Short Hair, Don’t Care

Nothing makes me feel more like myself than a fresh haircut. I may not be very high maintenance (at least I like to think I’m not), but my hair is very important to me. As much as I hate to admit it, I definitely feel like a lot of how I identify myself is by my haircut.

I always used to think girls that thought that way we’re silly. So many females are wrapped up in their gorgeous long, silky hair. They would come up to me and say, “Oh I love your hair! I could never cut mine off. I’m too scared.” And I would reply (in nicer ways), “Suck it up and chop it off. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back.” I made fun of them to myself because they were too afraid to cut their hair, as if it weren’t reversible with time. 
But I’ll admit I’m the same way, only the opposite. I’m afraid to grow my hair out. Most everyone in my adult life only knows me with short hair. When it starts to grow out to a Meg-Ryan-“You’ve-Got-Mail”  length, I start getting nervous. It grows over my ears and my cow licks at my neck start emerging. Every day becomes a Headband Day just to manage it growing out until I can afford to cut it again. 
I get to a point where I can’t do anything with it. It’s too thick to be volumous and just lays flat. It has too much curl to stay tame in the Florida humidity, but it doesn’t have the length to properly and attractively force to curl. When I’m at this point, no amount of skirts and makeup and jewelry and compliments from my roommates and boyfriend can make me feel pretty. I have a hard time as it is accepting compliments. But if I don’t like how my hair looks, it’s even more difficult to pay them.

Showing people photos of me with long hair is always fun. Very few people know me anymore with anything but the pixie cuts. Here are a few photos of me in high school:

 

I’m horrified at these photos. Gross. It doesn’t even look like me. Not only were these photos taken almost seven years ago, when my hair was long and lighter, but I just don’t look like that anymore. Growing up is weird. But yes, this is about as long as my hair ever was. At least at this point in my life I had learned how to dry and straighten it. In younger years (I refuse to look up photos because they’re so horrendous and frumpy), I was queen of badly-executed pony-tails because my hair wasn’t worth the effort of styling and I hadn’t learned yet. Sometimes I still feel that way; it’s mostly due to the Florida humidity that even short hair isn’t worth the effort some days.

But nowadays, here’s been my signature haircut:

 

Usually done in red or black, or the occasional natural-brownish color, This haircut is so much better for me and my time and patience. Never again will I grow out my hair like it was before. It’s not me. Short, messy, edgy, that’s my hair now. I miss having pink, purple, and blue-dyed hair, but that’s a solid “no” from Disney. So I keep it short and I love it that way. If that makes me find myself and my identity by the length of my hair, then that’s how it is. Some girls need long hair to feel like themselves, and that’s okay too. I’ll keep my pixie and save hours of drying time instead.

As an afterthought, I just read this Buzzfeed article, and it’s exactly why I think girls and their long hair are silly. Mothers are angry about their daughters losing lengths of their “feminine” hair because of a toy. The money spent on something that gets so tangled is an issue, yes. Your children putting things in their hair that doesn’t belong is frustrating, yes. But you can be sure that they’re upset about giving their daughters short haircuts.

Working at Disney, I see lots of different kinds of children and families. Every time I see a little girl with short hair, I always compliment it, because I’m sure she gets comments about it being too short. Sometimes they’re with Make-A-Wish and it’s growing back, maybe they got something caught in it, or maybe they just wanted short hair. No matter the situation, I want them to know that they’re beautiful without having to have long hair to prove they are feminine. And maybe that’s why I cut mine so short, too. Maybe I’m trying to break gender stereotypes by not conforming to the long-hair standards. (I still wear makeup and dresses so I know I’m still conforming to traditional beauty standards. Shut up.) Still. Long hair isn’t the only thing that makes you a woman, if that’s your concern. I love my short hair and feel prettier with it than I ever did with long hair.

Thanksgiving Traditions

Hello, there!

I’ve got lots of things to say about my recent training at the Country Bear Jamboree and Tom Sawyer Island, as well as about my Disneyland trip!  Lots of things are going on in my life right now, some good some neutral, nothing bad!  But with Thanksgiving being next week, I wanted to post this first.

Thanksgiving has always been a strange holiday to me. It doesn’t look like the Barefoot Contessa set the table with silver serving platters with everyone dressed nicely in their holiday best. Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family is every day clothes, paper plates, and eating spread out over four different rooms because no dining room will fit four families. None of this is wrong or bad, it’s just not like the Hallmark Channel portrays a big holiday meal.

