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Crows on a Cloud

Sometimes, after a disaster or crisis, an announcer will suddenly appear in my ear to tell the woes of my life as if it were a movie trailer before a romantic comedy. I’m the neurotic woman who suddenly “leaves her high stress life for a path of spiritual enlightenment in hopes to meet herself again.” I feel like this cheesy dialogue has reoccurred several times throughout my life, and I still haven’t learned the damn lesson of letting go—as in, accepting things as they are and accepting they arrive in the perfect time.

This isn’t about giving up on goals. It’s about being able to see the possibilities in disaster. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy about an event that transpires, it’s about not having expectations and allowing myself to work through disappointments. If a crappy disaster arrived I want to be able to say, “I wonder what I’ll learn from this crazy-ass situation. Better be something juicy.” Of course, I still haven’t gotten the hang of changing my inner-panic verbiage yet—even after completing my small but extensive self-help library.

No matter how much reading I do, sometimes I still cannot quiet the narrator. “Shawna was a single mom in a small, mountain town. Not your typical soccer mom, but a quirky hairdresser who was looking for some financial relief. Then disaster struck. First it was a terrible break-up, then a botched bang-trim. But there was something much more dangerous that would arrive, an evil, possessed dryer burning dozens of Scottsdale blow-outs.”

I admit it—there is no evil blow dryer, but wouldn’t that be awesome?! I could be a Stephen King star. It may not have been a sinister blow dryer, but there was change in the air. Have you ever wondered why at about the time you figure out a game-plan, another larger set back arrives? I can visualize the audience shoving greasy popcorn in their face as they try to guess the climax of my story. The lights dim. The audience quiets. The real feature begins.

It goes something like this: Hairstylist one: “How’s your day going?” Hairstylist two: “It’s been better.” Hairstylist one: “Oh yeah, how so?” Hairstylist two: “Check this out.” Shows a photo of the Tirzah Salon (my current work home) on a real estate web site. Hairstylist one: Engage panic mode. True story.

Endings and transitions are not easy for anyone. There are those unique few out there who crave change, excitement and new beginnings, but for single moms who need financial stability and emotional grounding there is nothing worse than saying goodbye to a history of highlights and family. So when I was calmly shown a photo of Tirzah on a real estate website, my first reaction inside was “Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Expletive, breath, expletive...”

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I instantly had a small picture-show flash before me tearfully hugging my Tirzah family. It was almost as if I was ungrateful for my life, and I was presented with a challenge that would test my faith. In my movie trailer, God was giving a me a sneak preview of my life at Tirzah before a terrorist group would strike NAU’s anthrax lab. Would I panic and freeze? Or would I put on that damn chemical suit?

When my chemical suit is torn, I have to patch it up and move forward. When I put in the work and stay positive, something awesome will serendipitously appear almost as if I ordered it on Amazon. It might take a little bit of time. However, in my case, the first office suite was nestled right in the heart of Heritage Square. It was open and light. Everything seemed to fall into place.

Rent was pricey, but it would be worth it. Two of the younger stylists (Lauren and Kaylie) at Tirzah were able to find a couple of family investors and contractors to create the vision of what will now be Wildflower Salon. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be able to stay with my salon family. Hairstylists are famous for being pretentious, crazy and catty. I mean, you all know I’m nuts, but at least I’m friendly. Sometimes it takes just one catty cancer to permeate the entire energy of the salon. Good thing I got my chemical suit on hand.

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Shawna Ritter (aka Honey Guns), local hairapist, blogger and derby girl, has lived in Flagstaff for over 25 years. She graduated from NAU in 2000. Ritter can be sighted running her two boxers downtown or taking out speed walkers on her roller skates. Want more? Visit her blog at www.thesaucysuperfox.com for additional stories and shenanigans.

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