My journey into the Land of Chrome Dome

Who knew?

Last January I decided to take the plunge and go bald at work – sort of. This was the process:

  • Let everyone know (one at a time) I was wearing a wig.
  • Then show them pics of me bald. (hmmm that kinda sounds weird…but you know what I mean!)
  • Then one day I came to work with no wig, just a hat… several hats over several days.
  • Then I progressed to scarves.

Funny thing was – I was still covering up my bald head! And so one day, I went in with nothing on at all. (on my head folks, sheesh!)
The sky didn’t fall in, the earth didn’t crack open and swallow me. I made jokes to my customers about being able to recognize me when they came in again. If they couldn’t remember my name, they would remember the lady with the really, really, really short hair!

The staff was great and supported me 110%. I was worried that I might make the customers uncomfortable, but they were awesome. Some joked about it, some asked about it, some just ignored it.
And then I went for an interview for another job. I dressed carefully and professionally. I made sure the makeup was on discreetly and the shoes were shined. And then I looked in the mirror. And I wanted to pull my wig out and put it on.
This was a whole new ball game. Going from the safety of my own ‘work family’, into the unknown with total strangers. To be honest, I was really self-conscious about sitting in the reception area with people coming and going. Of course my thoughts led to, “if I don’t get this job, it’s because I’m bald”.
I brought it up during the interview. After a few moments of explanation, she said, “moving on….” And that was the end of the discussion.
I got the job.
I am now a RECEPTIONIST, at a busy Real Estate office. Out front where all can see me, in all my shiny dome glory! I am the first person their clients see coming in the door and yet they had no problem having me represent their company!  Who knew!

It got me to thinking that perhaps others don’t have an issue with my baldness, I do. Sometimes. Most times I forget about it. But in the working environment, and in a public position – I still get to be me!

We are only who we think we are.

I think I am one great BALD Receptionist!

MAKING AN IMPACT

Make an impact. How many times have I written that statement down as a goal? Almost every time I set a goal.
Yet my personal belief about ‘making an impact’, is that it must be profound. It must be huge. It must involve hundreds or thousands of people. It must come from some extraordinary talent or skill or business that I have.
This week I learned that is not true at all.
I met a gentleman only once, as a customer in the store I worked at. He and his wife were friendly and outgoing, and helping them purchase was fun. I told him I was running for City Council, and he told me he was opening up a new restaurant downtown. He said we would probably see a lot of each other, and anything I needed, to let him know. That was the only interaction I had with this man.
Yet he left a profound impact on me. I don’t know what it was. Whether it was the fact that he was about to fulfill his dream, opening his own restaurant, or the fact that he offered help to me without knowing anything about me, I wasn’t sure. But I knew he was someone I wanted to learn from.
This week, he died as a result of a tragic accident. And THAT had a profound impact on me.
Together those two incidents helped me to realize what making an impact really means. He didn’t do anything huge. It didn’t involve hundreds or thousands of people. It was just him being his true self that made the impact on me. No strings, no agenda, no reward. Just being himself.
When I spoke of his death to others, it made me want to call him a friend. Yet I only met him once.
Now that’s an impact.
My heartfelt condolences to the family, and friends of Frank Bedell.

 

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

A year ago I came out of the ‘closet’ and admitting to myself and the world I was going bald. The journey I have been on since then was impossible to predict. I have learned so much about myself, about Alopecia and about others. I have become friends with other women around the world that I have yet to meet.
I have chatted with women so devastated by the loss of their hair and what they believe to be the loss of their femininity.
I have received tear-jerking emails, saying that they are so grateful to know that there is someone else out there going through what they are, and that someone understands.

And I am very grateful and blessed that I could be there for them.
I am now full time wig-less. I am working and playing as I am, who I am.
I am standing up and out for women, men and children who are living with Alopecia.

And holy cow!! I am running for City Council!! I wonder when the last bald lady ran for anything political. (This is going to be fun!)
I have mourned the loss of my hair and I have moved on. I am living my life in incredible ways that may only have happened BECAUSE I have hair loss.

I started this blog with the intent to write about my year long journey. And here it is, a year already.
I would not change my life for anything to be here, where I am at this moment.

