Over this past winter break, I made a spur of the moment decision. (Not unlike when I decided to become vegan overnight, literally)
My mom and I were at dinner at Great Sage, discussing when I should schedule my next hair appointment. You can ask my hair stylist (Becky) (she rocks) (more than just a cutter of hair for me and my fam), and she’ll tell you every time I come in I ask for “just a trim.” I dreaded the idea of losing more than a couple inches of my precious hair, and I had been growing it out ever since the last time I cut it above my shoulders.
I longed for that mermaid hair that cascaded down my back and was always perfectly tousled (or in my case, knotty and frizzy). I surprised even myself when the words escaped my lips (it went something like this), “I think I want to chop my hair off, like *makes scissor cutting motion above my shoulders* this short.” And my mom said okay, and we scheduled the appointment, and I showed Becky how I wanted it to look, and then it was gone. My long brown hair was gone, and now it hit just above my shoulders and the new blonde dye darkened to my natural color as it crept up to my roots.
It was, honestly, like losing a limb. Most days, I had my hair wrapped up in a top-knot perched atop my skull, or if I was at the gym or yoga, a tightly wound hair band held my high ponytail together. The last time I cut my hair more than a “trim” was in fifth grade when I donated it to locks of love. Now, I didn’t look like a 10 year old with a cute bob, I looked like someone new. My short hair would barely fit into a ponytail, I could no longer braid it and expect all the strands to stay in place, and the chances of it getting into a top knot were out of this world. Despite my new appearance, I still felt the same. AND I loved my new hair.
All of that leads me to why I’m telling you this simple story of my decision to chop my hair off. What I’ve learned in the past few months is that while bodies change, who we are at our soul, our innermost selves, that piece of us remains the same. Sure, we grow and change our perspective, gain more knowledge, and get to know ourselves better, but the root of who we are, how we act, that is (mostly) constant and unchanged. Bodies, though, they are ever changing. Your body is not the same as it was a year ago (probably), and that could be because you, too, cut your hair. Or you dyed it purple, or you got a new piercing (sorry, Mother Theresa // shout out to you for never questioning my random decisions to go vegan/chop my hair, you rock). Even though I know have a new piercing on my right ear and a haircut I never imagined would be mine, I’m still me. I still love to dance on my yoga mat, to run until my legs feel like dead weight, to light candles and read a book in the semi-darkness even though it’s terrible for my eyes.
I think it’s an important lesson to learn. While we continue to grow in mind and soul, our bodies are also not going to be constant. I might not be growing any taller for the rest of my life, but that doesn’t mean I’ll have this same, exact body forever. Plus, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to express yourself through your body. How you dress, how you walk or skip or run through your daily events, how you choose to do your hair. It does not in any way define you, these superficial things, but it’s fun to play around.
Spur of the moment decisions are not always the best, but, for me, they have been the most rewarding. Thank goodness I cut my hair. The growth that came with it, the self love that sprouted from seeing myself in a new light, made it one of the best decisions I could have ever made. And now, I get to look forward to when my hair is back at that almost (but not quite) mermaid worthy length.