(Image found through Google Images; originally posted @ http://www.internetphotos.net/baby-hair-cutting.html)
“Never Can Say Goodbye” by Jackson 5
Never can say goodbye
No no no no
Never can say goodbye
Even though the pain and heartache
Seems to follow me wherever I go
Though I try and try to hide my feelings
They always seem to show
Then you try to say you're leaving me
And I always have to say no
Tell me why is it so
That I never can say goodbye
This song brought back a flood of Michael Jackson’s memories in an elementary school daze.
Picture this: I held my hairbrush in my hands, singing to my two-pocket Michael Jackson folder. You know the one: the Thriller album cover with Michael posing and staring right at me. Yes, you didn’t know. Mike was my secret boyfriend in the fifth grade.
I also draped a beach-sized bath towel around my face and danced on top of my dresser, pretending to be the Asian Soul Train dancer on Saturday mornings.
The imagination ran rampantly back then for this writer.
This particular Jackson 5 song never hit home until recently. The high-pitched voice of MJ enraptured me. I was singing back in call-and-response style, just letting him know that I didn’t say goodbye. I was right there.
Over the weekend, the melody popped in my head and like any 21st century individual, I Googled the lyrics. On a rainy Saturday evening, those words resonated with me.
My hair has been coming out a lot, partly due to illness, but mainly due to stress. My long mane once grazed mid-back; now it looks like Alfalfa and Billy Ray Cyrus, in his mullet days, crisscrossed. Well, I’m exaggerating a bit for comedic effect. It is a mixture of lengths, long on top and in the middle, thinning along the hairline, short in the back, and inch-high cowlicks at the very top.
Bottom line: it is a hot mess and I have to face my old nemesis: the scissors.
Of course, you know I have to tie this coincidence into another one of those ominous signs to my one-month pending debut into the 40s. As Dorothy Parker said, “What fresh hell is this?” Well, at least I know where the non-stop crop of facial hair is coming from now.
After shedding a tear like those girls who had their hair cut on ANTM and enduring the eye rolls from my 11-year-old daughter, I embraced the impending change. I had been thinking about middle age as a time of becoming the woman I was supposed to be. It wouldn’t be so bad. Even Michael cut his locks for his "You Are Not Alone" video.
Picture this: a new look for the newest member of the 40/40 club.
I have been perusing different hair magazines, looking for a style that is low maintenance, but versatile. Actually, it makes me feel like I am back in high school, poring over the teen magazines and trying to find that right look. The only difference is I'm not doing it to fit into a certain teen standard of beauty. I am trying to embrace my own brand of beauty, the one that comes from wisdom and inner strength.
Of course, I can relate this escapade to writing. I had to let go of an idea for a novel. The characters refused to take me any further than the event that introduced me to them. I could hear their voices clearly in my head. The mother told me her side of the story; the daughter told me hers. The mother shared her childhood with me. I could envision the novel being chapters narrated by both of them in an alternating format. But we were not getting past this one event that set their story into motion. I had wanted so badly for the characters to be part of a young adult series. I tried for eleven years to force them into that square novel peg.
It just wasn’t happening.
So I shed a tear for the mother and daughter duo, and the muse consulted with me. I realized that their story had a different purpose that connected directly with my other blog.
Again, I realized that change wasn’t so terrifying; it only steered me toward a new vision.
By the time March ushers in April, I will have a new hairstyle hopefully accompanied by a new attitude and a completed serialized story accompanied by educational resources fulfilling the accomplishment of an overdue vision.
I guess Michael was wrong. I can say goodbye.