Hair.

I’ve had more or less the same haircut for a long time now. I don’t see anything “wrong” with it, so I figure, why bother? It suits me — it’s comfortable. It looks decent. So it’s fine.

For most of my university career, my hair was actually quite short. I tended to stick with shoulder-length hair more or less, and when I cut it, I’d usually stick with more of the same. Recently however, I made the decision to grow my hair back out. Currently, it’s longer than it’s been in over a decade. At this point in this growing-out process, I’ve come to realize that cutting my hair short again is absolutely not an option. The reason being; I have become emotionally attached to my hair.

I started growing my hair out during what was both somewhat challenging and illuminating period of my life and to be overwrought and completely ridiculous for a moment, my long hair symbolizes great strides in my personal growth as well. While some people stereotypically cut their hair following a moment of personal upset, I grew mine out. I didn’t want to look or feel like the same person, and the truth is, it worked; I don’t. I look at old photos of myself and my short, shapeless hair and think of myself as more childish and less “glamorous” than I am in my present state. Cutting my hair now would mean letting go of that feeling of transition and growth that I would really like to hang onto.

That being said, I kind of want to change it. I once asked a hair stylist what kind of changes can be made with long hair and she told me, “Unless you want to cut it, there’s really not much we can do.” Fair enough, right? But then I’m stuck in a decision of… is it worth more to me to change something to break some sort of rut or cycle? Or is the worth and weight of my long hair worth more than the need to change? Even subtle changes to my hair scare me. What if I hate it? How long will it take to fix? How can I fix it on my own? What if I cant’ fix it on my own and I’m stuck looking in the mirror at my hair, to which I am emotionally attached, and I don’t love it anymore? Then I’ll feel like I’ve let myself down.

One time when I was little, I had a favourite Barbie and I cut off all hair hair, right to her synthetic roots that jutted from her rubber scalp. Once I did this, I realized there was no taking it back and Icried, even though I knew it was my fault and I had done this. There is a consequence to these changes, right? It’s a hard lesson for a kid to learn.

Subtle changes though, breed bigger ones; ones that demonstrate that not only have I grown personally, but I’m comfortable enough with myself that I can change my appearance and not be so self-conscious about the choice I made.

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