One morning in early August I woke up and decided I was going to cut my hair off. So I did. 10 inches gone. I had been thinking about doing it for about 2 years but whenever I brought it up people would say “No! Keep it long!” “It won’t look as good short!” “I think you would look better with long hair.” And for 2 years I listened. A lot. To some people hair is just that: hair. It’s dead cells that grow out of your head and you cut/color/curl/ignore. But to others, our hair is our comfort zone, a security blanket, our safety. I had long hair for 18 years, so at that point it was like my arm or foot or something, it’d just always been there. But after 18 years I was sick of it. It was heavy and tangly and stringy and always, without fail, somehow in my way. My 19th year has been a big one, with a lot of change, a lot of learning and a lot of growing. I think I just outgrew my hair. But this is not about dead cells growing out of your head. It’s about knowing when to listen to the world, and when to stop. It’s about choosing what makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be big things. It can be small, seemingly insignificant choices like a hair cut or a hat choice or your favorite band. Every day we unwillingly make small choices for other people. Small sacrifices of who we are and what we want. We lose ourselves piece by piece when we change our outfits because of what our co-workers might say in the break room or quit playing the clarinet because goodness knows what our friends might think. People will always have their opinions to give, whether we ask for them or not. Whether we listen to those opinions is our own conscious decision. After I cut my hair, I got a lot of compliments (thank you by the way) and a few “Why the heck did you do that?”s. But at the end of the day I was happy. I am lighter and more myself than ever before. You can not possibly be everybody’s cup of tea. (hey Kacey Musgraves) “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese. We can not please everyone. It’s exhausting, consuming and quite honestly impossible. This is an especially difficult pill to swallow when you’re in middle school or high school and being accepted seems like the most important thing in the entire universe. And even for some grown adults. As human beings we seek acceptance and love. But as human beings we need to step away from this constant endless chase. You are a very unique collection of your own individual experiences and thoughts. Just do what makes ya feel alive, I promise someone will love it. There is nothing more refreshing in this world than someone who is unapologetically themselves.
Ps. If you want to donate your hair but cannot donate to Locks of Love because it is dyed/processed consider donating to Children With Hair Loss. They accept any healthy hair that is at least 8 inches in a pony tail. I just mailed my hair in a regular envelope and somewhere in the world there’s a little girl or boy who needs it much more than I did. Just go to childrenwithhairloss.us!