“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” 
~C.S. Lewis


When I was a teenager I dreamed big.

In one of my diaries I wrote in detail about my future house and backyard:  “537 acres” complete with a “show barn and stables.”

I also wrote that I wanted to be a YA novelist and a big time screenwriter (obviously I would need two jobs to afford that kind of acreage, especially with the fancy pool tiles I detailed–you can read more on my diary in this post).

I dreamed with abandon.

But for most everything else I seemed to check myself.  I never wore all black or any clothes that might make me stand out.  I never dyed my hair wild colors.  Once I dyed it black, but I changed it back to blonde the same day.

 

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

― A.A. Milne

 

Was I muting my individuality?

I mean I liked wild colors and glittery things.  I loved flipping through my Seventeen magazine (especially the back to school issue) to see all the fun outfits and makeup.  I would try all the fancy eye shadow techniques, but yea, I edited when I ventured out into the world (except for colored mascara.  I loved that stuff–especially the electric blue color).

But I also wanted to blend in.  I’m sure now a part of that was inhibition, but a bigger part has been the discovery of how I fit in my own skin and realizing that I have my own preferences for how I choose to be in the world.  I know now that part of my individuality is that I’m happier in the role of observer, that I like to take my excitement from the world around me in bits and pieces instead of all at once.

But how does an introvert (who dreams like an extrovert) portray herself to the world?

 

coleen blue hair_opt

Anyway she wants?

Okay so maybe wild hair isn’t really me.  Dyeing  it was certainly messy and I didn’t like that my hair felt like straw.  Plus, when the Blue Envy dye dried, it flaked.  I had Smurf Dandruff all over my clothes and bathroom.

And my shower as I washed the temporary dye out of my hair?

It was Avatar meets Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

But even with the mess, it was all totally worth it to see the looks on my kids’ faces.  In their eyes I could see they thought I’d unleashed a can of Crazy (I’m definitely filing away this experience for YA writing research.  If I’m ever at a loss for how to “torture” my main character, all I have to do is have the parent dye their hair).

And I still think glossy blue (read: salon created) hair like Katy Perry has, is pretty.

After seeing her movie Katy Perry: Part of Me last week, I felt inspired (and not just “follically”).  I especially loved the videos of young kids who felt supported by her music, who expressed their feelings of being okay with being different and found a way to be a little more comfortable inside their own skins.

 

“You’re original, cannot be replaced.”

~Katy Perry, Firework

 

Taking to heart the message it’s okay to be who you are is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes (like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz) we don’t realize that we’ve had the power within us all along.

Oh the tricky, elusive power of self-acceptance.

I think one way to harness it is by dreaming (BIG!) and then making every effort to make those dreams come true.  Because often our dreams are uncensored.  And there’s a confidence to be gained when we follow our dreams.  The kind of confidence that allows an introvert to blog–or post blue haired photos.

 

 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

 

I love the possibilities– in dreaming, writing, blogging and even dyeing my hair.  So yea, it can be okay to blend in, but make sure you keep yourself open to possibility.  Open to your dreams.

 

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

~Henry David Thoreau

 

What are your teenage dreams?  What things are you inhibited or uninhibited about?

I love it when you share! 🙂

 

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74 thoughts on “Teenage Dreams and Blending in with Blue Hair

  1. Emily

    I LOVE the blue hair! Way to go Col! 😀
    Loved the Katy Perry movie. I always watch those ‘True Hollywood’ type shows anyway, because I love a good behind the scenes look. It really showed how much of a work ethic she has, and I really have a new found respect for what she does.

