Expanding my Multicultural Self

by Jan Yuill

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This is not me.

I lead a pretty low-key life. I like it that way. As I get older I learn to honour my introspective side more and more. But chemotherapy has taken me to new and unexpected people and places. The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Clinic. Ultrasound clinics. Wig shops. Today it took me to a wee shop near my home to have my head shaved. Yes, there is no hair on my head anymore. Over the past few weeks, large clumps have dropped out on their own, and then I hacked it off to about 1″, but today it is ALL gone. What a relief. All the hair floating around the house had to stop! It’s a whole new look for me.

To do the deed, I thought I would drop in to a small salon near my home. I was surprised to find that the business had closed. As I continued the short walk to the mall, I remembered AfroDiva Beauty. I have always wanted to go into the shop, but I knew I wasn’t their target customer. (I am a pale-faced blonde with a Scottish complexion.) “But why not step in and see if they have a hair stylist?” I thought. And behold, there he stood (Phil) with his razor in hand. While I waited for my turn, I browsed through a wonderful range of products. Hair extensions. Wigs. Hair relaxers. Clips. Eyelashes. And shea butter. I’m hooked. Shea butter is my new skin love potion.

I am so glad I had the shave done professionally. Very gentle. Very safe. Very very done.

As I walked home, I passed the #2 bus stop. A woman stood waiting in the shelter. She wore a head scarf. I walked passed. And then I  turned and went back. I asked her about her head scarf. She was very sweet. She asked me to her home to show me her scarves.

Chemotherapy has introduced me to many new people and places.





photo credit: Every Moment via photopin (license)