Going Back……Looking Forward

Just came back from visiting Panamá. It seems I am always there and seldom do I do something that makes my stay memorable. I visit my mother, I keep things running, I try to read as much as I can, I relax when not running errands. Not much, but all of it necessary.

IMG_2553This time, I did have something to look forward to while I was doing all this. Once I return to the city, I was going to see some of my high school friends. I haven’t seen some of them since we graduated. The thought kept me going and made me smile when I felt harassed and stressed getting things done. Anabella, though, could not attend so I got together with her while still visiting my mother. We had a lovely time!!!

The day finally came. I drove back to the city and went out for drinks with my sister. My relaxing time had started. Despite the many reports of high crime and robberies at night, we had a wonderful time at a new wine and tapas bar: JALEO. It was full and everyone seemed relaxed and having fun.

After a good night sleep, I awoke full of energy and ready to meet my friends. Getting ready took a short time, I always wear comfortable clothes when in Panamá….it is too hot for fussy dressing. My hair was a snap to style and I was once again grateful for my new look!!! Ran a couple of errands with my sister and went to the restaurant.

We met at LUNA a restaurant that belongs to one of my friends’ husband. Its sleek decor is soothing and chic. Coming in, I noticed they have seated us in a special room, with a big table, comfortable chairs and encased in glass. Perfect setting for our reunion: a fish bowl with privacy. Good going, Damaris!!

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Jeanette, Irma, Alida, Ada, Leyda and Lourdes were already there. Isabel, Ambar, Irene, Damaris and Montserrat joined us one by one. How wonderful to see everyone!!! Was so pleased to feel welcome as if have never stopped seeing each other. It was as if we have always been in touch.

Talk started about what have I been doing all these years, what have they been up to, catching up. Children, grandchildren, new and old relationships and current activities. Slowly, we moved to the past: school days, boyfriends, guys we all liked because they were just too cute, teachers, nuns……yes, I attended an all-girl Catholic school. There were only 30 girls in my graduating class.Twelve were there.

Those were the days: uniforms, so no competition in what we wore, no make-up and no high-style hairdo. Well, we did have Lupita, who managed to look glamorous in uniform. Nowadays, everyone looks fantastic and it seems they don’t age!!! My grey hair was a surprise…more or less. Even if they complimented me, they assured me they would never do it, forget it!!! That is fine, I am not looking into converting anyone to my way of thinking. One of them remembered that last time she saw me I was sporting a blondish Twiggy haircut. She said it was fitting that today I am sporting something similar. How very nice of her!!!

The food was delicious, the wine was just the thing and the company was perfect. We talked and shared and laughed for a better part of four hours. Amazing!!! It was going back and looking forward, reminiscing about our past lives and planning to keep in touch in our new ones. When we said goodbye, I felt a bit sad, but have to say: I am looking forward to these mini-reunions. There is so much for us to still do and enjoy and we need the time to share it all. Thank you, girls!!!

P.S. click on the restaurants name to get more information.

It’s been a year: She did it!!!

IMG_2465Cannot believe it, but it’s true. One year ago today, I colored my hair for the last time. In the months that followed I have had ups and downs, but have managed to keep my cool and go on. Must say once again: I love my new look!!! My hair shines, has a life of its own and I feel liberated.

Have you seen those Daily Horoscopes that come as junk into your email? I receive one everyday. Do not open them, just read the introductory sentence and delete them. Never believe in horoscopes, but find them intriguing. So many people follow these messages and do nothing without consulting them. In my case, more than once I have found these title sentences match my mood, my challenges on that day or simply I can relate to them. Who would have known!!! Today my message said: NEW FREEDOMS. How appropriate.

In the past year, I have encountered very positive reactions, but have also seen smirks, half smiles and some head shakes. What to do. Life is not meant to be lived by other people standards. Keeping positive about this has taught me more about myself than I could have learned any other way.

I want to thank my friends that encouraged me, the ones that told me I look great and they wish they were brave enough do the same and the ones that have praised my courage. I also want to thank the ones that predicted doom and gloom and old age, the ones that tried to make me see the error of my ways and the ones that told me this would never come to anything…..I would just give up and color my hair again. Most importantly, I want to thank everyone for following my journey. Thank you so much for being there with good advise or warnings. Thank you for your praise or your subtle mockery. I feel wonderful and I feel better than I have in years!!!!

One more time, here is my journey in pictures:IMG_0858

Just when I decided to go grey, as you can see I look a bit surprised!!!  Was not exactly sure if I was doing the right thing or what color would be uncovered after so many years of coloring. Glad I didn’t pay attention to those thoughts.

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Then I had grey roots, not a good look, but I was still determined. After all, my hair was still long and I could pull it back in a ponytail!!! This was the worst time. I really needed some help.

 

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Camille came to the rescue and I was treated to highlights. They looked fantastic and gave me a few weeks of peace of mind.

 

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Of course, soon enough I had to make another decision. I found out that what I needed was lowlights!!! Another trip to the salon and the first haircut. Not unhappy about the results and I gained another few weeks of relative peace.

 

Not a dull moment…….I needed another haircut because I was running out of patience with my multicolor hair. Was very pleased with the results and the time that I was given. Unfortunately,  we uncovered a problem….too much blond on one side, too much grey on the other. It seemed like I was destined to forgo my idea of doing this without cutting my hair too short.IMG_1800

 

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 “In for a penny, in for a pound” as the Brits say. Another haircut took care of the multicolor look.

Finally, I have a full head of grey hair…….short grey hair…… but the color is gone!!! Yeah!!!!! I am so glad I tossed that bottle, so glad I listened to myself. As challenges go, this was not as difficult as I thought. It was not as easy either. One thing is certain: I have found ME and I love her. Now to let my hair grow, enjoy the new me and share the results.IMG_2459

 

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