and it is all working out great- but wow, it felt weird to come home the day I’d quit and think about what a crazy thing I’d just done. But sometimes, you just have to leap. The weird thing is that even though things are turning out better than I have any right to hope, I’m still occasionally just completely freaked out by it all. Leaps are scary even if they work out.

    It feels to me like that’s what this job is to you- a leap. From what I can tell, things are going well (although I have yet to make it downtown to check out your shop- but I will make it there in 2014, because visiting the new library is one of the items I put on my family’s 2014 Family Fun List…)

    Can you look further afield for a mentor? I have found an unbelievably helpful mentor in one of the people who contracted for me in my old position. He has given me more useful and honest advice than any boss I’ve had except one (and that one is also someone I still consider a mentor).

    • Erin May 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      I’m so excited for you- I hope it all works out to be even better than you dreamed when you took that leap. It has been for me- for all the frustration of learning something new and struggling, there has been so much happiness and reward, too. And yes, come downtown and visit!

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