Cutting for the Sake of Change

Emily - West Gardiner, Maine
Entered on June 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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I believe in change. I love changing my hair for just this reason. Chopping it off at random lengths, getting it layered or so short that it is just above my chin. Or taking a risk with bangs, should I get side or regular? When I leave the salon I love running my hand through my new, shorter hair feeling my hand fall short and grazing only air. Even dying my hair, changing it to blue, black or red, then looking at the difference while my hair dries.

These are changes I make when I am bored, bored with my appearance, bored with my hair. I become uncomfortable with the way my hair has been, how it falls around my shoulders, the dullness of its once vibrant color, to the point where I can’t stand to look at my reflection any longer. So I quickly drive to the store and buy that box of hair dye, because I know that if I wait I will change my mind and stay with the same boring color. That new style or color makes me feel confidant, I am a new person with a new better outlook on the world.

I wish that all changes were as easy as changing my hair color, but changes, like hair or even attitude, are a product of growing up. These changes, are usually terrifying, such as entering a new school or having to make new friends. More terrifying are the changes that come with the abrupt transition of teenager to adult at the end of high school. It is the close of my junior year, and I am relieved to no end, the stress is finally almost done with. I am excited about becoming a senior, anxious for all the classes, the experience I have waited three years for. What happens at the end though? These are the kids I have known for the last thirteen years and have grown closer to year after year. Where will we all be in a year? In five? Twenty? Will we stay in touch? At the end of graduation, at project grad, will that be the last time we see each other? I will be living on my own, without my mother to take care of me; will I be able to handle that? Will I fail? What if I do?

Growing up, in all its glory, is full of frightening changes that we have no choice but to go through. Each is important, further molding us into the adults we will be in the future, and should be embraced in all their failures and triumphs. Changes, from hair to doing my own laundry, are all lessons to be learned. I can’t pull off bangs. If I dye my hair blonde and then blue the end result will be green. These are all the lessons of life and I welcome them openly, prepared for whatever comes. Though, sometimes I wish I could stick to only getting a bad haircut.