I did it.
I was so afraid I'd burst into tears and make myself look like a big baby. I mean, it's just a hair cut, right?
Except that for the past several years, that's what people noticed and complimented. Whenever I mentioned the possibility of cutting it, an overwhelming outcry broke out -- sometimes coming from people I barely knew -- saying I should keep my long curly locks.
Sometimes that made me want to chop just to remind everyone who owned this hair, but I never did. I got attached to it, and finally had the princess hair I always wanted.
But I wasn't prepared for the dread I felt when I finally decided it was time to donate. The identity I've built for myself has included long hair for years, and now I was suddenly going to be one of those shoulder-length girls.
There's so many of them.
My friend Renee comforted me on the drive to the salon this morning, reminding me that while my hair might be less eye-catching, I still have my signature big glasses. And while talking to her, it occurred to me that in a very small way, this is probably what my friend Marie meant when she said her identity changed when she lost her hair.
Except for one big difference: cancer stole that from her. I was choosing to give mine to spare an already-hurting person from a tiny portion of that experience.
I stopped whining.
And I experienced joy.Goodbye, hair.