She told me she had spent six months living all alone after a bad break up. That was when she had learned to love and respect herself warts and all.
She said that, as time passed, anxiety and fear slowly but steadily morphed into curiosity and the unknown became fascinating and a gateway to new opportunities.
She said that no ways had transformed into maybes and in some cases resounding yes'!
Thoughts and ideas came to her now with energy and purpose. It was as though she were experiencing living for the first time; so new and fresh and exhilarating did it all feel.
In the same sentence she spoke of Jesus and love as well as hair follicles being the precursors, information wise, to understanding rare disease and mental health issues. She spoke of her love for South America and how when the doors to her house were open in the summer she was deafened by the peals of the church bells. She spoke of how her nephew's dog had been the first real unconditional love of her life and how complex and amazing was nature. She talked about crying while watching a documentary of a zebra mother wading across alligator infested waters to reach and protect her young.
Her mind, heart and arms were open to embrace it all this time around. Most of all, she wore her newfound independence proudly and exuded self confidence and serenity in a matter of fact way. No bad feelings, no harsh words or judgement, no crying over spilled milk, but a huge gratitude for having had the opportunity (the second chance) to awaken from her torpor and to see and learn and live all that she had been missing.
Rainy, snowy or sunny days you would find her energetically cleaning her trade instruments, in her tiny cozy salon, while singing out loud or chattering away while working on her clients' coifs.
It had taken her forty years but she had discovered herself, her voice, her purpose in the middle of it all and realized how valuable life was, even her tiny life, in her tiny corner of the world.
Title photo by Engin Akyurt