Okay...so I don't have any pictures to show you. Amber's camera had all the video footage of the eight inches of hair that was lopped off of my head and it went to heaven, and unfortunately, I can't find the cable to connect my camera to my computer and my SD card that is in my camera is a mini so it won't fit into my computer without an adapter piece...so you'll all just have to believe me when I say...
MY HAIR IS FREAKING ADORABLE!
I was a very freeing experience to chop eight inches off...the stylist was more than a little nervous and made sure to give extra special attention to every angle and line of the haircut. If I can manage to find a way to post a picture, I will!
So, I guess I had to share a little bit about my experience at home for my birthday two weeks ago. You see, the extreme makeover that I had was far more than just eight inches of hair, it was kind of a new attitude.
It all started with Amber a few days before my birthday. We were on the phone talking about our woes (hers were far worse than mine, but it was so nice to be able to talk to someone who truly wanted to sympathize and empathize.) I was telling Amber that I needed a change, but I wasn't sure what to do. Amber got really quiet and said... "You need a makeover...if you come home for your birthday, I'll make sure you get one."
Those words are so funny...You need a makeover, Amber didn't realize how right she was. In spite of her ill state, Amber called around and did everything she could to make sure that if I was going to do something crazy (like say, cut off eight inches of hair) that I would have the best. Her stylist couldn't do it...my aunt couldn't do it...we were quickly running out of options, but Amber made a few more calls.
As she called, I prepared myself for the long drive home. Now, I don't want to get sad and pathetic y'all, but I have to say that since my engagement ended, that drive has been harder and harder to make. Every mile stretch between Idaho Falls and Missoula has memories for me...good memories, but it hurts still to think about them at times. I know I shouldn't waste my time thinking of what might have been...but that ride always makes it very difficult not to wonder, Marvin and I took that drive a lot together and had a lot of fun doing crazy things I never pictured myself doing EVER!
I drove in silence for most of the journey to I.F. I looked out the window and I let myself think. There has been a lot stressing me out and I felt like I was drowning and there was no one there to help pull me from the water. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to have a make over...besides being really REALLY picky about the way that I look, I found myself consumed with shoulda coulda wouldas...it was funny, because in the silence, as I was surrounded by these shoulda coulda wouldas, I remembered a story that my grandma Winberg told us....I will relate it now:
My whole young life, my grandmother and grandfather had this old grandfather clock. It was beautiful and I remember sitting up at night when we had sleepovers at their house waiting to hear the clock strike midnight and play its pretty song. Shortly after my dad died, the clock stopped working. My grandpa kept promising my grandma that he would fix it, and grandma would always give him a hard time about it. He finally had called to order the parts to fix it and was waiting for them to come in when he too was called home to his maker. Grandma siad it like this: "That clock is like life: Your grandpa should have fixed the clock, he could have fixed the clock, he would have fixed the clock, but he ran out of time...and there is no use going back and dwelling on it. Life is going to be full of shoulda coulda wouldas, you just have to choose to move forward and try to not let yourself get worked up about them." The clock became known in our family as the Shouldacouldawoulda clock. When you're thirteen, its just a pleasing little anecdote to hear, but now at 25, it make a lot more sense.
It was as I thought about this, that I realized that this makeover was more than just a lot of hair falling off of my head, it was symbolic... the hair on my head was my Shouldacouldawoulda hair. I had been growing it out so that it would be nice and long when Marvin and I got married. I had the hair planned, the dress planned, the shoes...I was holding on to it, I wasn't prepared to let go. Finally, I was ready. I was ready to let go and take a leap of faith. No more shoulda coulda wouldas, I just would move forward and do all that the Lord wanted to me do. You can't dwell on the past, that is exactly what it is...the past...it has gone by, it has passed. You can focus on the future and try to find ways to move forward, trusting that the path the Lord has placed you on is the right one.
I got home. I have to say, I drove into Idaho Falls and it seemed like all my fears and troubles melted away. I was HOME, I was going to be with my family. It was like I could finally breathe again. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I drove up the road to my parent's apartment and parked my car. I walked in and let myself melt on the couch. No one was there, and normally that would kind of make me sad, they knew I was coming, but it didn't seem to matter...I was home, I was safe, I didn't have to worry about my troubles and cares, and if I did, I knew that there would be someone to listen and help.
Mom and Parker and Shieka walked through the door. Shieka ran up and jumped into my arms. There is nothing better in this world than Shih tzu kisses. Mom hugged me and Parker did too. We took the pies out of the oven and talked for a while. Kiersten called and asked for mom and dad to bring something over, I agreed to take it. It was so nice to walk up those stairs to Kiersten's apartment and still feel like I was home. Raylee seemed a little wary of me, she hadn't seen me in a while, but as soon as she realized who I was, she was all to eager to snuggle with me and show me all of her beautiful toys. Kiersten and I then went to go pick Amber up for the big snip snip.
