What I learned from a Feathered Headband

My daddy needed a band-aid.

That’s how it all started, this plunge into the abyss known as insecurity and doubt.

I brought the band aids back to the cabinet in the bathroom and, in the absence of a cheap box, all the headbands I never seem to wear anymore tumbled over into the empty band aid container and lay in a jumbled heap, all askew with dust, feathers, glittered rhinestones and faded satin staring at me in dismay.

I tried to pick them all up without laying the band aids down, but just managed to drop everything and cuss a little as headbands, first aid ointment, gauze pads (just in case) and extra large bandages (no name brands for us…generic will do just fine, thank you very much) fell to my feet in a heap.

After I put the band aids back where they belong, I gathered up the headbands, one by one and laid them on the counter, attempting to put some order in an unordered stack, hoping the next time (and there would be a next time) I needed something close by, they would stand straight and tall, waiting without falling.

The last headband I picked up was the one with a beautiful crown of gray, black, white and silver feathers layered on one side of a slim black metal band. I had gotten it in Nashville at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, a too expensive piece of accessory, and a splurge of fast cash, squandered on something so frivolous I was hesitant to buy it at all.

feather headband

But it was so stunningly beautiful, so soft and smooth to the touch and almost decadent in its luxury, I knew I had to have it and would wear it often. It matched my hair color and when I put it on my head, just past the front of my hair so it hovered behind my pouffy bangs, it offered a flash of whimsy, a touch of class and a whisper of fun.

 

When we got home from that trip, I put it with the other, lesser head bands, careful not to ruffle the feathers or get them too close to anything that would damage them. That Friday, when we were getting ready to go out to dinner, I planned my outfit to match my new headband and gently placed it perfectly on my head, fixing my hair around the slim black metal so the feathers would all be showing. I loved how I knew it looked ~ it looked exactly like me.

We chose a restaurant we had been to many, many times before and the waitress knew us well. As soon as we had seated ourselves, she came over with our drinks, not needing to ask what we wanted and said our appetizer was on the way.

And then she stopped, stared at my head for a moment, and said, “What in the hell do you have on your head?”

quote

It was that moment that I hesitated. I doubted. I questioned. And I lost my love for that beautiful headband. I stuttered that it was my new headband, reaching with unsure fingers to touch the feathers, thinking perhaps they had fallen off or turned an ugly rotting color during our travel time.

 

 

She said, “Well, I just don’t like feathers on grown women. I think it looks stupid.” I was speechless, amazed and all the other words you can think of that you would be at that moment but simply stared, because really, what do you say at that point?

 

After we came home, agreed we needed to find a new place to eat and got ready for bed, I placed the headband back in the cabinet and didn’t think about it much more, certainly not wearing it again. It became hidden in the clutter of life, feathers turning dusty and buried underneath things that didn’t look stupid.

But tonight, as I smoothed my fingers over those feathers again, it brought back the excitement of my first glance at the headband, my first thought that I really could buy it AND wear it, and how glorious it would look in my hair. I could see me in the clothes I imagined it would match and caught a glimpse of me laughing as the feathers danced on my head.

And then, the memory surged forward from THREE years ago, of ugly words, opinions of others that I let decide what I would do and wear. I recalled with amazing clarity the moment, where we were sitting, and the crisp clear voice of someone I really didn’t even know destroying my joy.

At that moment, my brain tingled and tiny explosions of light bounced off the backs of my eyes as I felt this uprising begin, led by my mama looking down on me and cussing a little bit about not being here to snap me out of it. Words and thoughts came together like fire and gasoline with all the moments of indecision in my life up to this moment tossed around and balled up, ready to spin out of control. I KNEW I had a lot to say now, no stuttering speechless wonder at what the words would be.

Now I know ~ I am a grown woman. I have lived 53 years, birthed a child, raised children, married 2 men and loved a few more, lost a grown son, and gained others not born to me. I have bought homes, sold homes, lost homes and cars, been hired and fired and promoted and demoted. I have been slapped, attacked, accused and escaped. I have laughed, cried, sobbed and giggled, all uncontrollably. I have buried my mother, lost friends, and gained others that complete me. I have given pieces of my heart to others that needed the solace I could give. I have known heartache, loss, and grief so deep it shatters your soul into a million tiny pieces unable to be glued together again. I have experienced love, friendship, happiness, joy, kindness, and peace.

