When I woke up this morning, my hair was 20 inches long.
Now, as I sit in bed, pushing sleep to the back of my mind, it is 14 inches long.
To me, it is a drastic difference. It is not what I sought, but something I must live with.
When I think about it more, I start to wonder what is really gone. My hair grows no more than 4 or 5 inches a year. That means that the hair that I lost today, that has been swept up and thrown in the trash to mingle with other peoples former lives, was between 2 1/2 and 4 years old. It was with me four or more years ago.
Five years ago, I was 20. I didn't know my husband existed. I still had a strong British accent. I had a nose piercing and I wore pants that had chains on them. My hair was mostly black, with a wonderful red skunk stripe at the roots. I didn't know what I wanted or where I was going. I was with a man that was holding me back, or helping me find myself in a very inconspicuous way, depending on how you look at it.
Four years ago, I was turning 21. I had grown close to five other young women who were the most wonderful friends I had ever had. My hair was two tone. I was finally growing the black out. I was singing more. I had been acting. I had discovered my passion for theatre. I was an Associate Editor. I was started to see what I wanted out of life.
Three years ago, my heart had been broken. I was alone for the first time in my life... truly alone with only my wits and my friends. And I grew. I soared and blossomed and found myself under all of the paint, the alterations, the hair dye, the clothes, the activities and organizations. I knew what I wanted.
Two and a half years ago I went to a movie by myself for the first time. I got drunk in a bar. I kissed a perfect stranger. I founded a student organization that meant something. I interned at a professional theatre.
And I met my husband.
Now, I sit here with shorter hair. And I almost feel as though the final door to that chapter of my life has been closed.
Change can sometimes be a wonderful thing. It can usher in a new period of someones life. In my life, I am going through a change. I am a wife. I am working more heavily in a new aspect of my job. I am about to move into a wonderful new apartment. I am writing. I am getting ready for Grad school.
There is so much ahead. I have no idea where the hair on my head will have been by the time it gets the snip. It's already seen friends get married. It's seen New Orleans and San Francisco. Some of it has never been in England, or entered the house I grew up in. When I get my next hair cut, I have to wonder what will fall on the salon floor. What chapter of my life will close then? Where will I have been?
I may not like my hair cut, but with all of that history and all of those little tiny strands of my life gone, I feel lighter.