Thursday, October 9, 2014

#TBT: Super blonde

Long blonde hair freshman year of college in 2004.

Blame it on Pinterest, but lately I've had a mysterious urge to highlight my hair. To give a little context, I first started coloring my hair when I was 14. I brought pictures of platinum blonde celebs with me to the hair dresser, and predictably cried when I left the salon looking anything less than a John Freida model.

In my teens, it was never just about being blonde. It was about being blonde-and-tan. One was not sufficient without the other. There was no such thing as being too blonde or too tan. It wasn't until my senior year in college that I got fed up with the split ends and meandered back to the dark side. Shortly thereafter, I cut back on and soon quit tanning altogether, embracing a new, more natural look.

Me and a friend in NYC in 2007.

Fast forward six years: my hair has grown about a foot, and I haven't gotten close to a foil or box of hair dye in several years. For no reason in particular, I find myself daydreaming about subtle caramel highlights or a touch of ombre. Until now, I would have blown off the urges and stuck with my usual routine, but sometimes its nice to make a change.

You may have noticed that I've been a "bad blogger" lately. The reason for this is twofold: (1) the trackpad on my MacBook has been broken and driving me crazy, and (2) last month, I started a new job! After nearly five years working in grant development and communications, I've shifted into an entirely new role doing community relations for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. It's been incredibly exciting for me to try something new, as well as to get paid to do the type of work I've spent so much time doing as a volunteer for the past few years.

With the little broski at my college graduation in 2008.

As I've made this move, it's been the perfect time for me to step back and evaluate my continued involvement in extracurricular activities like planning the Portland Melanoma Walk and even writing this blog. These activities have been immensely therapeutic for me, but as life goes on, I've felt less and less compelled to spend all my free time working on these projects. It's gotten to the point where every time I plan a melanoma-related meeting or event, it feels like a nagging reminder of something I've worked so hard to overcome. When I feel this way, I have to remind myself, this is a good thing. It's not quitting. It's coping. It's finding a way to make the best of a bad situation and then passing the torch to others who need that outlet. My job will continue to keep me connected to some great cancer prevention and early detection initiatives, but I'm definitely ready to step out of the spotlight and let the focus be on others.

Last weekend up at Mt. Hood. Hair au natural.

You can see why I'm tempted to switch up my look. I know I haven't escaped melanoma for good. Just last week I had a minor surgery on my left shin to remove an abnormal mole, but overall, I feel like I'm in a really great place right now, and I'm excited to see where life takes me next.

xo Katie

P.S. Will share pics if and when I do highlight my hair.