It's time to get real....

I took this iphoto in early May in the hopes that it would stop time for me. What most people don't know about me is that I have been a hairstylist for the last 15 years. Hair has been a very important thing for me as it reflected who I am, what I loved, it stretched my creative brain and it helped pay the bills and send us on holidays. 

In September of 2015, I found the first of what soon would be many bald spots in my hair. This is called alopecia areata. Alopecia is the loss or the absence of hair. Basically, the immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks the hair root and causes hair loss. In all the my years of my hair career I had never come across a client with this disease. I know hair is just "hair", but it scared me (and still does) to think that my image/hair was literally falling out. Because there is no cure, it is hard to figure out the best route. It started off as one spot which grew to many spots and seems to have circled around my head. I get cortisone injections every 4 weeks which are quite painful. I have also looked into essential oils as well as booking my first acupuncture appointment. Because i have always a lot of long hair, i am able to hide it quite well. It has gotten harder and harder to do so but is still doable. 

This kicked up my anxiety and depression again and has really thrown me a curveball. Even though I have an incredible family, beautiful house and generally a very good life, I felt less than and doubted myself. Especially in regards to my newer career of photography and design. To be totally honest I am tearing up writing this as it is hard to get "real" with people even if it is over the interwebs. Stress is sure to be one of the culprits but it is autoimmune and there is no definite cause or cure. This change has caused me to doubt a lot of things including myself, abilities, mental strengths and at times has consumed my mind. 

My goal is to stay positive, lower my stress level ( thank you zumba) and try to live a more balanced life. Not only for me, but for my family. specifically my girls. I want them to see a confident woman. Yes I have my bad days and I am not near perfect enough, but I try not to complain. I know it's just hair but it effing sucks. It's hard to do hair for others while running your hands through someones full head of locks and wishing for your own to grow in again. This post wasn't intended to gain sympathy or anyone to give me tips towards a cure, nor was it intended to discount the much worse (and I mean MUCH WORSE) circumstances going on in the world, but just to say that everyone has their own struggles, worries and difficulties in life.

When I first saw a post show up on my IG feed of a sweet, beautiful little 5 year old named Kate with Alopecia, I thought to myself "She is beautiful and perfect" She is the same age as my oldest and has many more struggles than I. LovePIZZA owner Braede was the original poster and she has teamed up with Nicole the mama to kate (Owner  of Sweet {Jolie}) to do an Alopecia Fundraiser. From September 12-18. LovePIZZA will be donating 1$ from every pizza to the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation. I knew I wanted to be involved so I contacted Nicole and I created a character knob named Kate. She is my only character with a smile which makes her extra special. Kate's smile is beautiful and it HAD to be on the knob.  All proceeds of the Kate knob sold will go to The Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation as well.

I wanted to talk about my friends Kelly of Fiddle leaf photography and Athena Raypold. They are working on an amazing project called BECOMING.  “Becoming” is an explorative art project that encourages mothers to uncover their vulnerability, to discover their identities, and to celebrate their unity. This quote from "Becoming " written by Athena describes it perfectly:

 "We transform from one experience to the next, forever becoming, revising, altering, modifying our identities to encompass all that we’ve experienced, the collection of our memories forming who we are, tattooing our hearts with our notions of self. And while each of us survives a different becoming, our path is a shared one, our journey is beautifully universal: we are not alone. Together, we are becoming women, becoming mothers, becoming more than mothers. We share this journey, but our stories and our bodies are singular, unique."

I know that if/when my body decides to stop freaking out, that I will come out of it a better, stronger, and modified person.

After all, we are all just humans.