As I stood in front of the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. My hairdresser got scissor happy and cut way too much. I know it’s just hair and it will grow back but until then I’ll have to deal with the fact that is it way too short and I hate it.
Why do I hate it so much?
I hate it because it reminds me of another time in my life when my hair was cut way too short. It reminds me of pain and hurt associated with that haircut. It reminds me that my heart was broken. It reminds me that words hurt far more than I care to admit. It also reminds me that there have been times in my life where my words have hurt people too.
It all happened when I was 13, I had seen cute short cuts and decided I should cut my long hair and go short. I had a picture with me and a picture in mind of how it should look. Only I had a barber, not a hairstylist, do it. It was a chopped up mess and by the time he finished I looked more like a boy than a girl. It was hideous. I was clearly disappointed but I couldn’t do a thing about it. The good news was it happened on a Saturday so I had the weekend before I had to face the world.
Monday came hard and fast. I had quite a few sneers and stares but overall it wasn’t bad until the afternoon bus ride. That’s when it got ugly. The laughing, jeering, pointing fingers and talking loudly about my “short boy cut.” It was heartbreaking. The most hurtful part was hearing those who called themselves my friends chime in. If I could’ve gotten off that bus and run away, I certainly would have. It took every ounce of courage I could muster to remain on the bus until my bus stop. And honestly it did’t exactly stop then because I could still hear snide comments as the bus doors closed.
Fortunately I was the only one on my street who got off the bus that day and I cried most of the way home. stopping by the creek to dry up my tears before arriving at home. Then briskly walking straight to my room to conceal my tear-stained face. I didn’t want anyone to know how hurt I had been. It was much easier for me stuff my emotions than let them out. I kept up this charade for a few weeks. Fortunately my hair grew back rather quickly and I was able to form and style it again. The harassment stopped but my heart still hurt.
Now every time my hair gets too short, I am reminded of this marked incident. It reminds me that words hurt. It reminds me that hearts are tender. It reminds me that people can be cruel and hurtful. More importantly it reminds me that I have hurt people with my words. I have hurt people because I was hurt. And you know what? That makes my heart hurt even more because there have been times that I have been cruel, rude and insenstive to others. I have mocked and made fun of others when I should have kept my mouth shut.
The truth is my hair will grow back but I can’t take back the words I’ve said to be cruel and hurtful to others. Nor can I go back and erase what was said to me. What I can do is move forward. Moving forward means I forgive those who hurt me and ask to be forgiven by those I’ve hurt.