About a month ago, I made an appointment to get my hair dyed with Jackie, an old classmate and coworker, since she works at a salon nearby.
My hair is naturally dark and like many others who experiment with hair color, I’m guilty of using boxed dyes from Walmart. She asked what my goal was. I told her that I want the latest trend: I want my roots to be dark and I want it to gradually get blonder. Apparently, this process is a balayage. (I’m still not quite sure I understand what that means, but she’s the expert.) 
She explained that going blonde is a process. You can’t go from dark to blonde in one session. It takes time. Baby steps. My hair would be lighter, but I wouldn’t reach my goal today. Unless, of course, I want my hair to get completely fried with bleach. But, shortcuts are usually ill-advised. So, in order to keep my hair healthy, I will need to be patient and I need to be realistic.
Similarly, as I reflect on my life so far, I’ll admit that I’m not quite where I would like to be yet. Up until a few months ago, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I had found someone to spend my future with. We talked about our plans to move in together next year. He had met my family. I thought I would be moving in with him and then shortly after getting married and possibly children? I’m not sure, but I thought I was headed in that direction. 
I’m “starting over” now. I have a clean slate to work with. And although I’m not where I thought I would be, I realize that I can’t be impatient. No matter what your goal is, it will take time. 
After showing me a picture of what my hair would most likely look like today, Jackie asked me if I wanted to go ahead with the process knowing that this would be the first of many sessions. Was I willing to commit? I said yes. 

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