Quick Thought: A Fear of Change

I was just watching a Mr. Kate video¬†where Kate was getting a blow-out, and her hair looked so good. Her hair is a just slightly lighter than mine, and slightly shorter. The major difference is that she does not have bangs, and I do. So as I’m checking out her video, I kept thinking that I should grow my bangs out again. It’s been a few years since I’ve been without bangs. Plus, they’re already long enough that I can pin them aside, so it won’t be a super long process.

Immediately though I could hear my mom saying, “But I like your bangs!” And then I told my friend Jessica, and she said the same thing. And then I started to wonder if I would feel as cute without bangs, and whether my face would look too big or my forehead would be too shiny, and it was all down the rabbit hole from there.

I’ve always been jealous of the women who cut and dye and style their hair with wild abandon. I’ve been thinking about chopping my hair into a long bob (a “lob” for those of you in the know), but when I brought it up to my mom and her friend recently, they both shot down the idea. “You have mermaid hair!” Okay, yeah, but even a mermaid has to get tired of brushing out this mane all of the time.

The reason I don’t just take the plunge is overwhelming fear. For me, my hair is one of my signature features. A lot of my self-worth is bound up in my hair’s appearance. So what if I chop it all off, and then I hate it, and I feel that I look like a wookie?? Yes, my hair will grow back, but that doesn’t happen overnight! Even dying my hair – I was a redhead from 13 to 30, and then I bleached my hair, and I’ve been a dirty blonde ever since. Every now and then I think it might be nice to see how my hair would look in a rich chocolate brown. But if I hate it, and I try to bleach it back, I won’t immediately be able to achieve my current color, and I could really damage my hair.

This is supposed to be my year of fearing less. And in a lot of ways, it has been. I’ve added temporary pink, purple, and turquoise color to my hair throughout the year so far, and I like it. That’s a huge deal for me; I never played with crazy colors before. But a more permanent change just feels really scary. And I don’t know how to have less fear about that.

– Finch

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Your hair may not define you, but it is part of the dialogue

My FBB (fake big brother) recently commented that he liked my hair better when it was a darker red – it’s more of a strawberry blonde now. This threw me into a complete tailspin, where I felt the need to ask every single person I knew what they thought of my hair, whether they liked it better dark, and whether they thought my hair matched my personality.

Seriously.

When I got home, I brushed my hair out and looked at it. It had been a pretty dark red/mahogany for around 18 years. There was some change in that time, but no one could say in that time that it was not some form of red, and it never went lighter than an auburn. I had explained to my FBB that after the nearly two decades of redness, my divorce, and my lack of dating success, I felt that the blonding was a good way to break away from who I was, and become the new and improved me. He understood that to a point, but he felt that I was trying to be someone that I was not.

No duh!!!! The person that I was was not someone who I wanted to be anymore. I have some pretty great characteristics, but I also have some not so great ones, including my penchant for obsessing constantly about EVERYTHING in my life. Guys, do not feel that all of my attention is based on you, oh no; I will similarly obsess over my job, my friendships, my health, my general disposition. And I would like very much for this to stop. I don’t like that I go to everyone for their advice and their insight – I would much rather rely on myself for wisdom and strength.

I like my newly lightened locks. I feel that they soften my features, make less of a contrast with my constantly pale skin, and are just more interesting than my one shade red. It is indeed a much different look than I have sported in the past, but 1) it’s just hair; and 2) change is a good thing. Sometimes you need to change yourself on the outside to recognize the changes that are happening on the inside.

People are always telling me to lighten up. I doubt that this is what they meant, but I’m going with it.

– Finch