Cutting Through the Chaos


Fate. Destiny. Kismet. Serendipity. These are words casually tossed around when something unexpected and seemingly coincidental occurs in our lives. As quickly as that something occurs, it slips from our grasp to be replaced by another distraction or necessary element of our adulting world. And yet, one full week after my last encounter with serendipity, I’m still smiling at the impression it has left on me.


Three months without a haircut is too long for me. My hair gets all wavy and poofs out in a way that makes me look and feel like Krusty the clown. The state of the pandemic alongside our family’s desire to remain carefully vigilant amid growing health concerns has put some of these non-essential activities on hold. But with my son’s graduation ceremony approaching and my curls growing ever more unruly, I had reached a tipping point. Or maybe it should be more aptly named a clipping point.


The salon I usually visit no longer required masks of its patrons or workers, which left me in a personally uncomfortable situation given our family’s circumstances. After searching for a replacement, I stumbled upon The Hair Engineers in Satellite Beach. Masks required and five star reviews across the board on Google. Sold.


I should have known right then and there that something in the realm of kismet was happening. You see, the name of my most recent published book, Splendid Chaos, was inspired by a hair salon I passed while traveling in Vermont a few years ago. And to have the name of this particular hair salon I was presently visiting, The Hair Engineers, contain the name of my “by-day” profession, I received a little nudge that something special was in the making.


The ambiance was wonderfully eclectic. Comfy cushioned chairs. Colorful area rugs. Whimsical wallpaper. And music streaming through the speakers that awakened something new inside me. Made For You by Jake Owen captured the essence of so many characters in my fictional home away from home, Pigeon Grove.


It wasn’t until my appointment ended and I walked out the front door that a culmination of irony hit home in a powerful way. The name of the person who cut my hair: Olivia (top-notch service, by the way). And the name of the salon owner: Nikki. Seemingly unremarkable, I know, unless you’ve read my latest novel. Both of these names show up as prominent characters in the story.


I knew none of these coincidental facts before making my appointment. To be honest, I’m not even sure what it means, or if it means anything at all. But gosh, with that many coincidences occurring in succession, it must mean something, right? The funny thing is, even with my innate desire to understand everything that’s happening around me, I don’t feel the need to do so in this case. I’m happy enough to bask in the arms of serendipity with a smile on my face and the feeling it creates, for as long as it would like to remain in my presence.


I never would have thought a haircut could provide such a meaningful experience, cutting through the chaos of life to find a soft and safe space to land. But therein lies the beauty of kismet. And I can’t wait to welcome its return whenever it greets me next.

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