Monday, June 9, 2014

Holding on, Letting Go...

I was organizing my wallet and found the appointment card for a (cancelled) haircut next to the receipt from my new wig. Two world's colliding. Should I laugh or cry?  I do both. Is this a reminder that life is constantly changing? Swiftly sometimes and a snail's pace to get to the next day, that fresh start? Is this a reminder that we have very little control over life?
 Did you know a wig is called a "cranial prosthesis"?

One week I had my own hair, albeit sparse in some spots, but hell, it wasn't a wig. I spent $100 on a cut and color.  I was riding high. And just like that the shower drain is full.  I can feel the renegade hairs slide down my body in the shower.  A signal that it isn't over. A got a month respite. A month in which I laughed haughtily at the wig spray and wig "luster." (as if synthetic hair can have a "luster") I pushed them to the back of the cupboard.  I mentally planned the wig burning ceremony.

And just like that I went through the same basket of emotions I went through a year ago.  I picked them out one by one and tried them on again.  Yep, still feels the same.  Does this make me a basket case once again?

I sat on the picnic table looking at our new camper.  I ran my fingers through my hair and watched as the hairs floated away in the sunlight. If I pull hard enough I might be able to take out some significant chunks. I am supposed to be present, enjoying the camper and family time and I'm hyper focused on my damn hair. Again. That sick feeling rises up from deep down inside of myself.  It tastes like fear and smells like betrayal. My body has betrayed me again.

The hours, minutes, days I've lost to thinking about my god-forsaken hair. Are my thyroid levels off?  Do I simply have alopecia? Do I have a hidden disease?  Am I deficient in vitamin or mineral? Do I have an unknown allergy? When something is labeled "auto immune" the answers are ghost-like.

This time I just give up.  I give up in the sense that it just doesn't matter.  I let go.  I surrender.  Hair or no hair. Wig or no wig. I refuse to go down the rabbit hole again.  I'm different now.  I've been broken apart and the creation that rises declares WHO CARES.  Is it ME you see or my HAIR? Is it ME you see or a WIG? You didn't even know I wore a wig did you?

I tried on all my old wigs and hated them all.  I dared to look at my reflection in the mirror.  Am I still pretty? Are my eyes still blue? Can my mouth still form a smile? Of course. I say a silent thank you to a mother who gave me a foundation of good self esteem and confidence because without it I would be sinking.

I sent a text to my girl Ashley and planned a rendezvous to the local wig shop.  Thankfully it's one of the coolest shops in towns.  Hats, scarves, clothes and jewelry merchandised amidst a vintage stove and a vintage Chris-craft wooden boat.  The employees act like shopping for a wig is the same as asking for a different dress size.

Ashley: Always up for the next adventure in life....Seeing me through grief and hair loss and wigs. Never letting me slide too far down...
(Join the Vintage Life:  check out Ashley's shop:

We parked and got Starbucks iced coffees before walking to the store.  I decided to go into my photojournalist mode and document this whole process.  You, know, for the book.  Because if I believe there is a higher purpose to this it makes it easier to breathe and laugh. Everyone kept telling me to "OWN IT" when I got a wig the first time.  Everyone had a suggestion: get a long haired one! get a pink one! get a bunch of different styles and colors! Easier said than done when it's not you.

So here I am "OWNING IT."

Ashley pep talked me and said "Okay, now we might not walk outta here with anything so wrap your brain around that."  "Okay, Okay! You are right " I said.  I asked the Starbucks guy to take our picture. "Sure, but don't tell anyone.  I'm not supposed to touch your phone" he said.  Ashley and I went about creaming and sugaring our coffees and they proceeded to take a bunch of funny photos of themselves behind the counter. I call this WINNING AT LIFE people!  I didn't see the photos until the next day and when I scrolled though them I burst out laughing.  This was the perfect start to what could be considered a shitty trip.

                                                                                                    Barista Selfie! Boom!
 You people, you get it.  You get what life is all about!

                                                                My girl Ashley and me....

I guess I've learned it's all about the approach.  I had some of the best laughs with my mom in the midst of chemo drips and her stem cell transplant. If you show up with grace and a sense of humor I believe you can do anything.  Life is too much sometimes.  Ever since I was a child I could feel life in a way others didn't.  I noticed things people didn't notice.  Life is filled with extremes.  I am merely a part of it all.

Driveway hockey and incessant talking from my boy as I write this. Sunshine and the perfect temperature. I'm sitting in my mom's lawn chair.  The fancy one she got from the RV dealer when Mom and Dad bought our family camper. She always wanted another one and talked about splurging on one.  The morning rain has scattered the pink rose petals all over the lawn.  A scooter lies in the damp grass.  I am alive to life.  I am not sick.  I am strong.

