When I was feeling the worst about myself I have ever felt in my life in 2011 -worthless, ugly, disliked, unwanted- I decided I needed to change something about myself and dyed my hair fire engine red. Surprisingly, it made me feel so much more confident and better about life. I got a lot of compliments too, which always helped. Man I loved it. I kept it that way off and on until I started my first Park Service job in 2014, when I decided the red clashed with the uniform.
Lately, I had been feeling bad about the way I looked. Especially my hair. It was so long and in the way so I just kept it up in a bun all the time. And I really don’t like the way buns look on me.
So I scheduled my first hair appointment in years to get it cut. After scheduling it, I started thinking... You know, my job now is behind the scenes and I don’t wear a uniform anymore. I could totally go back to the red hair again. And so I did. Seven inches off and back to the red and somehow I feel so much better about myself.
I dug out my old dresses from when I lived in California out of my closet and have been wearing those instead of my usual jeans and t shirts. I wear my hair down now instead of back in a bun. I started wearing makeup again. And overall I just feel better about myself. I feel more confident, like I can look people in the eye instead of down at the ground. And today, I got the two best compliments. One coworker said “Here’s the girl with the best hair in the park” and another said “You are by far the best dressed person in the park every day.” Maybe that may not seem like much to someone else, but as someone who has spent years feeling bad about themself, those words meant a lot to me.
Obviously, there are so many things that more important than looks, and I am not saying that you should put stock into what other people think or say. But what it is, is that I feel more comfortable in my own skin again. I don’t run away from my husband’s camera anymore. I feel good about myself again. And it’s been a long time since I felt that way.
Its crazy what a hair appointment can do. ...
About a month ago, I told @samlarsen 8 that I feel like I’ve become less brave since getting married because I use him to avoid uncomfortable situation or do things I don’t want to. I asked him to encourage me to do things that scare me instead of doing them for me, and he gladly said he would.
Fast forward to just a few days later. Sam and I were passing through Moab and decided to pop over to Canyonlands to catch the sunset at Mesa Arch. As we were getting back to the parking lot, I noticed a 20-something year old boy picking a bouquet of wildflowers. My immediate reaction was a jaw drop and a look at Sam that said “Are you seeing this?” And then, as I almost always do, I continued to the car without a word and got in. And then, of course, complained to Sam that I wish I had the guts to say something.
That’s when Sam, being the wise and encouraging husband he is, reminded me of what I had asked him to do just days before- to not let me take the easy way out. He said, “I won’t leave this parking lot until you go say something. I know it will eat you apart if you don’t.” I whined a little bit but I knew he was right. I wanted to say something SO badly but I was crippled by fear. I sat in the car for what felt like forever and continued to watch, cringing every time a new flower was plucked while I did nothing.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I got out and crossed the parking lot and went right up to him and said, “Excuse me. I’m not trying to be a jerk but...” As kindly as I could and in whatever words my nervous self could muster, I told him that he shouldn’t be picking wildflowers, especially in a national park. It was awkward. I finished and waited for him to call me a mean name or tell me off.
But he didn’t. He was super nice and apologetic and was either a really good actor or just truly didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. He thanked me for letting him know. I wished him a good night and quickly got back in the car. My heart was pounding but I felt like a weight had been lifted. Be brave. Be kind. Educate, don’t shame or humiliate. If you don’t say something, who will? ...
One of my favorite images of all time and it wasn't even planned.
We were heading to a different point nearby and I decided to stop n take a quick detour to check out this spot and couldn't pass up the perfect reflection. Snap snap and then moved on. #lexaraovwater@lexarmemory@artofvisuals ...
There's something about the sky that keeps us coming back, drawing us toward that sliver of light just beyond the horizon's reach.
Is it the end of days, or of us? Is the allure in the chase itself, knowing we will never find it, that the pursuit is the point and not its climax, that the climax, if we could have it, is never quite as satisfying as it seems in our mind's script?
Is it that call, that invitation, to what we cannot have that ultimate drives us? That illusion and fantasy are preferable to what actually awaits us over the next plateau?
Like the way that the day dances with the night, a playful tease as fire mingles with the darkness. Before the curtain falls and we are cloaked with loss and grief for the time we can never get back.
Like the stars telling of infinity, stars of ages and lives past, stars of vastness and emptiness and endless expanse, stars tearing through space with the mischief of those who could never be contained by it.
Like fireflies who never belonged in the boxes and jars of time and space and human knowledge. These three have their limits, after all.
Have you ever found yourself away from the light you've grown to depend on, not just for entertainment and luxury and bullshit activity, but for your very sight?
Have you ever seen the sky beyond its artificial glow?
It's harrowing to think how we're more comfortable with LED and 4K than we are with the light that was there from the beginning, the very light that seems crowded with our technology and civilization and modernity. It's an obsolete, primitive relic of our "enlightenment." Ironic.
I suppose for many of us, we avoid it because of what we would feel and become in that great expanse. Of what we would be reduced to as we stare into the void, or as the void stares into us.
We would be overcome with the truth awaiting us. No, we would prefer to distract ourselves with routine tasks, petty games, and meaningless titles that bestow power and privilege because someone decided that it should be so. **Continued in comment section⬇️** ...
Was recently reminded by friends and peers to get out and shoot for myself. No brands or assignments. Just me. As simple as that might sound, motivation isn’t always there, and some days are way rougher than others. This here was one of those days. I don’t regret a second of it. ...
My favorite types of hikes are always through water, with any degree of canyon surrounding you. Dan proposed to me at Parfrey’s Glen in Baraboo, Wi; which will always be my favorite hike. But this one just took official second place. It was difficult, time consuming, yet awe-inspiring. Our relationship started with a beautiful hike at Pafrey’s Glen on our first date, and I’m fortunate we can continue to find hikes together that inspire us. ...