Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Chop

Am I still me when I get, as Rachel puts it, a "boy haircut"?  "Are you my mom?" asks Wesley, "because you don't look like her with your hair like that..."

For the first time in the whole of my 37 years, I have cut off my hair.  And I find myself wondering if I'm still me. I don't look like me anymore.  While it is wonderfully easy to have very short hair, my head feels odd, like I'm wearing a hat.  It seems that those who know me are looking at me funny.  And they must be thinking how much worse I look with short hair!

Then I talk to myself.  Why the chop? Because I wanted to! I wanted to know how it would look, how it would feel, and how much easier it would be to be free from all the frizzy strings hanging around my face as I make dinner, change diapers, give baths, hold a six-month-old sticky-fingered little girl.

But what I am learning is that my hair does not define me. Yes.  I am still me with this short hair.  My roles, wife, mother, daughter, do not define me.  My setting does not define me, whether Orlando or Sydney. God designed me to live and love in my very own Michelle way.

If I had never cut my hair off, I would never know whether I prefer my hair long or short.  Now that it is short, I know that I like the way I look with long hair, but I like the ease of life with short hair.  Now I know more about me.

If I am afraid of doing that thing which I've never done before... Or if I am paralyzed by what others will think of me as I make decisions in life, then I cannot know me.  I can never be the woman God made me to be, full of passion and life, if I am unwilling to step outside the lines, whether lines drawn by myself, my story, or others.

So here's to not being who I am "supposed" to be, but by dreaming, by risking, beginning to see who I truly am.