I Am My Hair

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Being upset over cutting your hair is so high school.

 

Hey. Hello. How are ya today? My name is Cerena and I put all of my self worth into my hair.

Okay let’s begin.

Cutting your hair, styling it, coloring it, whatever floats your metaphorical boat- can be so dramatic. So life changing. And yet the rest of the world is like:

Yeah, cool you’re missing eight inches of hair. Nobody cared.

For me, I have always had long hair. Long(er) hair at least, depending on what you consider to be “long.” For as long as I can remember,  my hair has gone slightly past my chest. It has always been this length. I have been this person, this long and dark haired girl. It became who I was. My everyday look, my go-to, my favorite way to wear my hair was in big loose curls. I associated this hairstyle with who I was. There became this underlying, subliminal link between my hair and who I could be as a person.

I have always thought that if I cut my hair, I would lose the person I was. I would have to let go of that girl. I know I sound crazy but that was the connection my brain made between myself and the literal dead tissue that’s attached to my head. My hair was an embodiment of myself, like a security blanket I just couldn’t quite yet ditch.

Does this even make sense?

I have obsessed over the way I look since I was in middle school. I think that can be attributed to many, many factors but to be honest, that’s another blog post itself and we won’t even get into that now. Point is, I’ve always  put all of my self worth into my physical appearance. There were days where I would feel ugly and know that I can’t change the way I look, but I can fix my hair the way I wanted. My hair was my best feature because I made it that way. I was in control.

I lived for the moments when people would compliment my hair. My hair was my constant. She got messy sometimes but I would always fix her. We were a team.  I had her back, she had mine.

**Side note: how crazy do I sound right now?

My hair made me feel beautiful and sometimes, gave me the confidence I so badly needed. I always felt like, without my hair, I would never feel that way again. I would feel nothing but the absence of the thing I liked most about myself, physically speaking.

Guyyyyyyys I was voted best hair at the end of my senior year of high school and for some reason that gave me enough validation to last years. If that tells you anything about me as a person.

I keep validating all of my excuses for obsessing over my hair by appealing to my logic. I just can’t get over it. Even though I hardly did anything special to it- it had no layers, highlights, or low-lights- I loved it. I loved the color because it was my natural color and I’m sure it’s boring to some people but to me, it was how I preferred it.

The idea of cutting it has always been floating around in my mind. I actually wanted a pixie cut for the longest time but I could never wrap my head around such a drastic change. When short, shoulder-length hair became trendy the past few years, I began to wish that I could make that change. I knew I couldn’t.

And I love ALL hairstyles. Trust me. Your girl wears wigs- she enjoys every color, cut, length, and style of hair. I just never saw my hair any other way. I couldn’t picture it. My identity was so deeply rooted in the way my hair looked that I couldn’t see past it to any other alternative.

I’m sure you’re waiting for the dramatic moment, the life- altering truth behind why I decided to cut my hair. Or most likely, you couldn’t care less. But to be honest, I just wanted a change. I wanted something that made me look less like myself. I wanted a small change to make myself feel new and excited and different. I feel like there was so much psychology in this decision but I try my absolute hardest not to look into it so deeply.

The truth is, I felt free. I felt a weight lifted. At first, I felt guilty to be so excited with my new hair as if I was betraying my long hair, the person I used to be. It felt wrong to not immediately regret my decision. To not wish that I hadn’t cut eight inches off of my hair. I thought for sure I would miss my long hair over time but, here we are, two months later, and I still love it.

I guess the point I’ve been trying to make this whole time is that the truly beautiful things, the things that make us who we are, are not on the outside. You could grow your hair to your toes or shave it all off and it still won’t take away the best parts of yourself. The parts that make you, you.

It’s okay to try new things and even if I hated it, that would be okay too. How could we ever know if we never try? It’s okay to jump, leap outside of your comfort zone.

Even though this was such a minuscule change in the timeline of my life, it was major in the moment. Sometimes, most of the time really, I feel like I am my hair. I am the way my hair looks, I am the way I’m dressed, I am the way that I appear on the outside. I’ve since learned, that could not be further from the truth. Your heart, your soul, the kindness you throw around and give so freely, all of that is on the inside. Your thirst for knowledge, your passion for exploring new ideas, lies inside of your brain. Your beautiful memories and the core of what makes you unique can’t be seen on the surface.

Take it from me, if you want to cut your hair-cut it. If you want to explore new places-explore them. Put yourself out there, put yourself in a new situation . You may fall but you could also soar.

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