The Loving Myself Journey: Gate #10 – The Hair Tie

Last night, as I was climbing in to bed, I took off my glasses, my paracord bracelet, and my hair tie. My routine.

But something was different about tonight’s routine. I decided that it was time to cut my hair.

But not just cut my hair, or trim it. But chop it off.

I have been wanting to for a number of years. But have never taken the plunge.

A short hair cut and 16 chins does not seem like it would mix. I convinced myself I would look ridiculous.

And ugly.

I have cut it to neck length a couple times. But that was it.

So chopping off my hair, was designated as a reward for when I lost 50lbs.

I never lost the weight. I never reached my dream of chopping it all off. And this failure just added to the pile that was weighing me down.

But why?

It’s just hair.

But is it? Hair is an identity. A culture. It provides clues as to who you are. Socially, economically, maybe mentally.

You can change it, add to it. Dye it, shave it, massage it. It is your canvas. You weave who you are, in to your hair.

It is not just hair. It is an identity in and of itself.

So why do I want to chop mine? I have such thick, long, wavy dirty blonde hair. People say again and again to me.

But what they dont realize, is that I have hidden behind my hair for years. Maybe even 20 years.

And the only thing I do, is put it in a pony tail.

I dont braid it. I dont wear it down. I dont like headbands and I cannot figure out hair barrettes.

Up in a pony tail. Every. Single. Morning.

And yet I hide behind it.

One of the ways my depression manifests, is through my hair. And lack of hair care. My hair is quite literally the very last thing I take care of.

I hide my pain underneath the mess that my hair has become.

I havent brushed my hair in months. I am surprised I did not have any dreadlocks starting. Or knots beyond untanglement.

Wait. That is not true. I cut out a chunk of hair a few weeks ago from the back middle of my scalp that had a horrid knot.

I take showers, and hair comes out in clumps.

My hair ties are unusable after a day because of the hair wound around and around.

Last night, I decided it was time.

And because I am approaching getting healthy in a completely different way, hacking off my hair was no longer going to be tied to a reward.

It was time for me to just do it.

I have dreamed about it for a long time. I am just going to do it.

I wake up. And today is the day. It is time to remove a layer of the old me.

I call the place I want to go, and they are completely full. But I can try tomorrow.

At first, I agree.

As the day progresses, I cannot wait until tomorrow. I feel like a little kid at the entrance to disneyland. I want it. I need it. Now.

I have the confidence now.

I dont know what tomorrow holds.

So I make a resolution that while B is in her therapy session, I would find a hair stylist to chop it all off.

But I am taking the girls to the park first. And then I am taking my brother in law to work. So I have a limited window to do this in.

Of course, staying true, plans changed.

I had to talk to our health insurance. I got mad at them. I am livid (will tell that story at a later date).

I have to get my hair cut today. I just have to.

So I call around. Everyone is full.

Did everyone in the universe have the same idea I did? Did we all go to bed last night with the same idea implanted in to our brains?

Ok fine. Great clips it is. It will have to work.

But I am scared. I tell my girls. I have them go with me.

Why am I so scared? It’s just hair.

But I have hidden behind my hair.

I am about to reveal myself. I am about to become vulnerable. I am about to grow in to someone new.

And that is scary.

I have cut my hair extremely short once before, when I was like 12. And I bawled for days.

I remind myself it is just hair. If I do not like it, it will grow back.

I get in the chair. The plastic sheet is wrapped around me. The process begins. She wets my hair. Then combs it.

She divides it. And then makes the first cut.

I close my eyes. I take a deep breath. Whatever happens now, I cannot go back.

Only forward.

I am taking a giant leap. I can no longer hide behind my hair. My pain will no longer be able to wrap around my hair tie.

I may fall. But what if I dont?

What if I fly?

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