  2. Natalie Hartford

    AWWWW beautiful post Coleen and such a great reminder to all of us to remember the dreams and the passion and to “go for it!”
    I think we all struggle with the feeling, need and wantingness to fit in. Sometimes I have to stop myself from asking hubby or a BFF “does this look ok? It’s not too much is it?” and just go for it because I KNOW deep down that I LIKE it and I want to wear it…
    But it’s hard…
    Sometimes, I think we have to ask less of others and more of oursevles. Worry less about what people think and hone in and honor what we think!
    What do I want, what do I think, how do I feel….and then trust your gut and go for it. Blue hair and all!
    Amen!
    Natalie Hartford recently posted..Partying in the spam filesMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Your right it is so hard! The thing I know for sure is to push ourselves when it really matters. Of course, that means having to figure that out too sometimes! I think you’re right–it’s a trust your gut thing. 🙂

  3. susielindau

    Blue hair is the only color I haven’t had! Love it!
    I did see a blog post by Jillian Dodd that showed a technique where you flatironed chalked hair. Haven’t tried it yet….
    I am livin’ the dream and I keep on visualizing so it keeps on rolling.
    It occurred to me that when I was young, I looked forward to having a wonderful life. Looking back, I realize I have had it all along and need to look around and enjoy it!

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Yes, I think I liked or posted Jillian’s chalk hair photo on Pinterest. It’s very cool. My daughter has also colored her hair with Sharpie markers–and my mom said one of my sister’s did the Kool Aid dye once. 🙂
      Susie you are a great example of living the dream–your fab, go get it personality shines thru on your blog!

  4. pat cooney

    You’re BEAUTIFUL no matter what color your hair is. You remind me so much of your mom. Always herself, always humor at the worst of times, tears at the best of times, just a joy to be around and one of a kind.

  5. Ginger Calem

    A very beautiful post and you looked gorgeous with the blue hair, but the beauty is you, no matter the color on your head. I’ve always been a dreamer and I dream big. This is a great reminder to not only keep my dreams uncensored but also to keep them pursued, hotly!!

    I should also note that I have bright fushia pink streaks in my hair with a turquoise swoosh on one side underneath. And it’s permanent. 😉

    1. Coleen Patrick

      “Keep them pursued…hotly” I LOVE that Ginger. And a turquoise swish sounds so pretty. After the messy application of the temporary stuff, i kept telling myself if I ever wanted some real color i was going to have a pro do it. 🙂

  6. Emily R. King

    The blue hair makes your skin look like porcelain.

    I used to dream big, too. I don’t know what happened. I guess life happened. Now I’m more realistic than I used to be… but I still dream of chocolate. 🙂

  7. Leigh Covington

    Love it! You totally ROCK the blue hair! And so does Katy Perry! Love her and her music. It really is inspirational and I love the messages she shares. My mom always tells me I need to be more inhibited, but little does she know I DO try to keep things that way when she’s around. *sigh* I hope I can encourage my kids to be whoever they are no matter what! 🙂 I love to dream big!

    1. Coleen Patrick

      I think it’s hard not to edit ourselves around our parents–even when we get older. And I so agree with you about encouraging kids, because they will get all the roadblocks and everything else from life anyway, so I figure, why not let home be the safe place to fall and then brush themselves off and get back out there again!

  8. Debra Kristi

    Love that you stepped out of your comfort zone and lived that experience. I used to want to dye my hair black underneath like the lead singer of Berlin when I was in high school, but I was never brave enough. I doubt my dad would have gone along with that either. When my son was born I finally did something similar. His hair was so red that I dyed the under layers of my hair red to get that same sort of look. Today I keep a picture of a blonde with blue streaks running through her hair that I love. I think, “maybe someday.” THis last week I wanted to actually go and get my hair dyed, not all of it, but streaks. But I thought I’d start with pink. Start small and try not to shock my in-laws too much to start. That’s a big step for me because I also consider myself an introvert that dreams like an extrovert. 🙂

    My six-year-old wants me to take her to see Katy Perry. Did you love it?
    Debra Kristi recently posted..Breaking Down The Wall : Immortal MondayMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Debra I loved it! I laughed, I cried and just felt so inspired. I love big dream stories. I hope you will take a photo of your hair if you decide you want to go for it! I think it’s so cool. And I love that you dyed your under layers to match your son’s–there’s a story in there somewhere. It’s so special.

