The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I cut my hair short; we went north to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary, we went south to Murrieta courtesy of Explore Murrieta and then we spent last weekend celebrating our granddaughter’s 6th birthday.
Whew, I’m tired just writing that.
I shared my last two weeks on social media and out of everything I posted, getting my hair cut got the most attention. Especially when one week after cutting it super short, I shared that I had major regrets about it.
The overwhelming response was encouragement and support. A few pretty much told me to get over it as it will grow back. To which I wanted to respond, “Duh.” That was not the point of sharing my fear and remorse.
Our hair and appearance affects our confidence, whether we want to admit it or not. It is part of our identity and how we see ourselves, and it starts when we are young.
When I was little my mom would brush my long hair and pull it back into a tight ponytail, and if I did not sit still she would whack me with the back of the brush. It was not a fun experience.
She finally got tired of my squirming and complaining and when I was in 4th grade I got my first pixie cut. I hated it.
I wanted to wear a baseball cap to school to hide it because I hated it so much. But then I realized the upside was I no longer had to endure the daily struggle with my mom, that brush and getting my hair pulled back so tight I’d have a headache by the end of the day.
It wasn’t until I was 16 that I cut it again, and by then it was down to my waist. My sister cut it to just past shoulder length and gave me a perm! It was 1975 and disco and big hair were in full swing. I was so thrilled with my new curls I kept up the perms for several years.
Turning 35 was a very big deal to me for some reason and that was the next time I cut my hair into a short pixie. I don’t know what I was thinking! But the upside was my boys were little and it was so much easier to actually have a style instead of a daily “mom ponytail.”
Since that time, I’ve had many styles and colors and for the most part felt very comfortable with how I looked. Twice before I stopped dying my hair and let my natural color come out, and both times I hated it and went back to coloring my hair.
So here I am about to turn 60 and for whatever reason thought this was the time to make a major change.
Why do I have a need to make such a drastic change on these milestone birthdays?
At 35 I felt like it was a time to let go of my youth and truly step into adulthood. I remember struggling with the idea of turning 35 and felt a sense of loss of childhood and youth.
As I approach 60 I am again feeling a sense of loss, and I’m not even sure why that is. In thinking about it, what I am probably feeling is a loss of my prime years.
Perhaps cutting my hair is symbolic of loss for me?