Saturday, 11 June 2011

My Hair: The Psychology

My hair has always been, to me, too thick, too wavy, too fuzzy, too dark. Too much of everything that I dislike. So the idea of losing all of my hair during chemo literally did not bother me. I would buy some wigs, wear scarves, relatively happily, and sail through that particular side effect. Well, that's what I thought...

With so much out of my control, I decided that I would snatch back the reigns. I would have my head shaved. My friend had a razor and offered to do the deed. I was happy with that. However, the husband felt sorry for me and convinced me to get a styled short haircut instead. So I did.

I went to a local salon, that I hadn't been to before, and was fully prepared to have a public cry in the chair. Not because of the loss of the length of my hair but more so because of what it represented. Cancer. Me. Cancer and Me. I still can't quite grasp that those two words can sit in the same sentence.

Child number one and child number two came along. The older one was placed in charge of the distribution of toys and food during the appointment. As I put the children in the car I prepped them for my haircut. All our gender stereotyping (girls have long hair and boys have short hair) had to be amended. The exception was accepted.

When I sat on the couch, I was greeted by a beautiful, smiling, radiant woman. She commented on my children, told me about her grandchildren and then we exchanged funny stories. It was all very pleasant. The poor lady. Why did she have to ask? My lip began to quiver. I tried to hold it in. The next thing I was having a real good cry. All that the lovely lady had asked me was, "What are you having today?" When I could talk, I explained my diagnosis and why I was having the haircut. As the two of us sat in our chairs, on opposite sides of the salon, she smiled and waved whenever our eyes met in the mirrors. It was like she was sent there to be with me that day. I don't know her name, but one day I'll be able to explain to her what she meant to me that day. I would love to be that person to someone.

When I got home and looked at myself in the mirror, it was weird. This person was not me. I may as well have had a facelift. Honestly, the haircut changed me. It also got me thinking...

I have always had a safe haircut. This new short hair do made me feel exposed. This is who I am. I can't hide behind clips and straightened hair with this do. This is me.

It made me realise that I'm not very daring. At all. Having an absolutely different hairstyle requires confidence and risk taking. My hair revealed that I was lacking in both. Well not anymore. I don't want to play it safe. That was a turning point. It was that week that I decided to begin blogging.

I want to share it all. My confidence is growing and the desire to take risks is there.

Bring on chemo!

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