Sight, Sound and Beyond

Jennifer2015Unlike most children, I enjoyed getting my hair cut. I loved how the ends of my hair felt after it was all finished. They felt brand new and fresh, kind of like when you take laundry out of the dryer.

Haircuts were always scheduled before the school year started or before a holiday like Christmas or Easter. I always associated haircuts with new beginnings. It was a kind of starting over you might say. I still feel this way to this very day.
The more hair I get cut off, the more liberated I feel. On Friday, February 13th, I went from long hair to a pixie cut. I cut off a total of 11 inches and donated it to Locks of Love. I really had no clue how I would look in a pixie, but I figured if I looked like an idiot, at least the haircut was not done in vain.

A lot of people asked me if I was scared to cut so much hair off, and to be completely honest, I was not. Yeah I was a little nervous beforehand, but once I sat in the chair and my stylist began cutting off each of the four ponytails on my head, I felt a sense of relief. A wave of calm washed over me. It was quite a spiritual experience. I felt like a clean slate, an Etch a Sketch right after you shake it.

As wonderful as it is to have long hair, it seems to collect a lot of memories along the way. Memories are wonderful, but sometimes they clutter the mind and the mind can be a bully when it comes to the not so pleasant memories. The mind can say thoughts like “I bet you wish that you did not do that,” “Why did you do that?” or “What were you thinking when you did that?” You know how goes.

The last time I had cut my hair relatively short was back in 2010, so it has been four years of hair growth for me. Yes I got regular trims but I let the hair grow longer and longer with the intention of donating it when it was as long as I could possibly stand it.

It was four years full of memories: some good and some not so good. I have not experienced anything that I would consider to be a major devastation or crisis, but like everyone, I had my losses. I have had my times of disappointment and grief, have made lots of mistakes, and have had failures. Of course I have also had my times of joy and feelings of accomplishment, but of course the mind likes to point out the negative things it seems, at least my mind does. Either way, after four years, I felt it was time to “cut the cord” or in this case “cut the hair.” Why? Well first let me explain the nature of my memory.

I have always had a very good memory. I can remember little things like birthdays and anniversaries. I can remember conversations, and sometimes this could get me into trouble because often times people don’t realize what they are saying or get information mixed up. Once I correct them, they say to me, “I don’t remember saying that,” or “Did I really say that?”. They would continue, “I said this,” or “I meant to say this.” Hey, I get information mixed up too, but I am lucky because a lot of people won’t remember what I had previously said! My college music professor, Mary Ann Joyce-Walter, would often joke, “I have to watch what I say around you because you remember everything.”

My memories are often associated with strong emotion. I guess that comes from being in the arts. It is easy to recall an unpleasant experience because all the hurt feelings come back. The more emotional I was at the time, the longer it takes for the feelings and emotions to fade. I think it is like that for many people, but I have always been a sensitive person. Dr. Joyce would also add that I have a 19th Century soul. I am a very sensitive and can get emotional sometimes. It doesn’t take much to make me smile, but on the downside, I get easily upset. While this helps in musical performance, I find it to be quite useless in real life since in real life, you have to have thick skin in order to cope with the realities of life.

So how does this relate to haircuts? Well, haircuts has always been a source of healing for me since it weekends the powers of the mind and uplifts my spirit. Hair, to me, is the link to the mind, the physical body and the physical world. It is easy to attach ourselves to things of the physical world, our own life situation and our thoughts about the past.

When I get a haircut it is like a new day, a time to start over and get another chance to just be me. The long hair is gone and my hair will continue to grow (although, I do like it short and will keep it short for a good while). The past is gone and now I welcome new adventures and experiences.

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