As I was out driving around tonight, I was reflecting on all the changes that have happened in my life over the last year. You would think thoughts of relationship changes, college changes, city changes, degree changes, or personality changes would be the first things to come to my mind, but no, they weren’t. The first thing I thought about was my hair. Yep, that’s right. Let me just say that I have this weird love and obsession with my hair and it only seems natural to relate my life to that right? For years now (six to be exact) I’ve been growing out my hair after the rational decision to chop it off and let me just say I did cry and I could not wait for it to grow back. I felt restricted on everything I could do with it and I wanted more and I wanted it now, but hair doesn’t grow over night and I sure did not have money for extensions. I didn’t have a long pony tail, bouncy beach curls, last minute side braids, or top knots. Basically, I had to put a LOT of extra work into my hair every morning in order to make it look or even different, and let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person or a “get up earlier than I have to” person. As a year or so went by, it was finally long enough to put into a real pony tail and my bangs were no longer attacking my face every time I turned my head (BLESS!) I was happy knowing I was making progress on the end goal-long luxurious locks of love, but let’s be honest, I was far from satisfied. Fast forward a few years and praise the Lord I could finally throw my hair up in a bun whenever I desired and curling my hair transformed me into a different person. My bangs were long enough to style into a bump and let’s just say game days were always my favorite because cheer bows always add a little sass. But I still compared my less than par and boring shoulder length hair to everyone else who had those long luscious locks, so I continued to put in the work and by work I mean taking Biotin every day and laying off all the heat products (Talk about ratchet.) After several years of resisting the urge to cut my beautiful blonde hair, I changed it up, went brunette, and decided to cut ALL the dead off, and yes, I cried once more. How stupid is it that in order to obtain your goal you have to cut something you love off? Very stupid actually. BUT six LONG years later my not always beautiful, ratty, tangled, ever changing color hair, is finally where I have always wanted it to be. So now, I know you’re wondering why in the heck I told you the life story of my hair and wondering how in the world that ties to my life and my thoughts, but let me tell you. I’ve spent such a large portion of my life waiting for my end goal to happen, preparing for that destination, and being frustrated when it hasn’t come as fast as I want it to. I forget to celebrate the small victories along the way, acknowledge the progress I’ve made, or recognize just how far I have come throughout the journey. I get frustrated when I have to cut people or things out of my life that are hindering me from my goal because I feel like it is a set-back, when in reality it is a step in the right direction that is going to help me tremendously in the long run. Then, when I have finally reached the finish line and I am ready to celebrate my victory, I still can’t find beauty in the moment. My top knot isn’t “knotty” enough, my messy bun isn’t perfectly messy enough, and now I have TOO much hair-too thick of hair- to make it look good. I tried five different pony tail brands until I realized it wasn’t the hair band that was being made smaller, but my hair that had grown so much even two times around would begin to give my headaches. Everything I had wanted and thought would be so fabulous, really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. So, why don’t I just cut it off again and learn to appreciate the process in a different way? Well, the answer is simple- I just don’t want to. So, what am I going to do about it? I’m going to learn to appreciate the fact that I have figured out a way to hold my hair back with the power of just one bobby pin. That’s right. I had this HUGE expectation of what my finish line victory would look like, only to use the same one bobby pin I used when I first started (Let me just note here that I have probably gone through 600 bobby pins over those six years so the chanced of it being the exact same bobby pin is pretty unlikely.) So what did I learn from this and how exactly am I applying it to my life? Enjoy the journey-I spent so much time and effort comparing myself to others, seeing myself as a failure, not appreciating the moment, and only focusing on my goal that I missed out on all the good things happening. In reality, our end goals may not be everything we were hoping for, and if we put all our hopes and dreams into the expectations of it being perfect, we will only be disappointed. BUT, if I take away all the experiences, lessons learned, and tough love from start to finish, it has the potential to bring a positive and more fulfilled outcome. So, life is like those beautiful locks of love hanging from your head. Some days you need the support of your friends and your hair band. Some days you need to let go of the ones holding you back and the cut dead off your hair in order to make progress. Some days you have to find resources to help yourself and take handfuls of Biotin to make progress (Don’t actually take handfuls.) Some days are better than others, just like there is a time for a messy bun or an updo. Our hair throws all kind of curve balls at us like frizzing when it’s humid and making our left side our only good side, but really life does the same thing. Have goals and have ambitions, but enjoy every moment of the journey because that is the part that counts the most.