  9. Paul

    “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.” ~~ Mitch Hedberg

    I died my hair once because my wife complained that my gray hair made her feel older. I went back to gray hair and found myself a new wife!

      1. Paul

        I’m glad you understand my humor. And I dyed my hair once! Not died. My fingers get away from me at times.

  10. Reetta Raitanen

    Groovy hair, Coleen! And a wonderful reminder to dream big. From your children’s reactio, it’s funny how teenagers react when their parents experiment or make changes in their lives. And the worst thing seems to be public displays of affection. “Old” people need the love too 😉

    I went through a few hair color phases as a teenager. I tried red and black and both looked awful on me but of course I didn’t think so then. And when I blonded the hair myself, my head got baby chicken yellow.

    These days I dress pretty boring (I feel comfy, though) but I love dressing up and I have some great costumes and jewelry left from my LARPing days. One Halloween I was a sexy witch with a very plunging neckline and a tad tight pushup bra. I was handing out flyers for a Halloween party and for some reason a lot guys flocked around me. Only after walking through the city a friend stopped me and told me one boob had popped out of the bra. D’oh 😛
    Reetta Raitanen recently posted..Link Feast For Writers, vol. 15My Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      OH no! That is a display of confidence for sure-even if you didn’t know it at the time!
      And as much as I’m sure you didn’t like your blonding experience–baby chicken yellow sounds so cute. 🙂

  11. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    Love the blue hair! It’s so fun to shock your kids once in awhile, isn’t it?

    I also tend to be an introvert with extrovert dreams. If I experiment with color, it’s usually on something my house…and not on me. Maybe someday I’ll get to the place where I don’t care what people think, but I doubt it. I tend to walk around stores (and town) with my jaw dropping at some of the things kids are doing these days.

    Not that I’d ever go to those extremes. If my my slacks ever look like they want to hang around my knees, it’s going to have to be for a reason along the lines of… I was away from home and someone threw up on the ones I was wearing, and the ONLY thing available was a pair twenty sizes to big for me. 🙂
    Kristy K. James…Living, Loving, Laughing recently posted..How’s Your Love Life?My Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Yea, I don’t get the pants hanging down thing either, but now you’ve got me thinking about a new experiment . . . oh to see my teenagers faces at THAT look. So cruel. ha ha

  12. Patricia

    Ooooo – you shocked your kids! Love it! Because it’s not enough to just let them think you’re nuts, you have to show them you’re nuts. And let that be a warning to them that if they ever want to have friends over, they’d best be on their best behavior or else – the blue dye comes out.

    Fun post and great way to embrace your introvertedness (is that a word?)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  13. August McLaughlin

    You are TOO adorable, even with blue hair. Maybe especially. 😉 I love this post, Coleen. Thanks for reminding us to celebrate who we are and venture out of our comfort zones as desired.

    You’re lucky that temporary color came out. I once had “temporary” pink streaks for months!
    August McLaughlin recently posted..Traveling Tips and Doo-Dads for WritersMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Thank you August! And guess what? This morning at the dr’s office (under that very harsh lighting) I noticed the blondest parts of my hair are a not so subtle shade of green!

  14. Alarna Rose Gray

    Way to go, Coleen! I love your very specific teenage dreams – priceless! And, of course, the hair. I went through a blonde phase in my early twenties – until it started falling out from the peroxide. I’ve become pretty tame since then, not so much from inhibition, but laziness – too much maintenance 🙂 As for dreams, well, my only real teenage dream was to write my first book by 18. So, one doesn’t really get a second shot at that…Anyway, love your teenage self. And hey, one can still look forward to blue dye in the future 😉

    1. Coleen Patrick

      I get the too much maintenance thing–often I don’t do things simply because they are inconvenient!
      Maybe you meant to write “81” not 18, if so then you’ve got plenty of time!!!

