By In high school, I had the honor of being chosen to represent our school at the state’s annual Girls State event. It is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary. It give young women a hands-on experience of how government works from a local to state level, while also promoting patriotism, poise and character development in young women at a pivotal point in their school lives.

I was in that stage where I worried so hard and so much about what people thought of me. That was a tough time for me. I was blessed to have this opportunity and the night before I left for the program, I let myself get talked into coloring my hair.

I had been doing the Sun In spray-on hair lightener for the summer. So my roots were darker than the rest of my hair. But I have an obsessive personality. So once a little weed of a seed thought like that gets planted, it grows quickly, developing roots and making me crazy until I address it.

So I hit up a few places in town and everyone that sold hair color was closed, except for the truck stop on the edge of town. Bingo. Because buying hair dye off the shelves of an interstate truck stop back in the early 1990s was a safe bet right? Roll those dice, cause I did. Even back then, I ignored the odds.

I ran home and mixed it together, then threw it in my hair while I went through the pack list for my trip one last time. This would be the first time I would be away from home by myself and it was my first real accomplishment too. Little did I know that this trip and this opportunity would impact me and give birth to my lifelong addiction to politics.

I also don’t know how I managed to get on the bus the next morning at 5 a.m. either, because I went from having long blondish hair with light brown roots, to army tank green.

Now I have seen people with green hair; they made it look edgy and cool, whether it was deep emerald green or bright neon green. Sadly, mine was neither. Mine was the grossest and saddest color of drab green outside of a military warehouse. Not only did the color completely smother any pigment in my hair but it also ate through the ends leaving me with fried and clumpy results.

I sat in stunned silence for what seemed like hours … until it was literally time to put my bags into the truck and go load up for camp, with green hair. So I did what any good Southern girl would do, I put a hat on that mess and loaded up.

As we were pulling out, I saw my mother give me a shaky thumbs-up.

I rocked my hat until later that afternoon at check-in when we got to our assigned rooms. I met my new roomie with a smile and handed her a pair of scissors. I had her cut it chin length. Sidenote: that roommate would go on to be a nurse thankfully not a hairdresser, because her shearing skills were horrible.

Rather than spend the rest of camp hiding my hair, I went with it. People can suck regardless of where you are, who you are, what color your hair is etc. It was my first experience of learning to have little care of what someone thought. It was freeing and I would find such strength in that knowledge going forward.

I survived that week, with crazy uneven army green hair, where it was just another quality of my loud, over-the-top, over-compensating personality. There was a hop in my step and for once, I really enjoyed just being around other people.

Oh I know people talked. It really was horrible hair — the cut and the color, nothing about it even remotely flattering, but I didn’t care. I made the most of that week. I enjoyed striving and learning in a situation where I would normally stand in the back with my hair covering my face.

— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.