When I received my renewal notice for this blog I wondered whether or not I should renew. This was to be a one year account of my Journey into the land of chrome dome. Then I re-read some of the comments.
I renewed.
Year 2 of Diary of a Bald Lady begins! I hope you will join me. It’s sure to be entertaining if nothing else.
Always,
Lynda

I love kids. They just take life as it is right in that moment. There is no regret about the past, or worry about the future. They just live for today. I have been without my wig on a permanent basis for about 3 months now and have been observing people’s reactions. Kids don’t even look, or if they do, they are looking at me, not my hairless head, then they carry on with whatever attracts them next. Adults tend to create a story around my head. They look, look away, come back again, and this will continue until something else distracts them.

And I don’t care! I have finally come home to being comfortable in my own skin. I love never having to worry about any wig issues – falling off, sitting crooked, blowing away in the breeze, sticking it to my scalp with carpet tape, sweating to death under the fur cap.(Course this Canadian winter, there was no chance of that!) (And okay, it’s not really carpet tape, but does the same job)

I have decided to live my life bald. In fact, living a bald life isn’t really any different than living a hair life. I forget I’m bald most of the time. I know there are women out there that can’t do that. But that’s okay. It’s not about being bald or wearing wigs. It’s about being you.

And on that note, my life has taken a very strange turn. I am about to put my ‘money where my mouth is’. I am about to prove to myself and show ALL women and children living with Alopecia, that it doesn’t really matter that we have no hair. I have decided to run for City Councillor in my Ward, here in Hamilton ON. Very shortly, over 500,000 people or at least the 40,000 people in my ward will know about “The Bald Lady” who is excited to make a difference in her community. I am hanging up my wig and taking my hat off! I will be out there in front of the public in all my shiny dome glory. What better way to tell people, and our youth that you can do anything you want, no matter what. Like Hamilton, it is time to come out from the shadows, and shine. (In my case of course, a little makeup on the dome will help with the glare.)

Like the kids, I am just going for today. No regrets on the past, no worry about the future. Just being me, the best me I can be.

 

 

If I am to be bald, let me use that to help others.

 

Dear Diary,

Yesterday I was transported back to my childhood. This is how it started.

I was at a networking event with some very powerful, successful women. We divided into groups for an exercise. At the conclusion, a spokesperson from each group addressed the others and presented their findings. I was the spokesperson for our group.

As I began to talk, a couple ladies started to laugh…very loudly. When I looked up, they were looking directly at me… and laughing.

Immediately, I was taken back to when I was a young girl – early teens. Whenever I walked down the street or passed by people that were laughing, I thought they were laughing at me. I was so insecure back then that I figured there was something wrong with me; the way I was dressed, or walked or looked, and that was why they were laughing.  Fast forward 45 years and here I am again, feeling embarrassed, worthless and humiliated – people laughing at me – because I am bald.

Needless to say, the event for me went downhill from there. By the time the meeting was over, I felt so out of place, insecure, and like I did not fit in with these women. One lady came up after and asked about Alopecia and told me how brave I was. She was really nice, but I translated what she said into, ‘Wow, I couldn’t walk around looking like that”. I know that is not what she meant, but that was where my confidence level was at that point.

So, to those ladies; THANK YOU!! You did me a huge FAVOR!
Once I settled down, I realize that it wasn’t too long ago – 3 very short years in fact – that the exact same ‘feeling’ happened to me. I was in a job interview, feeling totally out of my league where I knew I did not belong in that particular posh environment, feeling insecure and without any self confidence. Yet just 3 years later, I was in the same environment and BELONGED there! That same type of environment was where I worked!

My first impulses were these:

  • ·         Cry
  • ·         Tell them what I really thought of their ‘childish and ignorant’ behavior
  • ·         Never go back (slink away into oblivion)
  • ·         Start wearing my wig again  (hide)

Then I realized a few things:

·         I don’t KNOW that they were laughing at me

·         It’s not their actions that matter, it’s how I REACT to their actions

·         I am still working through some image issues (the last one makes me even more committed to helping women learn to love their reflection.)