  15. Jennette Marie Powell

    When it comes to hair, you’re a much braver woman than I am! I’d be afraid the dye would break my hair or something. The wildest I’ve gone is reddish-purple, and still with a brown undertone.

    My teenage dream was to be a rock star – not a singer, a guitar player! Of course, it would have helped if I’d practiced more. I wanted to be a writer when I was teen, too. It took a while, but I made that one come true!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..My Town Monday: Publishing Success Against the OddsMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick

      I can so see you as a guitar player Jennette! It goes with all that cool car stuff you’ve got going on 🙂 But you’re a rock star to me simply because you’ve made your writing dreams come true 🙂

  16. Julie Glover

    Loved the pics! I remember a girl in high school whose fashion was totally different from everyone else, and I remembered wishing I had guts like that. I tried a few funky outfits in college, but I eventually realized that comfort won out a lot for me. I regulated my flare to big earrings (which I had to stop wearing after I had kids because something happened and I have a reaction when I try to wear them). Now that I’m a *choke, choke* middle-aged mom, my flare comes more from how I act! You’re never too old to have fun!

    1. Coleen Patrick

      I had to stop wearing earrings too! My ears would swell up even if I tried hypo allergenic earrings. Eventually I just stopped wearing earrings altogether.
      But you’re right, attitude can outshine any hair or outfit!

  17. Sheila Seabrook

    Love your blue hair, Coleen. I think you’d look great in green, too. 🙂

    One thing I’ve learned is that it’s good to be different. We stand out in a crowd. And yet there’s all those times we just want to blend in, which is great too. So the ultimate goal is to be a chameleon, changeable when necessary. Great post!

  18. Lynn Kelley

    This is so funny: “It was Avatar meets Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.” And your line about how your kids looked at you like you’d unleashed a can of Crazy! This is the coolest post, and you actually look darling with blue hair! No kidding! (Also, I forgot to tell you your new profile pic looks great!)

    You should have done a vlog post, too. A vlog post saying what you’ve said in this post, put it on YouTube, and add your blog URL at the end. Get your name out there even more and move up in the search engines. You have so many good posts, Coleen, that would make entertaining vlogs and YouTube videos. Just something to think about. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Brilliant idea Lynn. The Youtube thing has been popping up in my mind, way in the back though, for a few months. I know once I do one and upload it will get easier, but it’s that first step. Still photos are one thing, but me animated and talking? Hmm. I really want to do a trailer for my current book once I get it back from the editor (and deal with the changes). My son is great with video making and creating original music so I know I will have help!
      Maybe me in a video is an idea for my upcoming blogiversary? We’ll see 🙂
      Thanks Lynn for your suggestions and support!!

      1. Lynn Kelley

        Hi Coleen! I replied to your comment by email but it came back as undeliverable. So I copied it and am pasting it in here:

        Great idea for your blogoversary, Coleen. And that’s wonderful that your son can help you! Good luck with making the book trailer, too. You can put those on your YouTube channel, too!

        Do you have a Mac? I use iMovie. I guess there’s Movie Maker for PCs. There s/b tutorials on YouTube. I’ve just been playing around with it for about 2 years now. Just a couple months ago I discovered how to get to the window that has the special effects options for the video and audio clips! I’m having even more fun with it now!

        I’m terrible at explaining techie processes to anyone, but when you decide to make one and have any questions, I’ll help you out as much as I can. It’s basically a trial and error process.

        1. Coleen Patrick Post author

          I’ve used windows movie maker a couple of times, but it will probably take a lot of playing around to remember everything! 🙂
          Your skeleton dancing video is great–so I will keep you in mind for questions when I get there. Thanks so much Lynn!

  19. Ruth Schiffmann

    Smurf dandruff – yuck. Hair products never bring the results portrayed by those models, singers and movie stars, do they?! My older daughter has dyed her hair blue, black, red, blonde. She’s good at dreaming.

