My hair has really been bugging me lately. Well, actually, it’s not all my hair. Just my new hair. All the new hair re-growth by my ears, and one funky spot right in the front of my head, where my hair parts.
Unfortunately for this body of mine, I’ve been on several rounds of steroids during my adult life. To the best of my memory, I believe it’s been eight rounds in the last ten or so years, four of which have been in the last three. Anyone with a free-spirited immune system can probably relate- steroids seem to be the medicine of choice in some circles.
Fortunately, only the first and last rounds of steroids caused me to lose some of my hair. Thankfully, however, I have lots and lots of hair, so unless you are the person waking up and finding excessive amounts of hair on your pillow (or are married to that person), you would have no idea. And, to be fully honest, my hair still looked pretty darn good, even with losing some of it.
Enter the hair re-growth. For the last few months, my hair has been returning, with a vengeance is some areas- by my ears, and that one patch in the front of my head, by my part- they are my “spikes.” It really started to annoy me because it literally looked like I had wings. Seriously. I have had two sections of hair- one by each ear- stick straight out with a little curve back. It looked like I was sticking my head out of a moving car window.
It was especially annoying while headed to the gym, with my hair in a pony tail. Those darn wings of mine would inevitably stick out, if I could even get them back in the first place. It was even more annoying after an hour of spin. Then they had the “sweaty wings” look. I was eternally grateful that the coffee shop I go to after spin is dimly lit.
Fast forward to today, when I was standing in the bathroom, looking at my hair in the mirror. There were my wings, in all their glory. Fortunately, they’re about four inches long now, so they are a little easier to tuck behind my ears, provided I blow-dry them in exactly the right angle. (I’ve given up on the spikes in the front of my head though. They will not cooperate in any way, shape, or form.)
A strange thing then happened while looking in the mirror today- I didn’t feel annoyed when I looked at my wings. I actually LIKED them.
I was a bit confused while looking at my wings, as to why I suddenly found myself liking them. But I studied them a bit more closely, and realized they were really quite beautiful. Full, shiny, healthy. It was re-growth.
Instead of them reminding me that I had been on way too many rounds of steroids, there was a shift, and I began to admire them. I was thrilled that my body was returning in yet another way, and was so resilient.
And then it happened. I heard the words “I’m back” play over and over again in my head. “I’m back.” I smiled, felt a surge of energy and warmth, and realized- yes, I really am back. Even with eight rounds of steroids, other meds, many docs, blah, blah, blah- I am back, baby.
As I continued to be mesmerized by my full, shiny, healthy, and fiercely independent wings, I realized they were telling me something else. That the nickname we gave them was perfect- they really are my wings. And I finally believe that I really can fly. What a great metaphor, what an awesome reminder- what a gift.