The long version, of course, is a damn blog post.
I went into the salon with a definite idea in mind, and it was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Alison Headley. She’s active online in different ways now than she used to be when I first discovered her blog, bluishorange.com, a million years ago.
Back then—I’m going to estimate the year at 2000 or 2001?—I was wowed by all the things the internet could do. I had had my first email address in college, at Indiana University, but no one knew what to do with them, so we would wait in line at the student union to use the computers (because not everyone had computers in their rooms), to check their “e-mail,” and there would be nothing there. I had had a Juno email address after that; it connected quickly via a dial-up, downloaded your messages, then disconnected. No tying up the phone line.
I had even been an eBay seller by the time I discovered bluishorange.com, and a pretty successful one at that— I had a “store” for a while. Do they still do that? I was pretty good at flipping Marshalls clothes for a good price on eBay, specifically Adidas. I don’t remember how I discovered this niche.
So the wide-eyed optimism at new uses of technology that I suppose defines me, if not my entire Xennial microgeneration, was completely ready for Alison Headley, somewhere around the turn of the millennium, to introduce me to “weblogs.”
I don’t remember how I came across her blog. But once I found it, I was astounded, not only with blogs themselves, but with her blog specifically. She was pretty huge then. She was so honest and open about things that I was far too underqualified/embarrassed/whatever to write about for everyone on the whole wide internet to read. I, too, struggled with depression and anxiety, and there she was, sharing that with who knows how many readers. She was my hero.
Somehow over the years, I lost track of bluishorange.com, but I checked back on it recently, and sure enough, it was still there. I followed Alison on Instagram, and, scrolling through her pictures, I decided I’d like a modified version of her hair look.
This makes me either a crazy stalker fan, or a chick who walked out of the salon with great hair, because HELLO.
So anyway, moral of the story is, Alison shaped the beginnings of my internet experience. And today, she has shaped my look. Maybe some day I’ll actually say “hi” to her. 😂
Oh, and by the way, I no longer worry about being underqualified (after writing professionally in several capacities) or embarrassed to talk about mental health, recovery from substance abuse or eating disorders, or any of those topics that used to so worry me. I’m grateful to early bloggers like Alison who were talking about previously taboo things back then. The online world is much richer for it!