The one time I can remember having a traditional Thanksgiving meal, I was sick out of my mind. I can vividly remember my 6-year-old body curled up in the floor of the living room, wrapped in a blanket, watching the parade while my dad hosted Thanksgiving. We had our fancy plates and silverware and the table was perfect. And I was down for the count. Later that afternoon I passed out on the couch for several hours and woke up to my family decorating the Christmas tree without me.

Really, all holidays feel like this to me. Christmas is much the same. It doesn’t feel like the movies. And it never will, because movies aren’t real. I’ve never had a bad holiday. I’m not upset that we use paper plates because using actual dishes for 20 people isn’t economical at all. Honestly, if I had a Thanksgiving like I think I dream of, I wouldn’t recognize it. Because that’s not how my holidays are. I’m not even bitter about it.

So I want to pose a question for you, my three readers. What makes Thanksgiving Thanksgiving? I’m not talking about spending time with your family and being thankful for being together. That’s what everyone will say. Is there a dish you associate with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner because that’s what your grandma has always made and you look forward to it every year? (If so, please share the recipe with me!) Is there a certain decoration you love putting out for the fall? What is something that makes Thanksgiving your Thanksgiving? You can put family in your answer, but I want something more unique from your answers as well.

For me, every family gathering has my Nana’s pistachio pudding. When she texts me back the recipe maybe I’ll post it. It isn’t traditional for Thanksgiving, but it’s a Jackson staple. My Munner never cooked, so for Stewart dinners, we would have pizza or sandwiches. Even that made our holidays unique to us. You don’t have to have the big turkey and place settings, it’s true. If we’d had a big cooked meal at Stuart Christmas, it would feel strange, because that’s never how we did it. And that’s okay.

Another thing I look forward to, or used to when I lived at home, was a little pumpkin tea set that always came out with the fall decorations. When I was very little, my dad and I would always have tea parties with my Beanie Babies, so I had tons of different themed tea sets. The pumpkin one was my favorite, even if it was just seasonal and out in the house.

These things are what make Thanksgiving mine. Nothing crazy, and nothing like it’s portrayed. But that’s fine. I’m an adult. This is only my second year on my own. Last Thanksgiving I worked 14 hours between two lands of Magic Kingdom. I shared a potluck with the Main Street East family, as well as in my own location at Storybook Circus. I’ll be working again this year with ol’ Br’er Rabbit. That may be my life. But I’ll start making my own traditions, finding my own ways to make the holidays belong to me. I may carry recipes from family with me, or I may find a Mom Blogger’s recipe that I take for my own. Share with me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes or stories! I’m really interested in hearing about what makes the holidays special to you.

Baby’s First Jack-O-Lantern

In my 21.8 years (give or take), I’ve never carved a pumpkin. Most of that is due to the fact that I never celebrated Halloween in any form until college. Even then, the last three years I haven’t done much as far as festivities go.
–2012 I dressed up and went to a few Halloween events in college. (Costume- Ramona Flowers)

–2013 I went to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (Costume- Sally)

–2014 I was working every treat shift I could possibly pick up, as well as attending MNSSHP. (Costume- Charlotte LaBeouf)
                   

–2015 I worked a few treat shifts, and attended MNSSHP. (Costume- “Lord Valyce’s Girlfriend”)
       
But last night, Halloween night, I carved my first pumpkin. I searched for so long to find a pumpkin (last-minute), and found a perfect one in addition to the one my roommates let me have. In addition to carving a pumpkin, I bought pre-cut sugar cookies in pumpkin form and decorated them with black icing. The icing was too runny and hard to control, so thank god I don’t have pictures of how bad they looked. 
Overall, my night was wonderful. I got to spend a great holiday with my Love; listening to spooky music, watching a scary movie (The House on Haunted Hill), and doing traditional Halloween tasks. Jay and I appeased the spirit of Halloween, little Sam, and got our pumpkins out before Midnight. We also handed out candy to the very few trick-or-treaters who came to the door. Whether you spent it working, hiding at home with the lights off, or enjoying the holiday, I hope your Halloween was everything you wanted it to be. And now that it’s November, I wish you a very merry Christmas season! Time to put out the garlands and trees and stockings!