I got a haircut today. And there are a couple of reasons why haircuts are tricky for me. First of all…. #curlyhairproblems… Secondly, I have a hard time making decisions. I want something fun and new because I’m bored, but not TOO fun or TOO new. Because I like putting my hair in a pony tail. Or a bun. And also #changeishard. But like “do whatever you want,” I say to the stylist and hold my breath (ps I didn’t actually say that, but like, I could have).
As she chopped that first curl, my heart stopped for a second. “What am I doing?” “Do I really want this?” “I like my long hair” “What if I don’t like it” among many of the panicky doubts that rushed into my head during those first few moments of the haircut. What I realized, sitting there, watching her cut like a million inches off my beautiful, long, curly locks, was that it honestly didn’t matter. Whether the haircut turned out okay or not, my identity wouldn’t change.
I sat there thinking about it and as I dug deeper, I felt like I was watching and experiencing a real life analogy for a lesson I’ve been learning for the last few years: sometimes you have to jump into the change, let go of the comfortable, to make room for the even better.
The TRUTH is that my identity does not lie in the length of my hair, or even the style and whether it is “trendy” or not. The TRUTH is that I will still be a valid human and immensely loved by my friends, family and Creator no matter how my hair looks. My panic was rooted in lies about myself and the world that I often choose to believe: that my worth is tied to my appearance; that I have to somehow earn the love of the people around me, even strangers; that I need to be right or the best or the smartest or whatever.
Those lies manifested themselves in doubts about this haircut. And I know..it’s just a haircut. But it wasn’t about the haircut for me today. It was a tangible reminder that there are going to be a variety of moments in our lives. They usually look like one of 4 things:
- Choosing change
- Fear and doubt
Choosing change – Choosing change looks like acknowledging something is good but not great. And knowing that it could be. And being willing to step out of the comfort of the familiar.
Fear and doubt – This part looks like the part I was stuck in for a while but thankfully only lasted a few minutes during my haircut. This part is where you question your methods, choices or identity. And sometimes you run back to comfortable (spoiler alert: going back doesn’t usually work out too well).
Trust – Trust *hopefully* comes in and around and replaces the fear and doubt. Trust is believing in the final product without seeing it. Trust is knowing that your identity, worth and value will remain unscathed by your circumstances.
Reward – I see the reward as 2 things–because we obviously don’t live in a world where everything goes our way 100% of the time, bad haircuts do exist. Reward sometimes looks like a haircut that turned out awesome. Personally, I think the bigger reward is living in peace because you’re constantly letting the Trust part from before dictate your emotions rather than your circumstances. Circumstances bring fear and doubt and that can be crippling. But when you consistently choose to live in Trust-land, peace is the resulting reward. And it’s totally great.
The scariest part? Those first few cuts. The moments when you’re not sure it’ll turn out alright. The moments when you can’t see the end product. But you guys. After those first few snips, I began to see the beginnings of a really fun, new hairstyle. I began living in Trust-land. I began to get more and more excited. And I began to experience peace as I reminded myself where my identity really lay. By the last snips, I was almost giddy with excitement about how cute my new haircut is! And to think, I was so nervous at the beginning. Questioning whether I was making the right choice, whether I would like it in the end, whether I should run before she took any more of my beautiful, long curls. But I can tell you now, it was SO worth it! I love my new hair!
P.S. On a practical note for my curly-haired friends, The Hive Salon is the best. Check it out and let them blow your mind with their dry cuts. And blow your hair with their dryers (sorry not sorry). You’re welcome.