Am I going back again? You betcha! And with an even bigger load of self-confidence. It happened. I survived. I got so much more out of it than I ever imagined. And like before, in just a few short years – I will dominate my environment – bald!

Thank you for the lesson!

Dear Diary,

Happy New Year!! 2014 is going to be a phenomenal year for me and I hope for everyone! I have declared 2014 to be the year of baby steps. You can’t achieve the huge goals if you can’t even knock off the small ones, so I plan on achieving many, many small goals on the way to the big ones! Embracing the compound effect!

My first baby step was to interview  a school teacher for my new book that is coming out – without my ‘girl’. Her name (the teacher, not my ‘girl”)  is Vandana Verma and she is a grade 3/4 teacher at Prince of Wales here in Hamilton, Ontario. She has started a ground-breaking program – just with baby steps – first her own class, then the school. Now it is being looked at as a program across the entire School Board! It is about the kids helping others, making someone’s wish come true. For example, if one student wished that people would smile more then another student would take on that wish and grant it, smiling at people wherever they go. It is not a one-time act of kindness but ongoing – everyday. . It’s a small baby step – but the compound effect is that the kids participating are showing improved self esteem, everyone is kinder to each other, more helpful, and their grades have been positively affected. Wow! It’s called Just One Wish 

Back to my interview – not ONCE did I mention the fact that I was bald or why I was,  even though my hat did not cover my entire head. It wasn’t until the end of the interview and I was leaving that I remembered I wasn’t wearing my wig and wondered if I SHOULD have mentioned something. But I let it go and didn’t say anything. She seemed to hardly even notice. Hmmm.

So then I took another baby step. I went to work, with ‘my girl’ in my backpack … bought a scarf and wore the scarf instead the entire time I was at work. Now that was a BIG baby step! By this time, everyone … or I thought everyone …. knew. A couple people were curious. A customer, with sympathy in her voice asked if I was doing okay. When I explained Alopecia, she replied Oh My God! I had that!! My hair fell out when I had aflkf;f;ohwa;d … (enter VERY long medical term here that I did not ask her to repeat)…. instant bonding!

I debated about talking it over with the Store Manager first, but then I figured it had nothing to do with my performance so I shouldn’t feel the need to s’plain myself Lucy. I was waiting for them to say something…but nothing. The one I don’t think even noticed, the other most likely didn’t know what to say. Great! THAT’s out of the way!

Little baby steps leading me to feeling good!

I guess like anything it takes ‘practice’. The more I do it, the more comfortable I will be doing it.

But it all begins with a baby step.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Image

Dear Diary,

It is Christmas Eve. The stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped. I am feeling blessed like never before. I have family and friends. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge.There is money in the bank. I am spending Christmas Eve alone, yet I am not, because I have found a whole new world that embraces me simply because I am bald, along with my family and friends, and even people I have never met, yet who I call friends.

Who knew.

I wish I could share the joy I feel, with those who are suffering. I wish I could tell them personally, that it’s okay, that they are okay. That it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with what happens to you. That there is light, there is hope.

There is so much more important stuff out there than hair. Helping women earn equal wages. Helping Teens realize they don’t have to continue the cycle of poverty. Helping babies live. Food and basic needs to orphans; these are important things. Keeping shampoo companies profitable was not on my list of life long goals. (It never was – but apparently I was doing it anyway). This is not important.

Some people can’t see pass the hair loss. And I’m not sure I know how to help. But I know that somehow I’m supposed to help.

I want women with Alopecia to live their lives to the fullest! To be all they can be, with or without hair – who cares? No-one. They’re busy living their lives.

Make sure your living yours. Watch me! I love my life. I have fun, I met new people, I travel. And I (will) do it all being bald because that’s who I am.

You have choices. Every one does. I choose to be Lynda – Bald.  I know my life is about to go where it has never gone before. I am about to publish my second book. I am about to travel to places I’ve never been. I am about to live my dreams – and my lack of hair has nothing to do with it.

I will never allow anything or anyone to determine my value. I will never quit on my biggest dreams.

Merry Christmas to every one! May you give what you can and receive what is given.

There is so much more out there, waiting for you.

Always,

Lynda

 

 

 

 

 

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My journey into the Land of Chrome Dome