Home > advice -- not that you asked, Random Musings, Stories from Childhood > Musings, Myths, and the Time of Not-Pink Hair

Musings, Myths, and the Time of Not-Pink Hair


When I was a kid, I wanted to be an actress. I had a slight obsession with old school Hollywood hairstyles (think Veronica Lake), which didn’t suit me (I had bangs at the time). As a natural ham, I didn’t know what stage fright was, and I was always out to make people laugh. I remember playing pretend on the playground, an elaborate backstory plotted, and saying things like, “But my character is really UPSET right now. Why don’t you get that?”

Okay, so maybe I took it a little seriously. Perhaps I should have been doing Shakespeare. (Side-note: there’s a plastic skull Halloween decoration at my house. Please ask me if I did a scene from Hamlet. “Alas, poor Yorick…” *ahem*)

After that, and before that, I wanted to be a singer. This was, no doubt, due in no small part to my complete love of Jem and the Holograms (it’s showtime, Synergy!). If I could’ve, I would’ve dyed my hair pink in a heartbeat. Never mind that I, as a child, could not sing well if my life depended on it. Neighborhood animals would flee. A rake on a chalkboard sounded better. Which does nothing to explain the fact that I sang all the time, oblivious, and there are some REALLY embarrassing pictures of me singing Madonna songs into a maraca. (Ohhh, you’re an angel. Ohhhh, you’re angel…) Sure, I learned how to sing. I taught myself, which was no small feat. At some point, I’ll record an a capella song for you all. Right now, I have allergies, which would not sound pretty.

Sometime following my desire to wow the masses with my stunning vocals, I wanted to be a veterinarian. That lasted all the way into high school, when I discovered psychology and wanted to be a shrink. Until my first year of college was over, and I realized I take everyone’s problems too seriously. A year into seeing patients, I would’ve been a basketcase. So, I changed my major to English, thinking I’d want to be a teacher. (And I was for a little while.) Then, I got into marketing, while writing.

And here we are, today. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I ever truly lost the desire to do any of those things. I can still recite a scene from The Taming of the Shrew that was memorized for class. I do accents fairly well, even a Jamaican one. I have sung in public, at open mic nights, and done well. I may not be a veterinarian, but I know a thing or two about caring for animals. And I’m not a shrink, but if you need to talk, I’m here.

Otherwise, yes, I WILL correct your grammar. And the writing thing should be self-explanatory. All in all, I think these different facets of my personality make me quirky. Sure, I’ve been known to burst into a song from Evita, or toss out a quip from The Princess Bride, or throw out some terms I still remember from Psych 101 (“you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken crap.” No, sir, you cannot. Best professor ever. Trust me.)

Life is never a straight line. It doesn’t matter if you change your college major three times, or not at all. College doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s important to learn as much as you can. It’s also important to get a buffalo chicken wrap and garlic fries whenever possible. (Sorry, college flashback. *drools*)

Every time I’ve tried something new, I’ve learned something. Even the things I’ve screwed up spectacularly. Even the times I’ve made a grade-A, Falstaff level fool out of myself. Nothing is without merits. Mistakes and ventures, adventures and bouts of minor insanity, are how we learn and grow.

It’s never too late. It’s never too early. It’s never anything, but opportune. I’ll tell you something that I wish I understood sooner: what you want is never stupid. It’s never silly. Figure out your goal, and go get it. If you don’t try, you’re not just holding yourself back – you’re holding your potential in.

PS. I still want to dye my hair pink, only in streaks. Someone talk me out of this…

  1. Blake
    November 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I say run right out and get those pink streaks! 😉 “Falstaff level fool” = Love it! For the second time this week, I am going to quote you on my FB status: “If you don’t try, you’re not just holding yourself back – you’re holding your potential in.”

    Have a great day, Ali! 🙂

    • November 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Blake, your comments always make me smile — and thank you for quoting me! I’m very honored. 🙂

  2. Lou
    November 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Do it! Go pink. Talk me out of doing it with you!

    Loved this post.

    • November 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Ohhhh! That could be awesome. We could be hair twins! *grin* I’m going to look into it, and I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

  3. November 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Go for the pink hair! Several years ago, I had royal blue streaks, and they were glorious.

    I went through several phases, too. Vet was one of them, and then nurse, National Geographic photographer living in Australia (that one was very specific), and at one point, animal trainer, FBI agent (when the X-Files was on TV), and olympic swimmer. I was all over the place.

    Excellent post!!

    • November 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

      How easy was it to grow out? Or did you use temporary dye? I am really considering this now. Uh oh…

      FBI agent! I loved the X-Files. For a while, it made me want to be a forensic pathologist. 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!!!

  4. Jessica
    November 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I’m going to say go ahead and do the pink, honestly. I think dying one’s hair a crazy color is something we all need to do, and get out of our system at some point in our lives. A teacher of mine with dark, thick hair that reminds me of yours (from pictures anyway) once dyed the underneath section of her hair pink and it looked quite awesome.

    I dyed my hair blue in high school. I bleached it first, and then used semi-permanent blue dye. It looked pretty cool. It started to wash out after a few weeks, but then it mostly just turned to a cyan kind of color. And as long as you condition it, I don’t think you’ll have a problem with it getting damaged. Mine survived that, and all the subsequent (permanent) dye jobs my mom made me get to change it back before my confirmation. (Whups…)

    So yea… do it, it’s fun, it’ll look cool, and you’ll enjoy it.

    As someone who is very, VERY attached to her hair, I really hate using this phrase, but at the end of the day… it’s just hair. It’ll grow back. Haha.

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