Last time I had my hair cut this short was in high school. This was way back then.
When I started college, I blow-dried and styled my hair every day.
While we were in college, Kelsie (my best friend and roommate) taught me how to embrace my natural, un-blowdried hair and let go of the need to get ready every day.
During that season of my life, that didn’t mean I wasn’t taking care of myself because self-care looks different depending on the stage of your life and your own needs. In college, I needed that extra time to spend with people or outside. Now, I need to get ready sometimes so that I feel special and beautiful. I feel beautiful without makeup, but there’s something special about putting a little on and fixing my hair.
Most days, I still embrace my natural hair and let it do whatever it is going to do. I feel free to do that, and I also feel free to wear makeup when I want and to totally leave it out of my morning (or afternoon) routine if I feel like it.
For me, college set me free from a lot of cultural pressure to wear makeup, do my hair, have nice clothes, and fit in. I’m so thankful that the culture at my university encouraged the godly friendships that have really shaped me and helped make me into who I am today. In those friendships, especially those formed my freshman year of college, I really experienced the freedom to be myself.
I felt the freedom of a community that showed me God’s love and grace despite my shortcomings and my immaturity. I felt the freedom to embrace my personal interests and not conform to someone else’s. I felt the freedom of God while walking alongside other believers in encouragement and truth.
Now, as I continue to grow up and gain a little wisdom, I see that I still have the freedom to take care of myself the way I need to. It is easy to give excuses that I don’t have time for self-care because of ____________ (being a mom, cleaning, cooking, working, or whatever else it might be). However, I’ve seen that lack of self-care hurts my friendships and leaves me with little to give to my family and to others.
So recently I told Landon that I really needed to go get my hair cut somewhere nice. (Thanks, Emily at OCCO!) I started taking more time to myself to read. I started cooking for myself and buying avocados because I really like them. I started exercising (just 10 minutes a day) because it makes me feel strong afterwards.
Mamas, you have the freedom to take care of yourself. Sometimes, you’ll need another person’s help to make that time and space depending on your stage of life. Also know that you have the freedom to be yourself and enjoy self-care how you enjoy it. It doesn’t have to look like my self-care or the self-care photos you see on Instagram. It just needs to be something that lets you feel like you. Enjoy it. Love it. Love being yourself.