I have to say how much I love, adore and admire my sisters. Amber was so sick, but she perservered because she wanted to give me something to look forward to. As the three of us made our way through the mall, slowly, very slowly because Amber could barely walk, I was overcome with joy. I am so lucky to have people that love me enough that they want to be with me when I do something as minute as a haircut. We spent the day as sisters, which is something we hadn't done since we were all very young. It was one of the best days of my life I was driving around with Amber and Kiersten and laughing and joking and it was like we'd never been apart, like nothing had really changed. It was so comforting for me, because sometimes I look at my family and I feel a little left behind.
We dropped Amber off and went out to the clubhouse. My family had arranged a little impromptu birthday party for me. I talked with mom and Parker and helped arrange what I could. I went back to the apartment to make some juice for Raylee and when I was back, the joint was jumping! Amber and Kelly and their kids had arrived. Macee, Austin and Addie all ran into my arms like little football players waiting to tackle! The food wasn't quite ready yet, so I decided to go into the billiard room and play some Nine Ball. I had three munchkins follow in behind me.
As I played, I tried to explain the rules of the game to them. I have to admit, I wasn't playing very well, and finally I hit the white ball in. Macee said, "Hooray, you got one in Aunt B." I explained that it was a scratch and that it meant I had to start over. She and Austin helped me rack the balls again and I continued to play. The kids would point out the next number for me and Austin ran around the pool table chasing the white ball and blowing on it as hard as he could if it ever got close to any of the pockets. In spite of his best efforts, I scratched again. I was shocked as Macee cried out "Hooray, Hooray! Its a scratch Aunt B., Its a scratch!" Addie began to join in on her chant, I turned to them and I said, "You guys, a scratch isn't a good thing, Remember?" Macee looked up me with her big blue eyes and very matter-of-factly she stated. "Yes it is Aunt B. It means that you get a fresh start." For some reason, her words stuck with me all through the rest of the weekend and into the week.
Starting over, its a funny thing. I started the motion by getting a haircut. It dawned on me while sitting in sacrament a week later why her words had stuck with me. I needed to hit the white ball in and scratch my life. I needed to start fresh and stop letting the shoulda coulda wouldas get me down.
So that is exactly what I did. I cut my hair and all the memories that it stood for, and now I am making a major effort to focus on forgetting the past. I can't change it, I can't go back and relive it, I can learn my lessons from it. I learned that I could love someone so much that it hurts. I learned that I could give selflessly and not be tired, I learned that sometimes no matter how much you pray about something and feel right about it, that everyone is given free agency and sometimes things don't work out the way you had hoped. I also learned that God always makes sure to give us back what we give out, he will return to us what we have lost. He promises us this in the Book of Mormon. Its hard to imagine a life or a world that is more exciting and more full than the world and life I experienced while being engaged to one of the best men I have ever met, but I know that this is what God has promised me. I will have something better. I just needed to wipe the slate clean, I needed to scratch in the game of life, and forget about what might have been, and while feelings and emotions may linger, God will help you through the hard times and he will give you glimpses of the amazing things in store.
I'm now trying to focus on what the future will bring. It is going to be amazing, God has promised me that, and he never breaks his word. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father. He loves all of us, even when we are begging him to end the world so that we don't have to be in pain anymore, he is laying the bricks on the next path that we are supposed to take, a path to something greater and better than we could ever imagine.
I'm not giving a guarantee that I am 100% better. I still have days where I miss my ex so much that I just want to crawl under a rock and die, but hope springs eternal, and there are days when I know that something greater is out there just around the corner. I just have to take the Lord's hand and let him lead me down the path. My problems still exist, I still have no clue what I'm doing after graduation, but I have faith that the Lord will show me where I need to be. Whether that means moving home to I.F., staying here in Missoula, or going on a mission, I'm still not sure, but I will do my best to enjoy the ride and try to take it all one day and one step at a time. God has given me many talents and abilities, he needs me to use them to serve him where ever I may be. Right now, I am working my hardest as the 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society presidency and preparing an awesome Christmas program as a ward choir director. I will serve the members of my ward and the sisters especially.
One things I can say for certain, in the last year, I have learned first hand just how much I mean to my father in Heaven. At the times when I feel like he isn't there or isn't listening, I know that he is right beside me, wishing he could reach out and give me a hug, but he can't. Like the Savior in Gethsemane, sometimes we have to face parts of our trials alone. God needs to know that we are not going to forget him, he needs to know that we are not going to lose faith in him. He needs to know that we can stand on our own. Someday, we will be Gods and Goddesses, if we live faithfully to recieve that blessing, and he needs to know that we can handle such a great task on our own. Its like having the training wheels taken off of your big girl bike for a few moments, just to see if you're ready yet, but like any dad, he is always there to catch you when you fall.
God loves all of us. He is here. Our Brother, Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ stands with us as well. They wait for us to call on them for help, they wait for us to remember them. It is my humble hope that I never forget that they are there, that I never forget all that God blesses me with, that I never forget that I had an older brother who loved me enough to go through the pains of hell so that I could experience the pleasures of heaven.
So...if you're struggling. Give yourself a scratch. Hit that white ball into the corner pocket and find a way to make a fresh start. Trust that God will be there, and while the path may not be completely clear, the end goal is always in sight!