Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why did I shave my head? Well, I'll tell you!

I wore a white dress. The decision to shave my head had been marinating in my mind for just over a month. I spent the majority of that month preparing my body, and as a direct result, my mind also, by juice fasting to get clear about my decision and my intentions for the impending shave. I was ready.

The idea of starting over had also been tossed around for years, the only question was how it would happen. Moving away was the most obvious option as it is typically what others choose when they need a major change, but I love Austin too much to leave it. Business has been great, so no need there. What could I start over?

Hair color wise, I went red again for the first time in 5 years in June after a small stint of pink. The red was fun, as was the pink, but it didn't feel as much fun as I had wanted it to. Something in me was changing. My hair had started to fall out from the almost year and a half of going super platinum blonde from jet black. I think my hair had simply had enough. Slowly, I figured out that so had I.

When I started altering my hair color, I was about 13. I'm 26 now, so that's half of my life I've been living without seeing the real color of my hair. In fact, I'd forgotten the true pigment of my natural hair, so shaving it would be an inevitable way to find out what it really is. I realized that around the same time that I was coloring/bleaching my hair was in middle school, undoubtedly one of the worst life stages a human could endure. You're awkward, unsure of what your body is really doing, and most females at that time spend much of their existence making themselves and each other miserable from that time until, well, the end of high school if they are lucky.

At this time, my constant feeling about myself, unfortunately, was that I was ashamed to be me. I have always known that I was really different than most people my age - most people I knew, really - but I didn't see that difference as special; I saw it as shameful.  I thought of myself as ugly and inadequate of anyone's love, so instead of fixing myself and conquering my internal battle, I masked it by feigning an attempt at looking normal. "Normal" - really, "beautiful" - in my hometown at that time was blonde, skinny, and tan. I guess my 13-year-old self took all of that one step at a time until I had exhausted and semi-achieved the ideas of each notion one step at a time. (The skinny part was semi-achieved by dropping a significant amount of weight in 8th grade, but the depression in high school brought all of it back and much more.) I no longer wanted to be normal by the time I was 21, but the mask of my ever-changing hair color remained, and then I moved to Austin.

Austin is a magical place, and incredibly safe for everyone. If you have an idea, go for it! Everyone here supports you! If you have varying interests, there is something or a group for you here. Don't eat meat? Got you covered there, too! You're a cross-dressing homeless person who wants to run for mayor? People will vote for you! Seriously, I felt like I was in Heaven as soon as I crossed the City Limits sign! After all of the internal work I'd done on myself right before I moved here on self-love and self-esteem, I moved to the safest city on the planet to be a freaking weirdo, and after 5 years, there was still a shred of shame in my heart. Once I discovered it was still lingering there with the help of my life coach, Mark, and what steps I had taken so many years prior not to fix the problem, but to simply cover it up, I knew what I had to do. So, I did it.

Through several years of counseling, supportive friends, a loving family, and amazing moments of self-enlightenment, I reached a self-love capacity of about 99%. That's pretty great! But I was hungry for that 1% I was lacking, and I didn't feel it until I shaved my head.

In my white dress, with 6 awesome friends supporting me, we cut and shaved my head together on Friday night. As my former self-hatred was literally being clipped away, my nervous excitement turned into joy and love. I was closing an entire book of shame and disgust, with beautiful, transformational moments throughout, and writing a new story - a love story! - with fresh, blank pages eager to be filled with positive affirmations, focusing on inner beauty as a perfectly created, loving human.

I am so excited to be on this journey of growth with my new, natural, healthy hair! I simply want the best for myself, and this part of my body I had knowingly damaged - along with every part attached to it, subconsciously - for half of my life will now know 110% love for the first time since I can remember.

How beautiful is that?

I am really, really happy.