    Sadly, I don’t think I was much of a dreamer growing up. My parents really knew how to throw reality around if they caught you thinking too big. But that’s okay. I’ve learned to dream as an adult =)
    Ruth Schiffmann recently posted..It’s Awards TimeMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      “I learned to dream as an adult” That makes me smile!!
      And yes, you’re right about celebrities–they’ve got their pro entourages to make everything uber professional and glossy 🙂

  20. Karminn

    Blue hair is so cute! I can say that this is what most girls want to have right now after Katy Perry had it.. It looks fabulous and for me, it is stunning!
    Karminn recently posted..Sharepoint HostingMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I guess there will always be those parameters to fit into in certain segments of our lives. It’s nice when you have a place or people you know you can go to to be yourself! 🙂

  21. Marcy Kennedy

    I love this post 🙂 I never dreamed of dying all my hair blue, but I still occasionally dream about adding a bright blue streak (a darker shade than Katy Perry’s hair). For now, I’ll stick to blue nail polish 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Marcy I am a cute nail polish wearing wannabe! I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to nail polish–but at home I usually use clear polish. Well, except my toes, they are pink 🙂

  22. 4amWriter

    Thought I’d stop by to thank you again for visiting my blog, and here I find you with blue hair, lol.

    I dreamed all the time when I was a kid, so much so that I didn’t do as well in school as I could have. I mean I was an average student, but I probably could have stood out more if I’d studied. It wasn’t too long ago that I thought about that and wondered if it was because I was so introverted and shy that I didn’t want to stand out for fear of having to be known, i.e., blending in. So, I can really relate to this post and what dreaming is all about.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing Kathryn! The balance between personality, specifically introversion and big dreams is probably the biggest factor for me when it comes to blogging, social media and putting my creative work “out there.” The older I get the better I get at figuring that balance out. Another mark in the pro column for growing older 🙂

  23. Lydia K

    Smurf is you!

    I always wanted to shave my head, or dye my hair, or get a big tattoo on my arm but I never did. There’s a part of me that wants to stand out, but not that much, you know?

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I know–and there are times I mull over the tattoo thing too. But there’s no washing that out! I think I do better with the bits and pieces of excitement 🙂

  24. Theresa Milstein

    Katy Perry has professionals dying that hair. You’re brave. I have two tattoos, and I’m happy with them, but I’m not so brave when it comes to my hair. Thanks for the inspirational quotes. I like the first one.

    1. Coleen Patrick

      If someone told me a year ago that I would dye my hair blue and then post those photos on the internet, I would’ve laughed. I am continually surprising myself–good and not so good. Ha ha 🙂 Thanks for coming by Lily!

  25. Anonymous

    Found you at Susie’s Party and as soon as I saw your title and description I was totally thinking Katy Perry. Love the CS Lewis quote and the Alchemist quote (my favorite book) Great post…I’m all about dreaming big.

  26. ali cross

    This is such an awesome post! I love that you dumped your inhibitions and tried something new! When I turned forty I realized I’d been living the last twenty years trying to be someone I was not. I needed to reignite the passion for life I’d had as a teenager. So I dyed my hair red and pink and I haven’t looked back! With my hair crazy, I figure it pretty much just puts it right out there that I march to a different drummer, so GET OVER IT.

    Walking around with my hair taking care of my insecurities for me, I’ve felt a whole lot freer to just be myself. I know, what a concept, right? But it took me a very long time to realize that I really am okay just the way I am (well, and with red and pink hair :D).

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Awesome Ali! The ability to be myself has to be the treasured wisdom that’s always associated with growing older. It’s definitely a perk! 🙂

  27. Molly Pendlebury

    Love it!! I definitely think you should get a little flash of some exciting color in your hair. The permanent stuff is not nearly as messy (aside from the actual application depending on how much wine is consumed during the process) 😉 and won’t leave your hair straw like or cause dandruff flakes. The shade of blue looked awesome against your skin…..go for it girl….You’ll rock it out just like your dreams 🙂

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