For the last five years or so I have been cutting my own hair and not wearing any make up. My wardrobe consists of black t-shirts and black pants. I do not even own a comb or a brush. All the time I believed that I was living up to some unspoken code of either frugality or minimalism. I felt that if I spent money on a real haircut that I was turning my back on my beliefs.
So today I went on an interview with a company I really want to work for (if I get it, I will tell you all about it). I walked into the corporate office in my train uniform as that’s the only thing I own that resembles anything even remotely dressed up. I wore a big scarf to hide the train logo on my vest. My hair was an absolute mess. I tried this morning to even it out and cover the ever-growing bald spot in the back, but I proceeded to make it even worse. There was no time to fix it. My shoes were a muddy mess and my purse did not match anything I was wearing.
The interview seemed to go well I hope. But when I got back to my car I looked at myself in the rear view mirror and came to a startling conclusion. I had, plain and simply, given up on myself. I was using the excuse that what I looked like doesn’t matter. Well, it does…like it or not. This place I want to work is not overly obsessed with appearances but has a certain reputation to live up to. You have to look, at the very least, like you care. I feel that I did not look that way. Hopefully, my experience will get me in the door.
On the way back home, I stopped at a Fantastic Sam’s for a real haircut. Because of the missteps I had take with the hair shears, there was not a lot she could do. We laughed as she continued to cut and even out the mess I had made. When it was all over, my hair looked really nice. It was now well-kept looking and neat. $16 plus a tip was all it took to make a world of a difference. I had not betrayed any philosophy I was living under. The next stop was for a bottle of foundation to even out the skin tone. Nothing fancy, just a little bit of help.
I wish I would have done this before the interview, but I think it will be okay. So what did I learn? It is actually ok to look as good as you can. The littlest change can bring about renewed self-confidence and give you a little lift in your step. Caring about your appearance does not mean that you can’t be authentic. I foolishly talked myself into believing that if I cut my hair or wore a touch of makeup that I was being fake somehow. It caused me to basically give up.
Do not get me wrong, I can still comb my hair with my fingers. The bottle of foundation will probably still be here long after I’m gone. But that’s ok. I can still be authentic and care about myself.
Why are these lessons taking so long for me to learn? I guess I’m just a slow learner. I’m, at least, glad to be learning them. I’m marking in my calendar the date for my next hair appointment. I sort of feel like an adult. 😜
PS. I forgot to wear deodorant….I will try to remember next time!