For longer than I want to admit, Suzi, my hair stylist, has been trying to get me to stop forcing my hair into a style that goes against “the way it grows.” She’s tenacious. A real trooper. I’ll give her that.

For several years now, after painstakingly cutting and shaping my short locks, Suzi has added a dab of gel or styling mousse to my wet hair and then blown it dry into a soft, easy style, using nothing more than her fingers to finish her handiwork. After a quick toot of hairspray, she sends me out with door with hair I can still run my fingers through. Once home, I have stubbornly re-wet my hair and blown it dry, using a brush, more product, and lots of contortions to “fluff” up the hairstyle Suzi has just given me (and I’ve spent good money for). If I’m lucky, in the process, I’ve tamed the mind-of-its-own cowlick that dominates the back of my head. Suzi has never tried to hide the cowlick. Instead, she has accentuated it…really…like it’s an enviable feature other women should covet. I’m not convinced. Anyway, after I’d get my “do” just like I wanted it, I’d blast it with generous quantities of hairspray to secure my efforts into place, and I’d be happy. I could no longer run my fingers through my hair, but I’d be happy. That is, I thought I was happy.

I don’t know how it happened, but it happened. I finally get what Suzi’s been subtly–and not so subtly–trying to get me to understand. Maybe she wore me down. Maybe all those products have finally seeped into my brain. Who knows, but for some reason, after my haircut last week, I understood, and I’ve since stopped trying to wrestle my hair into a style it has no desire or ability to hold. Now, like her, I give my hair a squirt of gel, blow it dry with my fingers, and give it a light toot of hairspray. As a result, getting ready the last few days has been a breeze, and–with the exception of my goofy-ass cowlick–my hair has never looked better (purely personal opinion). Please understand, I have no delusions, the back of my head still looks like a dog’s butt, but for some reason I don’t care. How did that happen? Why do I know think my hair looks fine–really fine, actually–when before I hated it? I have no answer. The only thing I can tell you is getting ready is now so simple. So very, very simple.

I wonder what else I’m doing in my life that goes against “the way it grows.”