I’ve always wanted to cut my hair really short. I’ve started to do it several times and always, at the last minute, I decide to go a more conservative route. I’ve grown it long only to look in the mirror and not know who’s looking back. I can’t make it look glamorous like other girls so I end up with a really full head of really blonde hair that’s really BLAH. So…I cut it off. I get a short bob that makes me feel more like my spunky self but doesn’t say it too loudly. A recent chop session was done in secret. I left for a weekend away with shoulder length hair in a ponytail and came home to surprise Brynna and David with it cut above my chin. Some husbands couldn’t handle such a shock (let alone the weekend alone with mini me) but David just smiled and his first words were “You’re more yourself when it’s short.”
That stuck with me for weeks. I do feel more myself. Maybe it’s symbolic. Maybe my brain just needs less weight to function properly. Either way, it’s freeing. And the more I thought about that freedom, the more of it I wanted. But we’ve all been there. You finally work up the bravery to do something out of the ordinary, and the first person who doesn’t like it or turns up their nose, all the air rushes out of the balloon. You stop seeing what you saw in that moment of abandon and all you see is ugly. Maybe you don’t use the word ugly. Maybe they said it was “too short for your face shape” or “too choppy.” Maybe they said you’re too old or too young or too dark or too light. I’ve heard and felt them all. But something broke open inside of me that day David said those words. I don’t want something that looks great on someone else but doesn’t seem to fit right on me. I want to feel like ME. I want to see ME in the mirror.
So I did what I never do. I didn’t consult anyone. Not my husband, my girlfriends or my family. I didn’t ask opinions. I made an appointment while out of town and I explained what I wanted. We discussed and then he started cutting. I walked out with the most drastic haircut I’ve ever had, and I care the least what anyone thinks. I love my hair not even because of how it looks, but how I feel. I fully expected looks. I prepared myself for how much people would hate it. And I know some of them do. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the number of women who have stopped me, gone out of their way to tell me how much they love my hair. I was walking through the parking lot of Target today and a mom with two kids stopped me. She said, “I saw your hair and thought it was cool. Then I saw your daughter and realized you’re a mom, too. You make me want to be more bold.”
Wow. It sounds so simple, but how many things have I missed because I was trying to be like someone else when all I needed to be was me? How many things have you? How many women walking through Target could use a little bit of you? You’re not just a mom. You’re not just working. You’re not just ______________. You’re YOU. God made only one you. And that’s enough to turn someone’s day around. Your smile, your words, your help or maybe even your hair…someone needs you to be you so it gives her the courage to be her.
So take a breath, let go of what everyone else thinks and U B U!
…and I’ll be ME