Column #109: Am I tacky? A series of (un)fortunate events

Whatsapp Image 2022 01 10 At 15.33.50

While the moon stares at me from my window, I’m thinking about what I want to write in this column. First of all, I want to wish you all the best wishes for 2022! Second of all, I finally decided to write about New Year’s resolutions. I never make those, because I think every day is a new chance to start over. Of course, New Year’s resolutions are kind of a tradition and there are a lot of people who make them work, but it would never work for me. The same thing goes for the saying ‘New year, new me’; I change whenever I want to change. New Year’s Eve honestly seems like a cliché to me.

This year however went a little different- by accident. I have wanted to dye my hair lilac for quite a while now and I finally had an appointment at a hairdresser the week before Christmas. (I never go to the hairdressers, I stopped doing that five years ago since it’s almost always midnight when I want to cut my hair and then it’s easier to just do it myself. And it’s a lot cheaper too.)  Well, guess what happened, of course, the new lockdown started. My appointment was cancelled and first I was like, I’ll just do it after the lockdown. I was talking about this with a friend and she asked me if she could dye my hair, so I said yes, because there wasn’t a lot that could go wrong anyways. That’s a lie, because I had to bleach my hair and there actually is a lot that can go wrong with that, but not enough that would’ve made me say ‘no’ to my friend.

Somehow we ended up doing this on the 31st of December, so it would end up being ‘New Year, new me’. It was a nice day, the bleach made my normally brown hair a weird kind of yellow and it didn’t fall out. The purple however didn’t stick to my hair really well, so I was stuck with my newly blonde hair for the next couple of days. I don’t particularly like my head with blonde hair, it’s a little bit weird. This is not the end of my hair story yet, but this is the part that can be related to accidental New Years traditions.

I also kind of have a New Year’s resolution. Well it’s more of a fifth of January resolution. I have been really crappy with my violin playing since last summer, because it didn’t feel like I had an actual goal while playing. If I practiced something I would play pieces from the string ensemble I’m in, which is good, but I also want and need to make actual progress. Learning new pieces, new techniques, getting better at everything I already can, all things I have been missing for the past six months, but I couldn’t find the motivation to get to work. On the first of January I was scrolling through Instagram, as one does, and I saw that Hillary Hahn (@violincase on insta) had started a new season in her 100 days of practice challenge. When she does this, she posts small video’s of her practicing on Instagram for a hundred days in a row, to motivate herself to practice, and she always invites her followers to join her on this journey. I have done the challenge before, about three years ago (not along with Hillary Hahn, but just for myself), and now it was actually a great moment to tag along. You might ask, why did you start four days later than Hillary? Well, I first thought ‘this is going to be another obsession for a week and then I’ll probably just stop again’. A few days later I found some more motivation, set up an actual practice journal and some goals, and now I actually have been practicing scales, etudes and two different pieces for three days in a row. I might stop halfway, but that’s okay, because all the days I even made a very little progress is something. And the time I took to practice for the past few days really made me feel happy and closer to myself.

I still stand by my point that New Year’s resolutions are not for me, but it actually also feels nice that I had this chance of picking up my violin again in a way I am happy with. As for the ‘New year, new hair, new me’ part, I tried to dye my hair purple for another two times. It’s now blonde and grey, with purple spots and a purple glow in some places and somehow a green undertone. That sounds absolutely horrifying, but it’s kind of okay. I’ll keep it like this for a few weeks I think.

The point of these stories is that life is wild, and how big or small they are, changes to your life can be made every day if you want to. I struggle a lot with this, but in the end it always works out. For me it means working towards the person I want to be and that goes in small steps instead of the big leaps society wants me to make. Maybe that is something to take with in 2022, stepping away from what society wants and just doing the things that make you feel good/better.