A Woman Who Cuts Her Hair…

A couple days ago I posted some pictures on social media to show off my new haircut. The caption of one of the pictures had this quote by Coco Chanel: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” And from outward appearances the pictures showed me to be content and confident in my new look with short hair. But, today I’m here to tell you the truth. And the truth is I’ve actually been struggling to feel confident and beautiful ever since I got my hair cut.

So let’s start from the beginning. Why did I cut my hair? I cut my hair because I am making some big life changes right now and one of them involves moving overseas as a missionary for the next year. I cut my hair because I didn’t want the worry and stress of figuring out how to do it while also adjusting to a new place. I wanted something low maintenance. So I walked into the salon, sat down, and got my hair chopped off. IMG_4368.JPG

Now, I would love to say that I was immediately comfortable and confident in myself as soon as I walked out of the salon, but I was not. I figured I would struggle to get used to it, but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of insecurity and self doubt that plagued me in the days after the haircut. I’ve always been insecure, but this haircut took that to a whole new level.

Society puts a lot of emphasis on women to look a certain way and having long hair is seen as desirable. So with that in mind I was worried about so many things: Do people think I look like a boy? Does this haircut look good on me? Will guys be into me now that I have short hair? Did I make a mistake? But the question that kept plaguing my mind was: Am I still beautiful without my hair? Because honestly, I felt ugly and masculine every time I would glance at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me.

This self-doubt and anxiety about my hair lasted for a little over a week, until yesterday. Yesterday I had a complete meltdown and shed many tears on account of my worries about looking like a boy with short hair. But thank God for big sisters because she picked me back up and put all my doubts and fears to rest.

From that point on I knew I had a choice to make. I knew my hair wasn’t going to grow back overnight so I had to decide whether I would learn to love myself with short hair or continue to live with doubts and fears.

I chose to learn to love myself. And that’s what I’m working on right now. I’m slowly getting used to seeing the new me in the mirror and I am speaking to myself positively. All the compliments I’ve received from people are useless if I don’t see myself in a good light.

As time goes by I am realizing that I really do like my new look; the girl who cut my hair did an amazing job! It’s all so new and definitely takes some adjusting to, but the initial regrets from before have subsided. I’m proud of myself for taking more risks in life because that means I’m growing.

So to any other women struggling with their short hair, I will say this: It’s ok to not be ok for a while, but eventually we all have to make a choice and move forward. I hope you choose to work on seeing yourself in a positive light. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m working on it and every day it gets easier. Plus, the way you carry yourself really impacts how people perceive you (it’s not all about how you look). So I am choosing to walk with confidence; I may not have a lot right now, but I’ll fake it till I make it.

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Before Haircut

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After Haircut

And I will continue to remind myself that with short hair I am still femininedesirable, and beautiful.

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Surprise, The World Does Not Revolve Around Me

Yesterday I made a fool of myself…a lot. But after the initial embarrassment I realized something profound: nobody really cares. I mean seriously, nobody just stands there waiting for me to mess up…and if they do, then they probably need to find new hobbies.

See, my church went on a group outing to an amusement park yesterday and I will admit that I am not the most graceful person so I was somewhat afraid of making a fool of myself in front of all those people. So my sister and I went on the Lazy River ride where you sit in a tube and float around; it’s extremely relaxing. Well, it didn’t start out very relaxing for me because I couldn’t get on top of the tube like I wanted to. I tried to get on without making a fool of myself, but I couldn’t, so I stopped trying and decided to just hold on to the tube and float along. Well, that wasn’t very relaxing. After a while my sister told me to just try jumping on it, but I knew that probably wouldn’t end well. And it didn’t. I tried to jump on it, landed wrong, and ended up flipping over into the water. I was so embarrassed. But as I looked around me, everyone else was doing their own thing and they really didn’t care about what I was doing. After several failed attempts to get on the tube, I finally made it on and was able to fully enjoy the rest of my time.

You know what I realized? The people around me didn’t care about my failed attempts to get on my tube. If they did pay attention they just smiled or chuckled, but no one went out of their way to make me feel embarrassed.

After my experience yesterday I realized that much of what I do or don’t do depends on how I think others will perceive me. I don’t want people to think I’m weird or laugh at me, so I try to act as perfect as possible around others.

I realized that this goes deeper than just how I act in public, it also affects how I get ready when I am about to leave the house. I’ve always been afraid to wear comfortable clothes like leggings, workout gear, or baggy clothes outside because I don’t want people to view me as undesirable.

So whenever I leave the house I make sure I’m wearing something cute in case I bump into anyone. But, most times I end up dressing up for nothing and wishing I had just chosen to wear comfy clothes to run my errands.

Honestly, I think I look pretty darn cute in my chill clothes, but I just recently got comfortable enough to start wearing them outside.

And you know what I realized? For the most part, people really don’t care what I wear. Unless I am wearing something completely out of the ordinary they really don’t notice…and life goes on.

Life goes on when I don’t wear makeup on Sabbath to church. Life goes on when I go to the grocery store in workout pants and a tank top. Life goes on when I trip on the sidewalk on my way to class. Life goes on.

Somehow I’ve got the notion that I am so important that everyone watches me wherever I go…which is clearly a false notion. Not everyone around me is watching me, they usually have a billion other things occupying their minds.

I’ve come to realize that the sooner I stop caring about how others view me the happier I will be in life. I will be free to enjoy myself even if what I am doing makes me look weird or foolish. I will be free to enjoy life on my terms without anxiety about what others will think.

Look, the truth is I am a little weird and I’m clumsy and I’m awkward. But you know what? That’s ok, because I like me just the way I am.