Often times we envision a perfect picture of how we hope things happen, but doing this can be extremely dangerous to our happiness. It not only results in disappointment on most occasions, but it also takes us out of the flow of life in general. I mean think about it. If life always ended up how we imagined then there wouldn’t be a reason to live in the moment. If life gave us everything we thought we wanted, we would probably be settling for the worst without even knowing that the best was yet to come.
Every year that my birthday month comes around, I devote a lot of time and energy into making sure that I have the perfect look. It typically starts with the perfect hairstyle, the most enchanting outfit, and of course how I hope to feel as I celebrate another year of love, lessons, and accomplishments. I had already Imagined that I would wear my hair blonde. In fact, I spent days hashtagging ash-blonde just to make sure my hairstylist had a vision of what I wanted. After all the madness, my hair was slayed to the Gods, and I had a fabulous time showcasing it in Miami. Seriously the pictures were flawless!
While in Miami I remember my friend telling me that when I focus my mind on something and it doesn’t happen I tend to become bummed out. The exact words he used were “Cyn you have to learn how to manage your expectations.” At that moment I laughed, but On August 21st the day of my actual birthday, the joke was on me. I washed my gorgeous blonde hair only to realize that my hair was turning blue. I could not believe that on my 25th birthday this was actually happening to me. I shed a tear and immediately realized that I had two choices. I could either sit in my disappointment, or I could rise to the challenge and immediately move forward from the situation. I choose to move forward. I immediately trashed my blonde hair and told myself that things would be fine regardless. Once I made the decision to throw that wig away, I was also throwing away the expectation I had tied to it which freed me. I know what you are thinking, but its just hair! Well, even in the slightest situation there is always a lesson to be learned. Here are three lessons I learned that I will forever take with me throughout my journey.
Never Put Anything or Anyone on a pedestal.
For whatever reason, I managed to make myself believe that If I wasn’t blonde It would be the end of the world, and that was the first mistake. Realistically speaking I slay everything, and even if I was completely bald I would have looked just as fabulous. My biggest advice to myself and anyone is to drop the imagination of how we think we will feel when things turn out a certain way and instead feel that way regardless. When we put items or people on a pedestal we actually give it/ them power over us and that is the most dangerous place to live. It’s not ever the item or that person, it’s you, so have the courage to take your power back.
Learn to pivot fast!
When things happen unexpectedly, as a leader I have learned that its less about what’s happening, and more about how I plan to handle it. When I realized that my hair was blue I invested 10 minutes on the emotion and immediately starting thinking about what was next. I went to another hairstylist who helped me recreate the perfect burgundy bob and I ended up having dinner at Ysabel with my friend that night. If I had spent my time dwelling on how my blonde hair was ruined, it would have prevented me from thinking quick and I probably would have just got in bed reminiscing on my loss. I called my friend the next day and told him how I finally learned the importance of managing my expectations, and he said to me: “As leaders we handle things and we move forward from it. We are called to be bigger and stronger. To take more hits than the average person. Learn from it and always think of what the universe is trying to teach you.” I knew exactly what the universe was trying to teach me and I was blessed to have handled the challenge with poise.
Things happen as they should, sometimes even better.
I had the perfect birthday party and looking back at everything I was overwhelmed with happiness that things happened the way it did. My dress was black with silver rhinestones and my blonde hair wouldn’t have complimented the dress at all. As I walked into the party everyone bombarded me with love and all I could think about was how grateful I was to see another year. I thought about all the gifts and lessons life had given me the opportunity to learn. Some came with heartbreak, some came joy, some came with uncertainty but in the end, it always worked out! After that night I learned how to manage my expectations and I took that lesson in my back pocket. Everything happens for a reason, so always remember to rise to the challenge, be willing to pivot, and trust the process.