I am a survivor. I am unbreakable. I love life and live it fabulously every single day.

And I’m gonna wear that feathered headband any time I want to. I’ll wear it to the grocery store, out to dinner, to the post office, and maybe even in the glitter dome when I work, because feathered headbands should never be hidden underneath anything and neither should I.

So I say to you: Wear your feathered headband….or whatever it is YOU want to wear. Yours might not be the exact same ‘feathered headband’ as mine, but don’t let anyone else decide what makes you feel beautiful!

headband on with effects

 

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71 comments

  1. This article totally resonated with my spirit! I have been harshly spoken too many times about things I chose & enjoyed. Like a duck now..Shake It Off!! My “feathered headband ” is now anything with a skull..some cheery & colorful , some scary but bless my soul I will be the Pirate!! LOL..Live, Laugh, LOVE & all at the same time!! Now I am off to find feathers with a skull!!! XOX!! Here’s to being US

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    • Girl ~ My best friend LOVES sculls and I am buying little skull things for her all the time 🙂 Yep, Being US is the best! Thanks for hanging out with me!

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  2. I met a little old lady (about 80ish) in a restaurant one day. She had on a beautiful, sparkly top and I told her how pretty it was. She told me “The older you get the more sparkle and bling you need otherwise you will just disappear”! I love that quote and have adopted it into my life, so wear your feathered headband and sparkle!!!!

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  3. I have just recently found your FB and now this blog and let me say I Love You and your JOY and LOVE for Yourself, Family and Others….I believe that this is what God has done for us and wants us to do, really it’s too simple for most to comprehend…just to love ourselves and others and he loves us…..♥
    Amen and carry on! Your FB and now this blog will help me to carry on……THANKS! for sharing….

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  4. Oh! This is my favorite one yet! I love it and I have to tell you why. I picked my oldest baby up from pre k. She was looking sad so I ask why. Can you believe some little charmer told her her hair bow looked poopy? WTH??? So I said to her you love that bow you wear what you want you do what makes you happy and if along the way some one doesn’t like it and they tell you so. Just tell them that’s ok you like it but you don’t care much for their opinion. Love ya lady you rock that head band!

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  5. You go on ahead and ROCK those feathers, Sasha! Is it bad that I want to smack the hibbity jibbity outta the waitress who said that? Who SAYS that?

    It’s so profoundly sad that the words of others can sting like that and have such far-reaching tentacles. I’m glad you discovered your feathers again and I hope you wear it often!

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  6. Love this story, Sasha; so very true, indeed. Love your feather headband; so very striking, and totally your style 🙂 Yes, you go girl 😊
    Hugs ~ xo 💞

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  7. You were more gracious than I would have been. The first words out of my mouth would have been, “I’m sorry, I don’t recall asking for your opinion about my feathers. I LOVE THEM”.especially since my man “picked” it out. Wear that headband with pride. You are Fabulous !!!

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  8. How sad that we sometimes let others dictate to us what and how we should dress, feel, or be. Wear your feathers proudly and tell anyone who doesn’t like it to kiss your grits. lol Life is too short and sometimes too hard to be concerned with folks who don’t have your best interest at heart.

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  9. Sasha….I turned 65 this year….my new quote is…….I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission for anything….I might not do everything I want….but if it is possible and legal to do something….get out of my way! right? You are so wise to shake that crap off and be yourself cause that makes you unique and beautiful inside and out!

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  10. To many times in my life have I let what others think of something cloud my own wants and wishes. Stand up girl and be counted as the owner of your own body, hair and anything you want to put on it.i love the headband , it looks fabulous. Isn’t it amazing how some people feed the need to give unwanted opinions of things to us. Keep being the fabulous, wonderful person you are. You make me and hundreds of others laugh and smile every day. Keep on girl, keep doing what you do and wear the damn headband, I love it. Sincerely, becky

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  11. Hi Sasha!
    I love your feather headband!
    You look beautiful!
    Too bad, we all can’t show up, wearing feather headbands!
    It definitely would give that person something to talk about! 😉
    Love, Hugs & Blessings! 🙂

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  12. This is soo absolutely true‼️ I love you Sasha‼️ people are usually jealous that say such hateful things to you…Or they’re just plain Meanie butts‼️‼️‼️ I think that headband is adorable‼️

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  13. Great story I have encountered many of the things you had to say here. I also have felt great pain in the loss of people I have loved and been broken into a million pieces. I felt your words like they were my own. I learned a long time ago not to give a rats ass what others think about me or what I wear or how I look. If I can be comfortable in my own skin and with who I have become over the last 59 years, what others think means nothing to me. I say keep on keeping on and do what makes you happy. You have a way of moving people to great laughter and bring them to near tears. Love what you do. Thanks.

