May 31, 2011

Haircut and a Real Job

It's gone. Seven years of long and longer hair, long hair identity, freedom from regular haircuts, repetitive offers/requests of drugs in Vancouver (though not here, and none taken Mom), ponytails and pigtails and Cousin It imitations, all gone in a whim and an hour of careful pruning (for the cancer kids).

It started as a sudden random thought, in the garden missing my family - "Maybe i should cut my hair." It was the first time the idea had sprung from me at all, and the first time it made sense. Grandma's 97 and there won't be that many more Easters to give her this long-begged-for present. And unlike before, i couldn't drum up a single reason to stop that noble impulse.

For the past many years, anytime grandma tried to beg/threaten/bribe/reason me into cutting it off, there were good reasons not to. It felt good, i enjoyed it, it wasn't blocking my social or professional life. Cutting off a healthy part of Me just to please one ancestor just didn't sit right.

I was never trying to make a statement with long hair. Wasn't openly thumbing or bucking the system, wasn't aligning with any particular subculture, was't trying to directly annoy grandma. It just felt good, and i enjoyed the freedom of being at a place in my life where i could do it without consequence. So when it stopped feeling quite as good - or when the alternative felt just as appealing and more of an adventure - it was equally as natural a decision to cut it off.

That is to say, moving to short hair is equally as neutral a choice as growing it out. I'm not suddenly a Harper supporter, looking for a "proper job", blending in, or thinking it'll give me a leg-up for the Black Tie business award next year. I'm just good ol' me, with less hair (though still just as capable of frizzing it out, much to sarah's chagrin.)

I was a bit motivated to see if i'd become too attached to long hair. Had i confused that look with who i am? And had others done the same? Now over a month into it, i really don't see friends or strangers or business acquaintances responding any differently (beyond the initial shock, which ranged from outright shrieks in the grocery store, to my wife not recognizing me at the bus stop, to a young friend rolling down his mom's car window yesterday to tell me i looked better with long hair.) It's reassuring to know that it's a deeper core me that shines through shags or stubs.

Until that moment in the garden I hadn't been able to think of when I'd get it cut, what would impel me to do so. Turns out i didn't need a reason to cut it off, just an impulse to enjoy something different and to make a dear old woman happy. It's all good, it's all me.

1 comment:

  1. And we love you, always, long hair or short! Great post.