Hair Liberation


I’m undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair.
Hillary Clinton

I am one of those women who enjoys changing my look to accommodate my emerging identity. I have worn my hair in so many different ways and have been so many different colors, (probably speaks to the many personalities living inside me but there is no need to freak people out with talk like that), that my self-identity is both tied to ‘me’ and not. Here’s what I mean, when I was around 30 I cut my hair off after a bad perm, not the first time that has happened through out my life but this time my hair was butch short. My hair was pretty salt and pepper at the time and I lived in Northern Minnesota married to an artist. Let me tell you we looked the part much to my children’s chagrin. Small town Minnesota did not see me as a bad ass artist type but rather a scary woman with an identity issue. Now I may have had a little anger issue at the time but again that is another story we are talking hair here.

Throughout that time I wore my hair very short and for about 6 years it was because married to my hippie husband we had no running water and short hair is much easier to keep when you have to put up with bucket baths. I mean really, aren’t you glad this isn’t your story? After about 10 years I decided to grow my hair to see what it looked like and maybe to turn on more of a Northern Minnesota vibe. So then I went to the hippie silver long hair version of myself and wore that for quite a few years, always varying lengths. I told people my favorite thing was to reinvent myself and I never liked to look the same, keep people on their toes I say. At 30 ‘people’s’ perception of me was not at all on my mind, fast forward 10 or so years.

I cut my hair off again right before the end of my 2nd marriage, not butch short, just short. At that time it was a relief to let go of a struggling personality that was trying to hold a dead relationship together. But I was back in Minnesota again and my hair kept trying to regulate me. I am one of you it kept trying to say. The other thing being that people who knew me didn’t ever want me to wear my hair butch short again. Pressure, peer pressure, I grew my hair and let it be as normal as I could.

The problem came 3 years ago when my life fell apart and I no longer had the identity of who I was married to a rich man. Every time I looked in the mirror I had no idea who it was looking back at me. For a while I thought it was the whole you are getting older thing and I have to get use to it, but deep down I knew that wasn’t it. I have been having a terrible identity crisis and when my world suddenly changed nothing about my material world changed with it. I wore the same clothes lived with the same furniture, kept trying to be the who I was when it was not who I was anymore. Of course I didn’t know that until yesterday. When every time I tried to get dressed I hated everything. I tried to paint and I couldn’t get it to come. The resistance I have been feeling in my life wasn’t resistance at all but a do not proceed down this path any more, that chapter is done.

It happened after the return from Florida on vacation with my son who while there had a full on bipolar melt down. When I got home I did a ceremony to kill off myself. Sounds harsh I know but after 3 years of feeling defeated by life I was so f&*king sick of myself that death was the only answer. I couldn’t help my son I couldn’t seem to even help myself. So I did it, I watched myself burn in my mind’s eye and then I turned the fire to gold and dipped myself in titanium. I guess I felt I needed a little more internal strength than the stupid body of flesh I was forced to live in. The image was awesome I was beautiful and filled with strength and light. I felt great after the vision. It was what it did to me that I hadn’t anticipated. When I looked in the mirror it wasn’t me looking back anymore.

God bless my daughter for helping me to see what was right in front of me but to close for these baby blues to see for myself. I was vocalizing something I was not doing. I said I was not who I was but I was continuing to live the life I had been living. So right then and there I began the process of tearing down the rest of my old life allowing even more space for the new incarnation. And then I said, “you ready to cut my hair” (actually I said do you have the stones to cut my hair off, she does and did) I didn’t look or ask what she was going to do. She worked intuitively until she knew she had unearthed me. She turned the mirror so I could see and there she was, me…

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