2021-10-06 - Joy

Clinging to joy wherever it can be found

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy (and the lack of it) lately. In some ways, 2021 has felt harder than 2020. And yet . . .

August 13, 2021 was a clear Friday night and not too freezing, which is rare in San Francisco. I was at Oracle Park. The Giants had just beaten the Rockies 5-4. It was Fireworks Night. The stadium lights were turned off, the DJ amped up the music and thousands of us watched gorgeous fireworks light up the clear night sky. I sat there feeling as carefree and happy as a child, immersed in the gorgeous spectacle. When BTS’s Dynamite played over the biggest bursts of fireworks I felt transcendent, my soul filling with essential nutrients that have been absent for far too long.

Here are some excerpts from my essay Surprised by the Joy of White Hair:

In September 2020, I walked into my colorist’s tiny salon filled with equal parts anticipation and relief. I’d been growing out my roots for six months. I was going to walk out of the salon with platinum white hair.

First came the haircut. My stylist removed several inches of old, dry, formerly dyed hair. Within minutes, a white curl that looked like the crest of a wave popped up on top of my forehead. My hair was as exuberant as I was.

After the cut I sat in my colorist’s chair for highlights, because if I was going to have white hair, I wanted it to look deliberate, smashing, purposeful. I’m still vain!

When the foils were removed and my hair was washed and dried, I looked in the mirror and could hear Lizzo singing: “If I’m shining everybody’s gonna shine.”

I left the salon with a shock of platinum silver hair that mellowed into salt and pepper in the back. I felt enlightened, brightened. When I went for headshots shortly afterwards, I felt something surprising, something unnatural. I felt delighted.

A light started to glow inside me. I let it loose. For the first time, I blossomed in front of a camera. I didn’t expect that bright white hair would give me the power to joyfully redefine “beauty”, to inhabit it on my own terms, to make me feel exuberantly free. I didn’t expect white hair to teach me how to celebrate all that I am. But it did. And now I do.

Now that the Delta variant has taken over so much of the world and fires and hurricanes and floods are ravaging both sides of the country, I keep trying to recreate moments of joy. I relish my white hair and wear bright silver earrings and red lipstick whenever I can. I listen to (and watch) BTS non-stop. Their perfect pop sound helps me find that elusive but absolutely necessary simple joy.

I’m embracing any and every joy delivery vehicle I can find. How else can a person get through these crazy times? I hope you find and throw yourself into whatever brings you joy too!

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About Lisa

Lisa Poulson is a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, the descendant of fiercely resilient Mormon pioneers and a woman who survived the death of her fiancé four months before their wedding. Lisa lives in San Francisco, where she spends her time absorbing and creating as much beauty as possible.

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Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.

About Lisa

Lisa Poulson is a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, the descendant of fiercely resilient Mormon pioneers and a woman who survived the death of her fiancé four months before their wedding. Lisa lives in San Francisco, where she spends her time absorbing and creating as much beauty as possible.

Join the conversation on Instagram!

Reminder

You are reading of your own will and choice. How you read, act on or don’t act on what you read here is up to you.

Reassurance

While lisapoulson.com does use cookies, which helps us understand how you engage with our site and where you’re from, we do NOT save your personal information - like e-mail, name or address. And, if you join our mailing list or comment on a post, we will not share (or sell) your contact information. We are not responsible for commenters or other third parties here.

Clarity

Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.