I’ve been debating cutting my hair for the past year, now.
No, seriously. Just ask Brandon.
(Don’t give up on this blog post just yet. I promise. It will get more interesting.)
Well, you see, “debating” may have a different meaning here… this “debating” looks more like:
- I spend hours scrolling through “dream” haircuts, save them on my computer, although in “real life” I am TERRIFIED of actually doing it.
- I incessantly ask Brandon, “what do you think?” “Should I do it?” or, “ NO REALLY, what do you think? REALLY, should I do it??”
- I have sudden movements of bravery, making definitive statements aloud to an empty room, such as: “I’m doing it!” Only to be followed by, “…Maybe next year..”
Why, you ask?
It’s just a stinkin’ haircut, Sallie! It grows! it doesn’t even matter!
Well, as it turns out, these things always represent something much more than what’s on the surface (or the scalp, in this case), don’t they?
I don’t know why, but, it has always taken forever for my hair to grow. They say hair grows on average 6 inches a year (don’t worry, I’ve done plenty of research on this one when I should have been actually doing work). My hair, during a good year, grows about 3 inches.
However, those three inches are like runners in the last 3 miles left in a marathon. They are the scraggly, tired, hardly-still-in-one-piece mess. But, nonetheless, I am extremely proud of those ragged beasts.
So, the thought of even trimming one of those little fighters is too much to bear. Truly. I promise I’m not doing this for dramatic purposes. Somewhere deep in me is a “let them be” and “never touch them!” mentality.
Also, even deeper in me, there is this “I was born to have luscious, long locks” belief.
I have equated my most ideal, perfect, and ultimate hair as being long and magazine-cover worthy.
Maybe that is a result of never actually experiencing “mermaid-like” hair. Or, a combination of so many images from the media, friends, magazines, Pinterest, etc. (of COURSE that affects my beliefs, whether I want to deny it or not).
Basically, at the base of it all, what I am confessing is that I believe I am not “good” enough until a piece of me matches up to my image of perfection.
I have subconsciously convinced myself that in order for me to be truly beautiful, I need the Rapunzel-worthy hair.
This can be applied to many other facets of my appearance that I deem “imperfect” or “waiting-to-be-good-enough”. While I may not ever admit to someone that I am withholding acceptance of my hair until it meets my expectations, somewhere deep within me believes it.
While I will not ever complement myself or even admit that a part of me is “good enough” as is, I am holding out until I achieve that nonexistent ideal. I am not happy with my weight… but, eventually. My hair is not long enough, but someday. My teeth are not straight enough, well, after my braces are taken off. My skin is too pale, well, maybe I’ll get a tan during the summer. It sounds ridiculous to say this aloud to something. They would slap some sense into me. However, I still think these things.
What has scared me as a result of this revelation, is that the contentment has never been in the now, in the present. The actual acceptance of myself and all that it entails has always been for a future, unrealistic me.
Which makes me ask the question: Have I ever truly been content with simply just me? Not me 1 month from now, haircut, 5 pounds less/more, bronzed-goddess, straight-toothed me. But, imperfect, quirky, non-supermodel, me.
I once read somewhere that it would be 100% ridiculous to get angry, disappointed and frustrated with ourselves if we were trying to fit our 7.5 size foot into a size 4 shoe. No amount of yelling or self-degradation would shrink your foot. Also, why in your right mind, would you truly get angry at your foot for not fitting? Clearly, THE SHOE WILL NOT FIT. Never was meant to. Never will.
However, I’m afraid we’ve lost sight of this ridiculousness in regards to other parts of ourselves in the light of our what is our “ideal” self.
Why are we forcing ourselves into an image, that perhaps, was never meant to be for us? What if I end up hating the thing that I strived so long for? Only to figure out after it’s too late that it was never meant to be for me? And even worse, what have we sacrificed on the road to perfection?
While hair is hair, the frustration, discontent, and the never-being-good-enough mentality that comes with always waiting, waiting, waiting for the future and more “perfect” us to come, is real and the opposite of how we should be living.
I’ve been putting this together recently, thanks to coming face-to-face with my own silly example: hair.
We need to stop living for the “future” us. Yes, it is good to strive towards being healthy and whole. However, there is a fine line between both extremes of this pendulum: disdain and excess.
We are us – shoe-size, pant-size, face-shaped, eye-color, hair texture, voice, ethnicity – on purpose. Instead of making excuses and explanations to justify that we are “in progress,” we need to take ownership and actually like who and what we are currently.
Be intentionally you. Get your hair cut. Buy those jeans in the size you are currently. Smile. Laugh. Live and don’t make excuses. Stop worrying. Stop obsessing. Stop comparing.
Be content, because, remember, you are you on purpose.