Lately, I would wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and stare into my pupils. I would scan the sides of my face, gaze over my forehead, down my neck, my chest, my arms, and back up again. Around and around I would go; just staring.
After a few minutes I would grab my hair and try to make something out of what felt like nothing, flopping it back and forth, up and down, trying to make it look better than it did before. But I would always end back staring deep into the blackness of my pupils, into my soul; and feeling really unhappy.
They say that your eyes are the windows to your soul, and mine were noticeably fogged up, they seemed empty. There was a piece of me that I was missing but I wasn’t sure what that piece even was. After quite some time I realized the piece missing was myself, it was me. Who is Haley? How does she represent herself to the world? Is she happy with this representation? The answer to those questions were:
“I don’t know”
I would spend a lot of time thinking about what I thought I wanted but I would end up getting hung up on what people would think. What would they think in general, what would they think about me specifically, about me personally, about me professionally.
And then I realized that none of that mattered. Who cared what they thought? Those people were not with me as I stared at myself in the mirror. As I looked deep into the tiny little black holes in my face, that seemed to be a window into total sadness and confusion. Hidden behind a sheer layer of fake smiles and lies to help get me through the day.
I wasn’t comfortable living another single day feeling this way.
I began searching my face shape, Hollywood stars that looked like me, different hair cuts, hair styles, long cuts, short cuts, medium cuts, light hair, dark hair, grey hair, straight hair, wavy hair, and everything in between.
I was ready to cut off these pieces of me that were holding me back from being me. Because I know who Haley is on the inside, even deeper than the sadness that lies within the blackness of my eyes. The Haley who is all the way deep down inside, in my heart, in the bottom of my soul. She is the Haley I am ready to be and to show to everyone without fear of what other may think.
So I chopped it, almost all of it, all 11 inches of it. And as every piece fell to the floor I could feel the real me come a little closer to the surface. I could feel myself begin to feel lighter and more genuine than I have felt in a really long time.
Then came the aftermath. I was terrified. I had taken a huge step into being proud of who I was – but I wasn’t in the hair salon anymore. Reality was setting in as I was on my way back to my apartment, back to work. What are people going to think? To say? This is going to seem really drastic to a lot of people, what am I going to say?
It’s only been a few days since I chopped nearly all of my hair, and the responses have been overwhelming positive. People I know, and people I don’t have reached out and told me how great it looks now. Everyone says it suites me. I’m not sure if they are really talking about my hair though, or if they are talking about me. The way I carry myself is different, I look into my eyes and I don’t see two black tunnels to darkness, to sadness. I see Haley.
I would recommend to anyone who is afraid to take the leap into the realm of you to not be afraid. I think a little fear is good, healthy even. But that is not the level of fear that I was experiencing. My fear was paralyzing, it was deafening, it was blackness, and I couldn’t see a way out.
Whatever it is that is holding you back from taking grasp of loving absolutely every ounce of who you are, you must free yourself from it. You will be happy that you did.