“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
― C.G. Jung
This post is about what I’ve experienced and reflected on in the days since I got The Cut.
I’ve already told you how I feel about my new hairstyle [in short, I LOVE IT!], but I haven’t yet shared about other people’s responses to it…or rather, my response to other people’s responses to it. And since one of my biggest fears before getting it done was “what will other people think?” I think it’s important for me to address what the aftermath has been like for me.
E’s summarized thoughts about my new haircut are “I’m happy you’re happy,” and “I always think you look beautiful.” And while that may sound super cliché…I also know that it’s his truth. He looks at me in exactly the same loving way that he always has…to the point where I even forget that I have a new hairdo sometimes! Admittedly, I went fishing for compliments the other night, and made sure that E didn’t find me less attractive with half of my head shaved…he did his usual eye-roll and said “Baba, no! You’re berfer” [which is how we say beautiful]. I love fishing for compliments — he usually rolls his eyes at me and I totally love it when he gets fake exasperated with me. TEEHEEHEE. I’m such a trickster!
Little Baby, I super appreciate your unconditional love, all ways, always. I love you so big, so tiny! Thank you!
The first people I saw after having it done [besides the people who were there while it was happening] were my parents, my uncle, and my two cousins. My uncle and cousins didn’t say much besides “whoaaaa!” My mom was mostly surprised at how high up it was shaved — she thought I’d be stopping where Haley had hers [because I’d originally thought I was going to stop there, too]. She also asked if I’d be growing it back immediately [totally not happening]. And my dad…didn’t say anything at all. Not even one mention of it.
I’m pretty used to disappointing my parents at this point in my life, and I’m really happy to say that I wasn’t negatively impacted by their reactions [or lack thereof]!!! “Don’t take anything personally,” right? Their disappointment is exactly that, THEIRS. Of course I noticed their reactions, but I didn’t have the same longing for positive reinforcement/support/acknowledgement of my choice that I’ve felt in the past when I’ve done things they’ve disapproved of. For me, that’s a huge step in what I consider to be the right direction for me. And I’m really proud of myself for it! Woo! And at the end of the day…they’re my parents, and I know they’ll ALWAYS love me, disappointing as I may be. I mean, come on…this is ME we’re talking about here. 😉 Hehehe.
I had the most difficult time with my younger niece’s reaction to my new hairstyle. The day after The Cut, Eric and I met my brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces for dinner. Everyone greeted me with a hug, as per the usual, except for the baby [she’s nearly four years old]. She refused to come near me, and gave me the, “Umm…I know that I know you, but I am totally weirded out by you right now” face [which was previously reserved for Eric!]. All throughout dinner, she kept staring at me and would only begrudgingly interact with me. It was the first time I felt concerned about my choice…what if it affects my relationship with the baby?!
Well, luckily all of that blew over after we finished dinner…she fully warmed up to me and we returned to business as usual! We were back to our old antics, and she even asked me to be her partner when we played a family card game together that night. PHEW!
All of the feedback I’ve received from my friends has been incredibly supportive & sweet. I’ve been reminded of what an incredible chosen family [aka – the people I choose to call my family] I have, who support me in being my ME-est Me possible, no matter what. They’ve recognized that getting this haircut was about way more than just a haircut.
Overall, I’m really happy with myself for the way in which I’ve processed responses [internal & external] to my hair. In the past, I might’ve questioned my decision if I didn’t receive 100% “positive” feedback about a choice I’d made, especially if my parents weren’t on board. But I really have to tell you…I’m STILL so thrilled with my hair!!! And perhaps even more so because I made this choice for ME and only me. My latest ponderings have been “how often DO I make choices that are for me and only me?” And not in a selfish sense, but rather in an aligned-with-my-authentic-self-and-not-worrying-about-what-others-will-think sense. I’m still marinating on that one.
To close, I’ll leave you with some self-portraits that I took on Tuesday…which brought up a whole new slew of questions & thoughts for me, like, “is this photo shoot empowering, or is it vain/narcissistic?”,”what IS vanity?” and “what’s the difference between being confident and being vain?”
My initial conclusion [though I’ll definitely be thinking more about this] is that the meaning is in the eye of the beholder. For me, these photos were/are incredibly empowering. As someone who is painfully uncomfortable when standing alone in front of a camera, taking these pictures to capture my ME-ness was liberating for me, and I’m proud of myself for everything that these pictures captured and represent. Someone else may think I’m being vain, and that’s totally their prerogative. In the mean time, I’m going to pat myself on the back for doing these. *pat pat* I’m starting to realize that self-acknowledgement is not such a bad thing afterall…HMMMMM…I think I’m on to something here. 🙂