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  14. Sasha – I loved your story. My hubby used to say “Don’t ever let people put you down”. I know you’ll look fabulicious in your feathered headband. You wear what you want. We are all grown women and we’re allowed to do what we want. If folks don’t like what I’ve got on, they can turn and look the other way is the way I feel about it. Keep being fabulous girl.

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  15. I think it is beautiful and I use to be like that too. Let people hurt my feelings luke I had none but no more. I am 52 years and some people think I’m a bitch and I say no I’m not I’m just not taking shit anymore
    So glad you put that headband back on and you look fabulous

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  16. Sasha– All my life I had let other people’s opinions take the joy out of things that really made me happy. When I turned fifty, a friend told me that 50 is the magic age to start to say “eff it” to things and people who bring you down. Thanks to your beautiful post, I now have a visual to add to my repertoire of sanity-and-happiness-saving efforts. Thank you and wear that feathered headband proudly!!

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  17. blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Oh Sasha! On that previous email I signed, ” you’re wonderful and you ARE, but I meant to say, “You LOOK wonderful!”  Maybe my brain is fried since our office participated in the 4th of July parade and festivities yesterday!  It was 103 flipping degrees and I HATE THE HOT WEATHER! Lol…snort!!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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  18. This story moved me…I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, but a smile on my face, too. I think the hateful words you encountered from that waitress resonate with most of us, as does the self-doubt you felt. But the fact that you finally realized it and rose above makes me so happy! I’m learning that with age comes less patience for the ridiculous, mean-spirited, overly opinionated people we sometimes encounter, although I still have a ways to go in the lesson! But I’m turning 52 next Tuesday, so I’m going to continue on this journey of self acceptance, saying “to heck” with the haters (and maybe even putting some of them back in their place!). And while I do, I’m going to be thinking of you, Shasha, rocking that aweseom feathered headband! THIS is why you are my favorite blogger! You are all of us!! xoxo

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  19. Wear your headband to the Giggle and Snort Tour. You will have a receptive crowd and we love you because you are wonderful! I wonder if you should have reported her to the manager. I am sure that restaurant lost more customers than just you from her comments and they probably don’t know why.

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  20. The feathered headband looks fabulous on you! You are a fabulous woman who can and should wear anything that makes you feel and look beautiful.

    >

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  21. I had a near-death experience last August. Since then I have learned to accept myself as I am and keep close to me the ones I love and who love me. It took me 63 years to learn that if others don’t like and accept me, that’s their problem. I finally learned to love me. Thank you, Sasha – I just love you. You look wonderful.

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  22. You go girl …. thanks and we should never let anyone burst our bubble ….as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone do what you want !!!!

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  23. You go, girl! I am so tired of listening to others tell me how I should live my life and what I should do and where I should go and who I should go with. I am 62 years old and I only need advice & opinions when I ask for it. I think I’m going to go dig out my feather headband. LOL

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  24. blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } I sit here alone at lunch eating quickly so I can return to work. This story touched me in a profound way! Without going into great detail I think all of us has had that rude witch in our encounters at one time or another.  I told a so-called friend of mine recently that since my son and his wife are going to have their first baby in two weeks that my husband and I were planning to buy a house in their area ( 5 hours) away so we could visit VERY often without being right under their noses all the time. It’ll be a lot of travel time and yes, I’ll get to watch my granddaughter on certain days of the week because the orthodontist I work for is going to let me work on insurance claims and other such things REMOTELY so I can kind of be there to watch her grow!! Yippee! What a deal!!!! What an incredibly generous doctor I work for!!! AND I’LL REMAIN ON SALARY?!!!! My “friends” response was, “you’re not a spring chick!!” Well snap!!! I did turn the big 60 on Saturday, but heck I think I’ll be just fine, thank you. Im gonna wear “that headband” and I’m gonna watch this baby girl grow as long as my foot can hit that gas pedal. Btw…. And this is random I love love love your gray hair! I too have that silvery thing going on. LolI’m sending you a picture on FB … I don’t know how to attach to this email. … Duh! You’re wonderful!!Lana

