So, I cut my bangs.
And I have a reason why.
I know it’s silly to be so worked up over a haircut, but it’s a common habit of people to change something about themselves in the face of adversity, and it most typically revolves around hair.
Ah, that word- change.
Yes, I may look slightly ugly, And my sister, a cosmetologist, absolutely hates them.
Yes it was a complete spur of the moment decision. But in that moment it felt right.
Let me explain.
This past week has been extremely difficult for me. School suddenly shut down due to the current coronavirus situation, and we had to put our beloved dog, Jesse, down.
I hate change.
When I think about change, I think about my brother dying. Having to get used to someone who had been there my entire life not be there anymore was pretty emotionally damaging. I had to relearn to be comfortable with my life, and in that process I had become scared of the inevitable.
So that brings us back to this week.
My daily routine had to suddenly halt when school shut down. I’d walk around campus every day, following the exact same path, and think ‘this is what content feels like.” I loved it. I loved seeing my dance teachers face in the studio, and going to lunch with my best friend. I loved sitting in my journalism classes and I loved the feeling I had when being there.
And then suddenly, it was taken away from me.
When our dog died, I was faced with a grief I hadn’t felt in a really long time. I had trained myself to not fear grief every day. The fear of feeling grief again is what kept me up at night, and just when I thought I had escaped that fear, it happened. Like jumping off a cliff, I had to face my fear again.
Losing a dog is like losing the most important member of your family. They’re full of love, full of happiness, and full of beautiful chaos. One day your house is lively, and the next day it’s not. One day he’s here, and the next day he’s not.
Suddenly, change was happening all around me. Everywhere I looked, something was off. I felt strange. Everything that I once knew was different now. It made me sad. It made me angry. I wanted to escape. How could I possibly control the unwarranted feelings?
For some reason, I thought the best way to cope was to cut my bangs.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt bad about life and did something to my appearance. The blue hair dye still lingers in my roots. It never made sense to me why myself, and so many other people, risk their appearance in order to feel something.
It wasn’t until I was snipping away at my bangs that it all made sense.
These changes that were happening were out of my control.
I have reoccurring dreams of myself driving a car, and I have absolutely no authorization of what’s happening in the vehicle. I’m sitting in the front seat, hands on the wheel, foot on the pedal. But I can’t seem to get control of the car. I’m swerving everywhere, spinning, flipping, turning.
That’s the best way to describe how my life felt.
I wanted so desperately to have control again. To change something that was my decision. To have control over the changes in my life.
Do you wanna know the closest thing to you right now?
Your hair is the easiest thing to change.
So maybe there is a stigma surrounding people changing their hair when they’re going through a breakup, or a loss, or whatever it is. But to me, I was cutting away the me of yesterday, to make room for the me of today.
That is a change I like.