I learned a lot during my time in college. I learned how quickly mold grows in a refrigerator; the power of a youthful metabolism to digest a whole dinner at 6PM and require another meal at midnight; the blessing of friendships made and kept 15+ years after graduation; and that I drool when I sleep (as my friends so kindly informed me). I may also have gleaned a theory or two about Psychology along the way, since that was my major. Yet, after four years of higher learning, I must admit there is one important lesson I learned in college that was not from a lecture hall and a professor, but from my own apartment and friends.
During my last two years of college, I was fortunate to live with three dear girlfriends in our own apartment. We had so much fun doing things together – late night talking, studying, eating, cooking, praying, singing, partying and growing. We even had one session of haircutting, thanks to our adventurous roomie R who decided out of the blue one evening to cut her hair. When I say out of the blue, I mean we didn’t even have proper haircutting tools around, but we made do with what we had.
That evening, R sat down on a dining room chair and another friend took the scissors and a comb in his hands. Now, this was not just a trim she wanted. R wanted a major change, one that would transform the locks that fell to the middle of her back into a bob.
Suffice it to say, we were shocked at her decision. “Are you sure you want it that short?” we collectively asked.
“Yes, cut it!” R answered.
Image courtesy of kibsri/freedigitalphotos.net
So our friend began to cut R’s hair. And cut. And cut. Throughout the ordeal, I remember I felt very anxious and worried that the outcome would be… to be honest, disastrous. I just couldn’t envision a good outcome based on what I was witnessing.
Snip, snip, snip!
Long, thick, black hair fell to the laminate floor… clump after clump. By the end of the haircut, it looked like a little black animal had formed at our feet. R’s remaining hair, having been sprayed with water, stuck plastered to her head, limp and lifeless. And it was short – cut to the chin short!
I’m sure I had worry lines all across my forehead by then, but R had a bright smile on her face. That smile told me she still confidently believed in her decision to chop off her hair. She ran off to get cleaned up and style her new do. We heard the hair dryer whir for a few minutes and then the door to the bathroom opened.
When R came out, I let out a big sigh and a cheer. Her new hairstyle looked GREAT. She had blown it out so there was volume and movement to her hair. The bob framed her face well and showed off her dimples. Bottom line, the new haircut looked super cute!
Now, what was the lesson I learned in all this, you ask?
It’s this: When we take the risk to make a change, it’s our faith in the outcome that helps us persevere through the uncertainty and discomfort of the process.
For me, this has has looked like…
Believing that subjecting myself to the “torture” of yoga will make me stronger and more flexible enables me to push through each agonizing pose and welcome each bead of sweat.
Knowing that humility and cooperation are keys to a healthy and happy marriage gave me the motivation I needed to apologize to hubby for my bad attitude the other day.
Hoping that my kids will learn to value love above perfection reminds me to bite my tongue and respond graciously whenever one of them spills something on accident.
What I’ve learned is that makings changes in your life takes guts. But those small or big changes in your life – the “makeovers” of your health or home or hair or heart – are a lot easier to make when you have faith that the outcome will be worth the process.
Here’s Sara Groves’ song, “It’s Going to be Alright”.
What changes have you made in your life where you knew the outcome would be worth the process?
P.S. You may wonder, what if R’s haircut really hadn’t turned out so well? Well, for one, I wouldn’t be using it as an analogy in this post! 🙂 But thankfully it did, so no worries there!