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simplychristaanne.comWhat Failing at Pinterest Taught Me About Winning at Life ~ Simply Christa Anne This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information. For many reasons, around summer of last year, I decided to stop coloring my hair. “Embrace the gray” became my mantra. Right before my vacation last October, I thought briefly of covering the gray so I wouldn’t “ruin” my vacation photos. I didn’t color my hair; I embraced the gray. Recently, I decided F. That. I want the imagined youthfulness that a bottle of chemicals can deliver. I have a love/hate relationships with salons. They love to take my money. I always hate the results. But this time was going to be different. I researched. I asked trusted friends. I made an appointment, and I went. 7 hours and $400 later, my hair was terrible. Like, really, really terrible. I wanted to be bold and go for a lilac/gray bayalage. (The gray was intentional and therefore different. Shut up.) I texted the stylist back and forth the week leading up to the appointment. We had a lengthy in-person consultation. I had pictures. So. Many. Pictures. My hair is dark brown (and gray, but shhhhh). It is a many step process (I was told) to achieve my desired result, but it could happen. So much hopefulness! After step one, I was doubtful. It didn’t look the way it was supposed to look, even at that early stage. I stopped the colorist and said, “This isn’t looking how it’s supposed to look. If my hair can’t make this magical transformation, or if it is outside of your skill level, let’s just stop now. I’m totally happy coloring my hair brown. I have two goals for this appointment: cover the gray hairs and not cry.” She assured me everything was great, trust the process, and let’s keep going. We kept going. Step 2 – not great, Bob. Step 3 – even worse. Step 4 – disaster (and tears) My hair was so bad, I received multiple apologies from THE ENTIRE STAFF and a waiver of the crazy high (but agreed upon) $400 bill. I recently re-read Brene Brown’s Rising Strong. I think she writes mediocre books with great messages. I usually don’t enjoy the reading of her books, but I always take something away from them. I always learn something new and helpful and needed in my life. The message I took away from Rising Strong was to live life on the assumption that everyone is trying their best, Ugh. So hard to do, but absolutely life-changing The Starbucks cashier who not only ruins your order but also mangles your easily-spelled name? He’s trying his best. The terrible driver who cut you off and then drove ten miles below the speed limit on a road where there is no opportunity to pass him? He’s trying his best. The family member who constantly starts the same fight? She’s trying her best. The friend who only ever seems to be a friend when she needs help and no one else is around? She’s trying her best. The stylist who promises you the flawless execution of a Pinterest ideal? She’s trying her best. While I cried at the hair appointment, I didn’t yell. I didn’t swear. I didn’t call her names. I assumed she was trying her best. I thanked her for her time and effort. I tipped her $200. I left (and I cried the whole drive home). The next morning, I drove to Target at 8 am. I spent $8 on a box of hair color and $20 on a deep conditioning treatment. My was the same brown it was before the appointment with the stylist. (Its texture and overall healthiness was another story.) And I was still so upset. Upset over the time lost. Upset over the money. Upset over the result. Upset I wound up coloring my own hair anyway. Upset, upset, upset. And instead of pushing away the upset or directing it towards someone else, I sat with it. I embraced the upset. And I figured out some stuff. 1. I was upset over the lost time because time is so precious. I take care of the two-year-old 99% of the time. I run around the house cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, changing diapers, playing, bathing, and doing the bedtime routine. “My” time is spent running or writing, both of which are done before the baby wakes up or after he goes to bed, which means I’m awake at 4:30 am and in bed at midnight. Not sustainable, Bob. The seven hours spent at the salon (!) was upsetting because I could have spent it doing something for me – a movie or a solo shopping trip. The salon was for me, but not, ya know? I need to delegate chores. I need to lessen my to-do list. I need to ask for help. 2. I was upset over the money because I feel guilty spending money on myself. I have a job and paid for the salon with “my” money. That is a bad way of thinking about finances. I am one-half of a partnership. I know my husband does not feel guilty spending money on himself. Thankfully, we both have similar spending habits. Bills, savings, and if there is anything left over, fun. We sleep inside, eat when we are hungry, and will hopefully continue to do so for the rest of our lives. If I want to spend money on myself for something silly and fun, I can. I am worthy of good things. Maybe that should replace “Embrace the gray” as my mantra. 3. I was upset over the result because it was terrible. (Really, really terrible.) But beyond that, I figured out why I am never, ever happy when I leave a salon. (Deep breath.) I just want to feel pretty. Just once, even for a few moments. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I want my hair to be shiny and full (and dammit, lilac and gray). I want my skin to be clearer, my teeth to be straighter, my nose to be smaller. I want to pay someone money and in the blink of an eye (or in seven hours), I want to be transformed. I don’t know (yet) how to fix this, but knowing a thing is the first step towards change. 4. I was upset over coloring my own hair because my entire life feels like I have to do everything all of the time for everyone. Or else I am constantly cleaning up someone else’s mistakes. If you would have just listened to me is a constant thought I have (while cleaning up someone else’s mess). I am not a maid, and perfectionism is poison. This is hard to write and will be much harder to realize. Pinterest fail, but yay for figuring out in specific ways how I can slowly march towards being a better human. What recent failings have you experienced? How can you move through those experiences and march towards being a better human? Let me know in the comments!3