The other day, I got about 4 to 5 inches of my hair cut off. And it was the best decision I could’ve made.
For me, that’s a big deal. My hair has pretty much been the same length since my first haircut back in 1995. I’m not the type of person who is constantly changing their style or color. Sometimes I’d get it cut to my shoulders, and then I’d let it grow to my armpits, then cut it again. I dabbled with blonde highlights in high school but was happy when those finally grew out and I was back to my natural dark brown. In middle school, I wanted to get side bangs (I was intrigued by those scene/emo kids with the crazy hair), but was too nervous to actually do it so I trimmed them myself, which didn’t work out too well.
But lately, I needed a change. Not just with the style of my hair, either, but with the way I felt.
Life has been pretty stagnant for the past year—which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different. Compared to the ever-changing nature of college from semester to semester, it was easy for me to fall into a “rut” so to speak while working full-time. It’s been almost a year now since that lifestyle began, and I can’t help but find it kind of… depressing. The same routine 5 days a week, at the same desk, staring at the same computer screen, and waiting for the clock to hit 5 p.m. everyday just leaves me feeling bleh. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I’m sure some people flourish in that kind of environment. And before I risk sounding like even more of a Debbie Downer, I promise it’s not that bad. I can tolerate it and accept it, but it’s not what I’d be doing if I had the choice. And yet, I can’t really change it. It’s life. It’s what you do.
So I chopped off my hair. Why?
My old hair was weighing me down. Literally, it was heavy, and dry, and thick, and tangled, and just way too much to manage. It was like a safety net that I was hiding behind. Losing those inches of hair didn’t make me feel sad or like a part of me was missing—quite the opposite in fact. It sounds cheesy, but it was like a weight was lifted, and every time I look in the mirror, run my fingers through my hair, or turn my head back and forth really quick (it does this cute little bounce thing), I am reminded of it. And it makes me feel freer, more confident, and more inspired by the effects of change. A little step out of my comfort zone for the first time in a while was exactly the feeling I was looking for. I’m not at a point yet to make any other big life changes—like my job, my living situation, or my relationship—so I went small.
You may not be able to change certain aspects of your life at any given moment, but there’s always your hair. And whether it’s a small or big change, it’s still a change, and it might be just what you need.