Yesterday something important happened to me.
I got my first haircut in the US.
You could say, why is that important? That’s not a big deal, you’re so dramatic.
Well, since I came to the US I’ve lived some experiences that have led me to lose a little of my self confidence.
I see people faces when they hear my accent, when I enter a restaurant, when I ask for help or a question. And that face is not friendly. I feel some kind of disgust from them, like if my accent hurt their ears, like if I’m not welcome.
So making the decision to get a haircut was a big deal for me. Firstly because even in my home country I struggled finding a hairstylist I liked, because I like my hair so much that I didn’t want any person to ruin it, and also because I’m shy and hair stylists tend to ask you a lot of private questions and sometimes even make cruel comments or talk about other people in their backs. (I’ve seen it).
So I really wanted a haircut and I made an extensive research for places near by, I followed some on Instagram, I looked the photos they posted, I was trying to make sure they were not racists, because I really wouldn’t want to live one experience like that.
Until about 3 weeks later I found one place that finally convinced me. And I made the right choice.
The owner stated in a post their interest about wanting an inclusive place for their clients, they wanted everyone to feel welcome and those words touched me.
I made the appointment the same day and when I arrived I saw a sign in their backyard that said “Black lives matter” and I felt comfortable being there. I am not black but I’m of color, and I know if black lives matter then all lives matter (I learned that from my black friend).
I appreciated the service and how I was treated, I wasn’t asking for any special treatment I just wanted to feel normal, and I did. My hair stylist said a couple words in Spanish because she told me she used to take Spanish classes at school and I considered that so nice of her, she was trying to communicate in my language and every time someone does that I feel something I can’t explain, it’s such a good gesture.
It feels nice when someone listens to me and have patience because I don’t speak as fluent or quickly as them, but I always try my best. I am confident that with more practice I’ll be able to communicate better but for now, I am really grateful for those who give me their time to speak to and listen to me even when my English is not the best.
For those who can relate, you’re not alone and there’s still good people in the world.