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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    • Lana ~ WooFlippinHoo for you and that sweet deal you’ve got figured out! How wonderful…and she’s right. We’re not spring chicks…we’re SO much more because we have LIVED so much more! LOVE your pic, too! Cheers 🙂

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  25. Thank you Sasha, I am 60 and I too worried for years about what people thought of me. Including my late husband who was a wonderful man, but could be critical of me. After he passed I decided at that moment to not worry ever again what anyone thought. I put myself first and if I want to wear zebra striped capri’s with a purple top I will. If I feel good in that outfit, that is all that matters…Life is way to Short to let others suck the joy out of you…. Wear that feathered headband and rock it girlfriend and have a fabulous rest of your life….

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  26. Beautifully said! As always I learn something from you, or you make me think. Sometimes we all are a little careless in our choice of words, but I have learned to be Care-Less in my acceptance of others opinions. It has taken me years to swallow my responses when loved ones say things that hurt. The You have a beautiful face, but…. Moments and the you are doing it wrong, you have to do it MY way moments. Share your opinion, your best advice. I love you and appreciate you, but I’m my own woman and I will do it MY way right or wrong.

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    • Laura ~ YES!! The ‘well meant’ advice is the hardest….I know it still hurts, because how could it not, but I focus on the good. I try to remove the negative words from my brain. They’re still there but I want to smother them with good words….keep on keeping on!

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      • My daughter taught me the perfect reply to those “you’re doing it wrong” comments.

        “I imagine it must be terribly frustrating to you when someone does that differently than how you do it.”

        Oh my gosh, it works like a charm. They either shut up or they actually self reflect.

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  27. I do NOT understand why people do not just mind their own business.

    I also do not understand why some women have to tear other women down.

    I would have died before I said that to a friend or stranger and certainly not a customer.
    I wear and do what I want and keep any negative comments (very few, as I tend to celebrate other people instead of year them down) to myself!

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  28. This really hit home for me, I have spent the better part of my 58 years worrying about what others thought of me. But just the last year or so, I have decided to put myself first and not worry about everyone else’s opinion of me. I have finally begun to feel better about myself. I look forward to anything you post, because you are who I want to be just like. You seem to enjoy life and just roll with the flow. I really like that and hope that you continue to enlighten mine and everyone else’s days. Have a wonderful and blessed day today and everyday and thank you for being you!!!!!

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    • Georgianna ~ Thank you so much for your kind kind words…and good for you, because YOU’ve got what it takes! You Look Wonderful~ Cheers to you ❤

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  29. I have decided some people aren’t happy unless they can ruin another persons happiness. Do you girl, you are fabulous and I appreciate the joy you bring to me. Your live cams are awesome, your smile is contagious! Wishing you many many more fabulous days to come!

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  30. Sasha – you just made my day because of what you wrote. How many times have all of us let someone suck the joy out of something we are doing, wearing or being and not stood up and said “Bite Me – it’s my life to live and not yours!” I have learned in the last few years that life is way too precious to allow others to dictate to us what we should be doing.

    I’ve been told by my mother-in-law (who happens to be only 3 years older than me) that she doesn’t understand why I don’t come around to family functions. What it comes down to it is I don’t want to be around people who suck the fun out of things. So I say smart things like “I’m sorry I can’t be there because I have a motorcycle ride” or “I’m sorry, I don’t celebrate that holiday because I’m Jewish” (that one gets me in all kinds of trouble cause I am Jewish) or “I’m sorry I won’t be there for Mother’s Day because I’m a Mom and doing what I want”.

    So hats off to you and headband on!

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  31. I am 57 years old and what people say or think does not mean squat to me. Life is way to short to be worrying about what others think. I love the headband Sasha and I bet you can rock that thing. It does match your hair and I bet it looks great on you… So you go GIRL!!!

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