Almost a year ago, I decided to cut my hair. I had long, wavy hair. A lot of people loved it. I liked it, too. It was perfect for my dancing, and I could try various styles with it, if I wanted to (I never really did, always alternating between a high bun and loose hair).
But then, I got a job with IndiGo Airlines, and moved to Delhi for my cabin crew training. Something told me, even before I moved to Delhi, that I would cut my hair. And boy, was I right!
Within about three weeks since I started training, I had grown tired and impatient of the buns that we had to make with our long hair. Also, the amount of time we had to spend on our hair was ridiculous. Precious minutes of sleep were wasted in slicking the hair into perfection, making sure not one stray strand stood out, while also adhering to a zillion rules of what to use and what not to use on our hair. It was nothing short of an ordeal for me, every morning. I hated having to get up early just to do my hair, when with short hair, all I had to do was run a brush through it, and then get started with my makeup. Now makeup is something I came to absolutely love since I started my job as cabin crew, so I had no qualms about that, at all.
So one evening, right after my 20th birthday, on an impulse, I just walked to the nearby salon and asked them to chop my hair. It was really as easy as that. No second thoughts, no hesitations. Just that. I kept looking straight at myself in the mirror for most of the time, trying to see how much it really changed my looks.
After the deed was done, I fell in love with the person I saw in the mirror. I weirdly recognised her from somewhere. The woman staring back at me from the mirror was the woman who had been living inside me, suppressed all along, from the time I was old enough to want things for myself. She was the woman who had always been dreaming for a different life, while remaining dormant inside me. She was the woman who had been told what to do, where to go, who to be with, what to wear, what to eat and what not! She was the one who had always longed to get out and see the world but had been suppressed by the restrictions imposed on her by her family, which she had given in to, for she had no other choice then.
Now, she had finally taken form and come to life in front of my eyes. She was right there in flesh, all set to go after exactly what she sought.
When I looked down, I saw what had just been taken from me. My hair. The shackles. Whatever had bound me for so long no longer held me in its grip. I could now chase whatever it was that I wanted.
My new look perfectly resonated with my mindset. I was no longer aching to be somewhere else, or to want something else. I had become all that I had been longing for all along. I felt like I had finally found myself. I could even say it was an enlightenment of sorts.
With the change in my looks, my personality had also somehow changed. I allowed myself to think freely. I stopped binding myself to invisible ropes of conscience which had been fed to me by others. I was now starting to truly develop a sense of self, a sense of individuality, which I didn’t even know I had missed out on, earlier. With each passing day in my new do, I was discovering numerous little things about myself. The most seemingly insignificant things with underlying core values.
With each passing day, I fly just that much away from my fears, insecurities and troublesome worries about pleasing everybody around me. Along with the financial freedom, I am now free from seeking validation from various people for various things.
My long hair is now, to me, somehow representative of conforming to the rights and wrongs, the what’s “cool” and what’s not set, by the media and people around me. The short hair I now have, therefore, has become representative of just the opposite – of the rights and wrongs, the what’s cool and what’s not, set by me for my own self. Because the most important thing I’ve learnt, so far, from my newfound freedom, and independence is this: I am my own most important person and that’s really the only way for me to keep growing further as an individual, without stagnating.
This, incidentally, brings me to the next thing I want to write about in another blog post – the whopping need for self-love that this generation of ours badly needs.
I’ll meet you soon in another abrupt conclusion. Until then!