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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Heart's Having a Moment


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So for those of you who don't know already (which is probably very few of you at this point) I used to have pretty long hair; it reached down to the bottom of my ribcage when it hung down the front and to the small of my back when it hung down the back. I was very attached to my long hair, though I didn't "style" it very much past putting it ponytails or buns when it suited me. It was just something I'd identified myself by for so long. 

 

Well, in mid-November, I decided to shave for children's cancer research (go here for some of the thought that went into that decision). The head shaving was not only to inspire people to donate to the foundation, but also allow us to "stand in solidarity" with the kids, understanding what it's like to be bald and have to deal with that.

 

I know that for some people it's fine. A lot of gals just have their hair short these days. My sister also did St. Baldrick's, but she was planning on chopping all of her hair off soon anyway just to "do something different" and it was like the good cause was just a bonus for her. A friend of mine kept her hair about as long as mine is now before the head shaving. Some gals can do it and like it better.

 

For some of us though... It's really really hard. Allow me a moment t complain. I try not to do this often but... Losing my hair really was a sacrifice for me. I kind of hate that I was so attached to it and vain about it that it's having this continued effect but...

Yes, I do have to spend less time messing with it now, and my neck and back are a lot cooler now that it's summer, and it dries A LOT quicker and apparently it looks cute at this length and blahblahblah.

On the other hand... You would not imagine how much I miss the feeling of having a brush go through my hair. I never thought I'd miss being able to put my hair up, because, as I said before, I don't really care about what I /did/ with it or how I looked or ay of that but... I'm missing it today! And while the wind does blow through it now and it's kind of fun, it still can't replace how fun it was before when it was long. And in the winter, my head was COOOOOLD. I get why guys wear hats so much now!!! It was probably worse for me because I was used to having a hat/scarf just built in and now suddenly I was exposed to the elements, but GOODNESS.

Plus... It's just hard to lose something that was, in a way, an extension of you. Then you look back at old pictures and then that "ghost hair" feeling comes back and you feel like it should be there hanging over when you touch your shoulder, or it should be a lot harder to shake your head, or... It should just BE there. 

This isn't happening as much these days now that my hair's a length that some other girls just keep it, but back when I was wearing sweatshirts a lot in the winter... I don't wear make up, and sweatshirts hid my figure. There would be so many times when I'd catch someone doing a double take, or feel eyes following me, or having some people outright staring, wondering if I was a boy or a girl. And on a couple of occasions, I was asked, or just mistaken for a guy. (All of this is real great for feeling feminine by the way.) But once they figured out I was a girl, or I was wearing a headscarf or whatever, then people would stare at me wondering what had happened. "Why doesn't she have hair?"

 

So... I didn't post this thread to get comforted or anything like that. I know I did a good thing and it was more than worth it to me, but I just... I miss it. Yes, I am complaining. But then again, this testament for the kids wouldn't mean as much if I didn't share the effects of the head shaving that reach out for months. So I feel a little less guilty for complaining because of that. 

 

But... Two things:

1) Please, I know it can be hard, but try not to stare at people who look a little different. I don't care if they are missing a limb, or have some weird scar or are bald or look different from what is "normal" in some other way. While some genuinely don't mind, and others may even like the attention... It can really make them feel like a freak, and even if you're not being obvious, most people have a sense of when another is looking at them. 

2) Gals, don't take your hair for granted. Most of you have long pretty hair like mine was. Most of you do more with it than I did with mine, but that doesn't necessarily mean you appreciate it. It's been decided among my group of friends that gals have this odd connection to their hair. That many of us use it to help define ourselves. Just... Take note of that, and imagine what it would be like if it was gone. 

 

Ok I've spent enough time wallowing in self pity. Thanks for letting me have my moment :P 

Edited by Aiel Heart
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AH, we all think you were so brave to do this in the first place.  We all admire you and think so highly of you for making such a sacrifice.  This post just adds to that because we see how much your hair meant to you.  I doubt many others would be willing to give up something that was so important to them.  You are awesome and amazing!

 

Also, you bring up very good points about how easy it is to be self-conscious.  It's hard when you're not comfortable in your body.  Even when people don't stare, you think they are, and it makes you feel so horrible!  I understand that, and I'm sorry you are feeling that way now.  But I'm really glad that you're bringing it to everyone's attention that it's not polite to treat others like they are different.  Everyone, no matter how they look or act, should be treated with respect and dignity.

 

When I was working at Sears a few years back, I had a customer come up who was an obvious transvestite.  She wanted to return some pantyhose.  I handled the situation as I would any other.  I didn't say, "Oh, this is weird," or anything like that.  I behaved in a professional manner, treating the customer with respect, as she deserved.  But after she left, one of my coworkers came up and asked me how I kept from laughing.  And I was shocked that someone would say that.  It didn't matter to me.  And I would never laugh at someone like that.  But I think a lot of people would have.  There's so much more to a person than what is physically on the outside.  I think we all need that reminder constantly in life.  We get to the point where we are too quick to judge and that's so terrible!

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It's not self pity.

 

I have long hair and I know how it feels when you cut it off. I haven't cut it very short since I was 10 years old Granny wouldn't let my mum do that she was all like "girls have long hair".  The shortest I've had my hair in 16 years has been shoulder length and I grew it out again because it felt odd. You are right when you say that women get attached to their hair. I take mine for granted sometimes...

 

I even thought of cutting it off recently, but changed my mind and people close to me didn't like the idea so I haven't. You did a very good thing as you cut it off for a wonderful cause. You can moan as much as you like that's what we're here for anyway. Get it off your chest!!! 

 

As for the staring I am with you on that point. People do notice when you stare at them and it does make you uncomfortable. So don't stare at people just because they look different than the normal, we're used to...

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@Mashiara--thanks. The whole starting thing doesn't happen anymore and I didn't mind it much when it did, but things like that have a habit of creeping under your skin :P 

 

@Luci--thanks! Heh. It'll take at least a year and a half more to get to where it was though. Slowly but surely!

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I cut my hair off about the same time that you did and for less noble reasons. The teaching program at school had made a few less-than-subtle recommendations about professional appearances when workin in the classroom - they weren't made to me directly but I'm certain my professor breathed a sigh of relief when I came into class that week with a mostly-groomed modest cut.

 

Well, it turns out I hated the idea. So I'm growing it out again. It's not a big deal overall but there are moments when I hate what I see in the mirror. I call these "leave while you still have your dignity" moments - leave the mirror before you lash out at an imperfect representation.

 

Growing your hair takes patience and I'm a little vain to begin with. >_>

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I had a similar moment in regards to feeling incredibly off without your hair. Though for me it was with my facial hair lol. I don't think I have had a clean shaven face for about ten years when i ended up getting a job as a butcher's apprentice.  The butcher wouldn't allow me to work with a goat-tee. I could keep the stache but not the beard. I tried it for a bit but the ridicule was brutal. lol My firends said i looked like a retired 80s pornstar. lol  It was funny and it didn't affect me at all but I remember the feeling without my facial hair and it was awful. I love to play with my beard. I pull on it when i am thinking and find myself just toying with it. When i didn't have it i was lost! hahahaha It was just one of the most bizarre sensations. You just get so used to a thing, ya know?

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