Three years ago when I had surgery, I spent a few hundred dollars on a collection of beautiful silk scarves to wear.
I’m sure some would’ve had courage to go without a scarf with a 4×6 inch section of hair shorn off, and I’d venture to say most would’ve had more self-confidence that I did too.
However, for me it was about feeling as put together as I could get and maintaining as much dignity as possible when I was out of the house. My scarves where how I accomplished that.
My first haircut post surgery, which happened to also be our 9th wedding anniversary on October 16, 2008 was a momentous day in my journey as a patient.
I had reached the milestone where enough hair had grown back that when the wind blew you didn’t see bare skull and I’d gained enough confidence to tuck my scarves into a drawer in my closet, mail countless more back to my mother who had generously let me borrow from her amazing collection and move on.
Those scarves have sat in a drawer for three years and with rare exception, have remained there. I’ve worn a few here and there as a belt or wrapped around my neck, but I simply couldn’t get past what they represented. As beautiful as they are, when I opened the drawer and looked at them, they only served to remind me of their intended purpose three years ago.
I’ve tried to rock the look of wearing one again and yet, no matter the effort, I emotionally could never get past how looking at myself in the mirror, with a scarf tied around my head, I felt sick again.
This past Sunday, the anniversary of our marriage and when I packed away those scarves, I found a little inspiration and dug one out.
As I stood in the closet, held it up, grabbed a straight pin from the pin cushion and looked cautiously in the mirror, I smiled.
This, I thought, I CAN do. This, will work and will not remind me of being a sick patient.
As a nursing mom to an infant, feeling less than beautiful, holding onto some unwanted weight and not looking my best, I’m as I was and felt three years ago (minus the baby). It’s fitting, timely and satisfying that I’m able to repurpose a piece of my past to fit into my future.
Even if it’s so ridiculously simple.