Although I’ve often said I’ll never cut my hair, one day I felt the sudden urge to. A few days later it was gone and I was free.
For so long my growing hair had been a place of refuge and a way to feel beautiful. Every morning and every night I brushed it. Mostly I wore it in plaits to keep from knotting and when I wore it out it was like a special dress. People would often compliment it, envy it and I loved the way it felt against my bare back.
But it only took a day of forgetting to brush it and it would begin to matte in clumps of ugly knots. I was spending so much of my time preserving what I saw as my beauty that I didn’t stop to realise I could be beautiful without it. Or, here’s a new idea, I didn’t have to be beautiful. At least not in the way society convinces me I should be.
The hairdresser took my long tail of hair and cut it from me in one sharp swoop. It was like my head was a fish bowl tight with fat goldfish swimming scale to scale, then the next moment my head was as empty as a cloud. I moved and felt a shock of short hair kiss my cheek. I didn’t expect to feel any different, but what I felt was a high so strange it was like being in another person’s body. I thought to myself, I may never feel this feeling again in my life. My hair had been so heavy I couldn’t wear it up without having a headache, and now suddenly the weight had lifted, I felt like I was floating up. I kept a small plaited section of my hair long, as a reminder, and I wrap it around my head to keep my hair out of my eyes.
I focus on being kind, open and generous now and suddenly people are glowing, because kindness is a beauty that can be shared by all. The wall is gone and though I can no longer hide, I feel less like I have to.