I did the most wonderfully outrageous and somewhat drastic thing this afternoon. I had my hair chopped off.
It was just below my shoulders and now the longest bits are chin length with lots of shorter bits. And it totally rocks. Pictures soon, promise.
Basically I went in and said to Lizzie (hairdresser) that I was thinking of going short and what did she reckon. I did say no to shaving it all off but other than that gave her free rein, specifying that I meant *short* short. It's what she describes as a graduated bob but funkier.
And when she was finished she went "you do NOT want to see how much hair is on the floor." We both agreed that there was a pretty good chance I was leaving more hair on the floor than I was taking home on my head! I nearly took a photo of it but thought that might be a little pathetic.
Anyways one of the comments that Lizzie made was that she wished she was as brave as I was to just go in and have the whole lot cut off. She cuts my friend Sam's hair as well and her opinion is that we are both brave (or i think she put it crazy) because we've now both gone to her going "i'm going short what do you suggest". She said that she couldn't do that, that she hides behind her hair. I'd never thought about doing that or that people did so it interested me but we got to talking about other things.
She asked repeatedly was I sure, etc and I just kept saying yes I want to and it's hair it'll grow back if I don't like it. I also said that for my hair is a part of my personality (well I guess hers is too); that it's a coping strategy maybe a defensive one and a way in which I define myself as more than "that girl in the wheelchair."
I put it to her that people stare at me anyway because of my chair so why the hell should I worry about my hair maybe not looking great in a new style or dyeing my hair bright pink/purple/blue whatever - better to do it and be happy and have people stare at me for something that I chose and that's actually worth them staring at. After all, my wheels may be sexy but I'd rather people looked at me and saw who I am.
And whilst that was as far as I went with her there is more to it then that. Life is too short to worry about not having something to hide behind (in my opinion, I am not saying she is wrong) - I've lost too many friends too young to worry about what might be. I live (or I try to) in the here and now. Because it's all I've got.
Also there is the part of me that thinks that I sure as hell did not go through all the physio and the three surgeries and the AFO's and the OT and the teasing etc etc to spend my life hidden away and not doing what I want with my hair (and with my life).
Lizzie said at one point that people normally get all their hair cut off in the summer.
I went "yeah well I'm not normal."
And you know what? I never will be. My hair is my statement. The way I am abnormal/weird/crazy/whatever on MY terms, not on societies.
Gloria Gaynor sang "Life's not worth a damn, till you can say, I am what I am" and that's what I believe.