The same old me underneath it all

I got my hair cut last week.
I’m well aware that this fact is of little or no importance to you but it got me thinking (as things tend to do). For instance, I always go to my appointments such as the doctor, the dentist, and the hairdresser armed with supplies to pass the time. Would it kill me to just sit quietly and wait; to empty my head and just relax?
Apparently, the risk is far too great.
I bring a writing book with me, a reading book, and a cluster of freshly-sharpened pencils in case my waiting turns into a marathon. I pack my iPad, my iPhone, snacks, and tissue.
I’m tempted to pull a small wagon behind me—loaded with the necessities required for waiting, including a small collapsible desk and my headset connected to my play list to block out extraneous distracting noise.
Rest assured I don’t, but I’d like to. Someone might put up their hand and say, “We don’t allow your kind in here,” referring to my menagerie of paraphernalia to feed my inability to wait. I would have to put my wagon in reverse and slink away.
So I hide my supplies in my bag and pockets, attempting to blend in with those who have no problem showing up to wait empty-handed.
The fear of time spent idling is a palpable phobia. A visit to the hairdresser comes complete with the added nightmare of mirrors. I am not a fan (another story).
While I sit with eyes closed getting my hair cut, trying to avoid engaging in my skill-less version of small talk and hoping the cut goes well (and I will recognize myself when it is all done without shrieking in despair), I think about the whole process.
I’ve had long hair for quite some time; the reason is a personal one and has nothing to do with style or appearance, but everything to do with a ponytail and being eight. But last week, I used the words cut it off and I meant it—a real milestone for me.
But again, not the point I’m trying to make here.
We show up at the hairdresser with a plan in our head, and often this plan involves not changing our hair but changing ourselves. It’s the same when we move or go on holiday, we bring along a different version of who we are—a stand-in so to speak.
But as time passes and things become familiar, we realize the old “me” has tagged along.
I think I expect the hairdresser to work some kind of magic and will transform me into a thinner, younger version of myself—someone who has a reasonable serving of self-confidence; someone who has the answer to the puzzles life hurls at us and the ones we create.
But it turns out under the new hair we are the same me that was under the former hairstyle.
But just for that moment, all things are possible and a crisp fresh haircut makes life feel pretty good.
wendistewart@live.ca

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