I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and on the ferry I saw an eagle.  I met a redhead who showed me her truth.  I was wearing boots and a scarf I got in Turkey.  I spoke my truth out loud. I refuse to stop living and SEEING life because I wear a wig.

I attended a party on Saturday night and when I looked through the photos for the first time I saw ME and not me wearing a wig.  I looked good.  I felt good. I've just decided that it doesn't matter.  It can't matter. I decided to decide. It's that simple. I want to cultivate joy and smell the air and hear the birdsong. I don't want this experience to harden my heart, but simply STURDY it.  I get to say how this goes.  Everyday I get to say.

Out of scarcity I see abundance.  I SEE you seeing ME. Because I am so much more than my hair.

"God damn girl your wounds are beautiful." -Motopony

 Sometimes you have to try on the style you like in another color and then order the color you want.

Should I go dark?!

                                                          What if you just saw ME?

                                                          Am I ready for gray yet?! This was the "winner" just not the color...

 Sandy Blonde wins on the color wheel....

 Ashley said I needed one of these for summer....
 Selections abound........but it's hard to see past the "models" !
I'm gonna try this purple eye shadow thing.

                                                                   Life is for Living...
 Reminds me of Mom. xo
The girls at the store styled this left one for fun.  It was the best one in the shop! 
Trying on a long haired one for fun.  It's so not me!

I took the kids with to pick up the new wig...

                                                     Of course it's fun to try it on!
 Total rock star...

Miracle Message #3:
If I want to feel supported, I must support myself.
Gabrielle Bernstein


  1. My dear. You are beautiful inside and out. You are brave and strong and wildly funny! You are light and love. I am so glad to have met you. xo Anne

  2. I knew you were a force to be reckoned with Tricia. When I met you late that night in the cabin, and then again when I was more awake at the table the next morning, I felt your strength. I read this post and it made me think of a quote by a man by the name of Aaron Paquette. His quote makes me think of you because you ARE ALREADY DOING IT. you GET life. "Time is Running Out. Make it Count. Keep doing what you’re doing and commit to life. Commit to it. Choose it. We convince ourselves there will always be tomorrow, an unending line of days. But of course, that’s simply not true. We don’t know when our time will come, when our last day arrives. So waste less time. Live. Commit to life. If I could, I would reach into the very heart of you and fill you with urgency. Fill you with excitement. Fill you with forgiveness and love. Time is running out. Make it count. Make every second worth it. If you’ve been waiting, wait no longer. Whatever you’ve been dreaming, whatever you’ve been wanting to do, to say, to heal or to be…do it now. Don’t even wait to finish what you are reading here. Do it now. Even if you feel small and unready. Even if it means you will fail, take that chance. And give yourself an unending supply of chances. Allow yourself to find a thousand ways to fail. In there will be the way to succeed beyond your dreams. Learn. Live. Give. And love. There is no guarantee of all your tomorrow’s so make every day as incredible as you can. Even if its just being a little more kind, hopeful and happy. That’s worth it! Oh, be alive. Be awake. Be aware. Make all your struggles an adventure. Make every setback a gift of perspective. And in the name all that is good: Believe in Yourself! Not because you are perfect, but because you are not. You are flawed, damaged, tired, and unsure. You are human. And look what you have already done despite all the obstacles life throws in your way. You know you have so much more to show, share and shine. I know you do, too. And I can’t wait to see it. Get out there. Change your thinking. Change your expectations. Change your life. Change the world. Hiy hiy He wrote this after a giant challenge in his life. I love the holy heck out of you. My entire body is lit up with goosebumps.

  3. I love it!!! I met you, at your sister Tracy's, last summer and we chatted for a bit! I think it was book club...I can't remember what book we read. (My name is Natalie). I love this. You look beautiful no matter what, short, long, bald. I really enjoyed reading this, thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Tricia, you are beautiful!! And you will wear your wig with grace, because your lovely face, and beautiful body are still there. You are a whole .. and we love you very much!

  5. I will always remember you as I first took you into my view, sitting on a couch in the great room in the loft house - graceful, well-accessorized (!), dewy complexion, rocking that cute, sassy haircut. I didn't know a before, so I just took in the now that you were experiencing. Keep documenting your journey and sharing your truth with us, your kids, your husband and your friends. You are living life, my dear, and it is a pleasure to follow along. xoxo

  6. You are so brave and beautiful! I don't have any advice because I don't know what it feels like to be you. I admire you.

  7. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test ...within normal ranges ?

    The longer hair style... is you more than you see.