Living Light: Lessons of Less
I don't know what inspired me to do it. Was it something momentous that helped make the decision? A moment of frustration? Pulling my scalp in anguish that somehow sparked the pulling of an idea out of my mind?
Last fall, I remember twirling a strand around my finger one day, all silky and perfectly hombred, and just knowing, without emotion or dramatic declaration: this has to go.
I need to cut my hair.
Someone told me once that hair carries weight. More than the physical demand, the neck strain and all that—but furthermore, emotional weight. You've grown with your hair, lived through the same experiences together. Yes, some strands have left your head for grander pastures. Blown into the wind, to be made into birds' nests. Or left to annoy lovers' pillows. Or caught to clog up rusty bathtub drains.
But whether we realize it or not, we are taught (and women especially) that our hair is an extension of ourselves. Part of our identity.
Whether we're brunettes or blondes, rocking bangs or a bob, of African, Asian, or Eastern European descent—we often neglect to acknowledge how much we hold onto our crowns, how much we allow them, and everything they represent, to weigh us down.
Or set us free.
The truth of the matter is that, like memories, hair grows back. We can create new memories just as we can create a new look or identity for ourselves with a simple haircut.
Now, I did the impulsive and very Charitable (me) thing. I cut it all off. All ties to my recent life, and the insecurity and negativity I had been collecting into a loose bun on the top of my head for the past year and four some odd summer months.
And it felt good.
Before the Cut, I was talking with a friend about the Weighted Hair Dilemma. And she shared how, having a shaved head, she found people so quick to judge her. Often long hair equates femininity, and by default, a bald or shaved head can represent fierceness. The masculinity can intimidate men, and women for that matter.
There is also a sort of freedom associated with it. The act of shaving your head, whether or not you have a medical condition, the conscious decision to opt out of bleaches and dyes and elaborate angled cuts and wearing someone else's hair as your own, is a statement. It says (excuse the language) Fuck You And Your Perceptions.
This is The Rich Life. This is the statement. And I am here to challenge you, no matter what your length of hair, what your circumstance, to cut it all off, to free your head, free your mind. Let your locks go.
In the latest series on my blog, The Rich Life (The Practice of Packing Light), I want to explore lessons of less. Less of the unnecessary: hair, weight, stuff we physically own, metaphorical baggage.
I'm looking forward to this journey, and I'd love for you to share with me, whether it be physically or metaphorically about your statement and vision looking forward. What are you giving up and what do you hope to gain by living light?