Small, significant changes can get you out of a rut


Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Sarah Gallagher

Small but significant changes can help you out of a rut. Even subconsciously. For me, each time I make a hair colour change it heralds a huge life adjustment. This is a story of what small changes can do – and for you to keep a look out for your own sparks of movement.

First time shy – the smallest step towards change

The first time I became a redhead was after my first long time relationship was kicked to the curb. I was in a relationship where I loved and gave more than I received. We were together for just over seven years, getting together just a few months before his daughter with an ex was born. For seven years we were in an up and down relationship, working best as co-parents every second weekend. We loved, but really were not compatible, though we tried.

I never felt that I was good enough for him, who was so smart, so gifted with words and who had such confidence. I yearned to feel adored, wanted, needed, but it was more of a pleasant companionship. But I stayed, as I kept hoping it would blossom. Plus, I had fallen in love with my step-daughter, and wanted to be there every second weekend to support her and help her grow.

It ended when he told me that after a long time of thinking about it, he knew that I desperately wanted a child, but he still wasn’t sure if he did. And it wasn’t fair to me to be kept in limbo for so long, and possibly for longer. So, he did the humane thing, and ended it. Which hurt, a heck of a lot, but really it was the right thing to do because it let me come out from under his shadow and be dazzled by my own light. Though I deeply mourned the loss of my step-daughter for over a decade, and still miss being a part of her life.

Going red was the first stand for myself – he had hated the colour. His opinion didn’t matter anymore. Mine did. Small changes can help you out of a rut.

Second time bitten – small changes are more significant

I stayed red for a while, but as my life grew into itself, I let the red grow out back to my long blonde roots. Life happened. Another relationship started, and fizzled away. I adopted a cat to go along with my household of two bunnies. I moved out from the place I was living with my ex into my own place. The first time I’d lived truly on my own, no roommates or lovers. Just me and my animals.

So, out came the bottle of red hair dye again. Either shortly before I moved out on my own, or shortly thereafter. Long red hair this time. Red hair for confidence, for brazenness. Again, small but significant changes can help you out of a rut.

Then, Myke and I crossed paths again

There’s a huge, intense storyline of our entire romance, which will be shared in future posts. But for the intents of this particular story, know that this was not the first time that we had been in the same place at the same time in the past year, but this particular night, things were different.

I had gone out with a few friends to try out the tastings of a new brewery. I was usually a hermit, but given that I’d just started another new path in my life, I decided to step out into the world a little bit. After an hour or two sampling barley and hops, the crew started making noise about heading up to the nearby Goth bar as it was a retro Thursday night and it would be fun.

I hadn’t gone out clubbing in what felt like forever, and certainly not on a work night. However, something was in the air that evening, and I decided to ditch my usual regrets, zipped up my coat and courage, and followed along.

Myke was there that night. Unusual for him to be out on a Thursday night as well. And….we just started talking. And talking. The uneasiness fell away quickly, and transformed into an undercurrent of tingling sensations. We couldn’t not be around each other, we just wanted to be in each other’s space, but were both hesitant nay terrified as our previous encounters had blown up spectacularly.

We followed each other out for a smoke, to get some air. To maybe shake these tremors that I knew I felt. Outside, feeling the clear air on my face, the tingles didn’t subside. The air was vibrant with electricity. I let the current drive me, and I kissed him. Completely unexpected for both of us. The sparks zapped into an electrical firestorm. We fell into each other. Grasping, falling, spiraling. It was breath taking.

We started dating again after that. Which turned into our glorious, ended-too-soon love affair.

Third time’s a charm

However, the significance of the theme of this story comes into fruition here. For his mother, a prophetess of immense magical power, had told him that she had a vision his future wife. That a redheaded woman would come out of nowhere, and surprise him.

He had always known me as a blonde-haired fairy, never red. We had left on horrible terms years ago. He never had the remotest clue that it would be me.

I changed my hair back to blonde again, right before our wedding. And I cut it pixie short again. We relaxed into each other. Laughed, and loved, and grew. Until his death.

After he died, I went red again. To find my inner strength. And it helped, a lot.

This time? I don’t know what it signifies, what it portents. All I know is that I needed to do it. Some instinct drove me, just as it did before. It means change is on the wind – again. Hopefully for the better. My inner self tells me that taking this blog of mine that I’ve had for three years public in a new format is potentially the catalyst. It feels right, and hopeful. Especially knowing that my drive is to share my story so that others who have loved and lost can find hope in my words.

Small, but significant changes. They are important. Even as simple as changing your hair colour. Small but significant changes can help you out of a rut.





As a only parent to two kids, who is also a widow, I know how you need resources.
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5 Replies to “Small, significant changes can get you out of a rut”

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