I don't have a picture of Linda, but one of the things I always remember about her was how much she loved Greece, so that is why I posted a picture of Greece.
Many moons ago Linda was my hairdresser. But she was more than my hairdresser. She became a good friend.
I didn't hang out with her or see or any other place than the hair salon, but I call her a good friend because that is what she always was to me.
At the time I met her, I was married to my ex husband. Because my daughter often reads this blog I will be very nice and simply say that my ex was not a very nice person. I had a lot of problems dealing with that marriage and for years I was on a downward spiral into the depths of despair. I did not like myself or my life and I began to believe there was no hope for me.
I started going to Linda and we began what I call our "Oprah" talks, meaning, we would talk about who we were as women, our lives, self esteem, and how it was possible to make our lives better.
Little by little, I began to see a small light, far, far ahead. We talked about our hopes and dreams, and what we had to do and believe to get there.
It was as I sat in that chair, talking to Linda, that my life began to change. It was a long, slow process, so that I didn't really see it happening at the time, but, looking back, I see how far I've come.
In that time, I lost weight (though never enough!) got a divorce, went back to college, got my degrees, became self supporting, raised two children on my own, and became a much stronger, better person.
Wow. I didn't even realize that myself until I wrote that right now!
When I ran into Linda I was just as surprised and happy to see her as I was when I ran into my Nino. We talked for just a short while. One of the things she said was "Carol, you're so much different! You seem so confident and bold!"
She said how there were a few other times she had seen me somewhere and that I seemed to shy away and not say hi. When I think of it, I believe there were a few times I had seen her and did not want to come forward because I was thinking, "what if I say hi and she doesn't remember me? How embarrassing would that be?" I guess I was thinking, "who am I that she would remember me?"
I realize that when I saw her this time, I actually almost hesitated again, but this time as we both looked at each other, I decided to just go up and say "Linda! I'm Carol!" (just to make sure, in case she forgot). She said, "of course I know you, Carol!"
Anyway, I realized it was true. As much as I fight to think positively of myself, I have come a long way from the person who originally sat in that salon chair. I have become a stronger, more confident, as well as accomplished woman.
Back in the day, Linda would often tell me about a movie that came out at that time, back in the 80's. It was called "Shirley Valentine" and it was a movie about a dowdy woman who has given up on ever having a fulfilling life and is in despair. When a friend of hers asks her to join her on a holiday trip to Greece, Shirley drops everything, including her unappreciative husband, and goes. It is there that, for the first time, her life suddenly blossoms and she finds who she really is.
Linda constantly told me to rent that film because it would open up my eyes to the power we had to really change our lives. It was watching that movie that had Linda take that plunge to realize her dream of visiting Greece.
I never did see that movie, but I believe I'll look into finally seeing it.
Meanwhile, I'll think of Linda, who opened my eyes to realize the power we have to change when we believe.
Thank you, Linda, for being my own personal, real life example of Shirley Valentine.