Last Page First

I have a strange little quirk about me: in the past (and sometimes in the present) I’ve read the last page of a book first. Most people would say that this ruins the book because I find out, or can figure out, how the story ends. I never really saw a problem with this practice and never really knew why I had the desire to do it.

Recently, I’ve been reading the novel Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I didn’t read the last page first but I did read the last page about half way through the book. It was the first time I felt like reading ahead had ruined a book. I was bummed to find out the ending to the story. But then, I realized that even though I knew the ending, I still wanted to read the rest of the story. I wasn’t going to stop reading the book just because I knew what was going to happen, I wanted to know how it happened.

This seemed like a metaphor for life as well. We all know how our story will end; one day we will pass away. But that doesn’t stop us from living our lives. We all still want to know the story of the journey.

I don’t really still read the last page of a book anymore; this is more of a quirk from my youth. But I realize that this quirk isn’t all that bad. I feel that our society is so goal driven that we loose sight of journey it takes to get to our goals. We could all use a reminder now and then that our journey is as important, or even more important, than the end result.

Put Down the Flat Iron and Walk Away

Several weeks ago I posted about my curly hair and how I was about to embark on my new journey towards hair enlightenment. Well actually I just wrote that I was going to follow the popular “Curly Girl” method (named after Lorraine Massey’s book) and see if I can handle not straightening my hair into submission.

When I began the process of following the “Curly Girl” method, which involves staying away from sulfate-free shampoos, hydrating hair with lots of conditioner and using only gel to style the curls with a few other styling techniques, I expected more freedom from my flat iron and my blow dryer and potential fights with my hair because in the past I have not been happy with my curls. I never expected to fall in love with my curls, and lets just say I fell hard.

I had borrowed “Curly Girl” from the library (San Francisco’s libraries are awesome!) after reading an article that referenced the Massey’s book in Glamour Magazine. The version I got was published several years ago but was still a wealth of knowledge. In the book Massey talks about “turning the corner”, that when someone first starts the “Curly Girl” program their hair may not look great for the first few weeks while it is basically healing from heat damage but, around the third week their true curly hair emerges. Well I have more or less turned the corner, and it is wonderful. Not only am I so pleased with how my hair looks, I am happy to have finally put down my flat iron and walk away. I haven’t touched it in nearly 4 weeks and I hope to not use it for at least the next year, if ever again.

The value of curls is so much clearer to me now. Before I blended in with all the other straight haired women out there, now I stand out! Whats more I seem to notice more women with curls all around me, each with unique types of curly hair. My curls have given much more freedom than I thought possible. In the past when I wore my hair curly, I had to maintain it everyday, now I know that if I treat my curls right they can last a few days. My previous hair styling regimen was so extensive that I had plan out my whole day or even week around it. Curls have given me so much more spontaneity in my life.

A funny thing happened right after I started my “Curly Girl” routine; my hairdryer that I’ve had for years broke. I took it as a sign that my flat iron days are over. I ended up getting a new hair dryer, after all I live in San Francisco where going outside with wet hair in the winter is not always a good idea, but my new dryer is a bit more gentle for my curls.

Looking back to my previous post on the subject, I talked about my hope that 2011 will be a year of curls. I choose to make a new year resolution to not touch my flat iron and I get the feeling that will be the first resolution in a long time that I actually keep. Do I still have the urge every now and then to have straight hair? Yes, yes I do. But armed with the new edition of “Curly Girl”, support from websites that celebrate curls (like NaturallyCurly that I recently discovered), all the awesome hair care products I’ve been experimenting with and my new found confidence I am certain that my flat iron will stay under my bathroom sink and I will have a head full of curls throughout 2011.