From June 2014:
Y'all know I cut my hair, right?
(I cannot show you a picture of myself because I just played "tennis"--otherwise known as chasing balls inside a tennis court--with my son for an hour and it's 85 degrees outside. That should just about sum it up for you.)
The hair I have been growing for a little over nine years. The hair I loved to feel swinging down my back. The hair that I had my perceptions of beauty and glamour and youth all tied up in.
Well, I ran into someone the other day who hadn't seen The Cut yet, and while her first words were "Hey, I like your cut", her next words were a little more troublesome.
"I don't know why you cut it. You had such a beautiful head of hair."
"Oh, well," she sighs, tilting her head to look at me. "It will grow back."
Did she think I cut my hair by accident? Or perhaps she thought I regretted The Cut.
Okay, here's the deal. The Cut, to me, was drastic. Like everyone should have practically jumped out of their seat when they saw it.
Either people are a) basically unobservant or b) they don't care. Because not very many people have noticed. Which is fine. It just surprises me. The fact of the matter is that once again, I think that people are noticing things about me far more than they actually are. I don't mean for that to come across as egocentric. I guess what I mean is that I've, for as long as I can remember, have been very concerned about what other people thought about me--especially how I look. And as it turns out, most people aren't that concerned, nor do they notice or put much thought into my looks.
So I guess I can relax on that front, huh?
When I think of long hair, I think pretty. And I didn't want to be not pretty, so even though I was getting tired of my long hair, I didn't want to cut it off. I think I felt like that if I cut my hair, I'd be cutting off my pretty, with no chance of getting it back.
But when I got together with Dakota to discuss The Cut, he gently reminded me that I have been allowing other people to define what is pretty for me, and that I should be the one who gets to decide that for myself. "And besides," he said. "You aren't defined by the length of your hair. You aren't defined by your hair at all."
I don't miss all that hair. It was freeing to make the choice to cut it because I was ready. I'm no longer hanging onto some ideal that I've created in my head. And now I know I won't be one of those women who can never change their look or their hair because they are afraid of letting go of what they think defines them. Jeans sizes, numbers on a scale, the length and color of your hair...those are all just temporary, kind of like visual aides so that people can remember your name, and they get lost the moment you meet someone and that person discovers the person inside. You. Beautiful, radiant, magnificent you.
So go ahead. Be brave. Be daring.
Be your own kind of beautiful.