Vanquishing the Panic Dragon

Krista - Yorktown, Indiana
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I watched my hair falling off my inverse in the mirror. I had showed her a picture of what I wanted, but she had only glanced at it, said, “I can do that,” and went at me with those scissors.

I remember thinking She can’t possibly cut off anymore. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It kept falling, the pieces of hair getting shorter and shorter. I glanced at my friend, who had convinced me to do the thing I had been talking about for months. I gave her a “What the hell is she doing?” look and she returned it. Panic was building in my chest and I didn’t know how long it would be until I exploded.

When she finally commenced with her chopping, my head was missing over seven inches of its crowning glory. I left in a daze while my friend babbled about how she hadn’t thought she would cut it that short. I remember touching the back of my hair and pulling on it in hopes it would magically grow at my tug.

My friend took me straight home. I bolted to my room and started balling. After calming down enough to look in the mirror without bursting into tears, I started seeing possibilities. I saw things I could do that I never could with my long hair. Instead of crying and wallowing in self-pity, I decided that I would make the best of my situation. Many times in the past when things hadn’t gone my way, I took my panic and pushed it aside to find a way to make it work.

To take a bad situation that arises unexpectedly and manage to twist it into something good isn’t always possible. It is possible, however, to make it not as bad. It’s not something you can teach. It’s an inherent ability that rises out of the times when you make mistakes, or forget to do something. It’s an instinct that comes to your rescue in times of need.

I believe this super-hero sense in innate in everyone, but panic has a tendency to keep it repressed. Panic is like a dragon, threatening a maiden. If the so-called damsel in distress can push past the panic and use her own head, she won’t need a knight in shining armor to rescue her. The resulting situation isn’t always the best, but it’s better than being eaten.

I never let myself cry over cut hair anymore. There is always a way to improve a bad situation. When they cut your hair too short, rock the faux hawk. Don’t panic, and definitely don’t let yourself do something as pointless as worry. Figure out how to fix it.