control


I was 17 years old and a recent graduate of high school, when I told my mom I wanted to cut my hair. I didn't know then that I would continue to cut and grow and color and cut and grow and loc and cut and comb out and attempt to grow my hair as often as I did. I didn't know hair and what I did with it was tied to my need to be in control of something - anything. 

I have lived most of my life in a body that is bigger than it needs to be, but cutting my hair has made me feel just as pretty or sexy as I pictured in my head. I have lived most of my life contending with the ideas and impact of being sexually assaulted. I didn't know that cutting my hair helped me feel like I was taking back my power. 

When I set my mind to do something connected to my hair I typically follow through. I wanted a brush cut (caesar, bald fade) - so I got one. I wanted purple streaks so I colored my hair. I wanted a soft Mohawk the last time I had a relaxer - so I got one. I have wanted my hair loc'd 4 times and have gone through the process (although my hair has not lasted in locs more than 2.5years). 

Cutting my hair helps me feel like I have some control, typically at a time when things are moving or shifting in ways that don't feel good. Or when I am concerned or downright afraid. Cutting my hair has given me the umph I think I need to keep pushing. Kind of like cutting dead weight. 

The only issue is maybe I'm not really freeing myself of deadweight. Maybe the ritual of cutting my hair is just that - a ritual.  Maybe its not bad to cut my hair when I need to feel in control. But because I am maturing in Christ it is vital that I drag the idea to cut my hair to God in prayer before I book an appointment with my favorite barber! See I can't continue to live and make decisions about me or my family cuz I feel like it. My decisions have to be rooted in God's plan - cuz I'm God's and God is mine.

Ahhhhhh! Real talk, I'm ready to cut it, even though I just installed microlocs less than 2 months ago. I have conjured up rationale and justifications several times in the past to help me confirm the decision. But each time I have in a small way regretted the cut. 

I really want to commit to long hair this time around via microlocs but I am also feeling anxious about some other transitions happening. Moving. Applying to grad schools. Anticipating my husband finishing undergrad. 

Is this a Leah thing or a woman thing? What do you do to manage the stressors that accompany transitions?

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