Friday, January 17, 2014

My First Visit to the Hairdresser in Over 5 Years (With Before and After Photos)

After more than 30 years with long hair, I began to feel restless and bored with my hair. It just looked old and tired...but I didn't feel old and tired (mostly!!).

I've always had a burning curiosity to see how I'd look with really short hair, but fear always held me back. What if I hated it? What if I looked awful? And then it might take me years to grow my hair back again?! Years of wearing scarves and headbands to try and conceal my awful hair...

No, better to be safe than sorry....Better to just stick with what I know...

Or is it?

I don't know how to describe or explain this, but since the second week of this new year, I've felt a change of attitude come over me. I sense this different energy, and I'm filled with certainty and purpose. It is almost as though I'm no longer willing to let fear rule my choices and hold me back. Instead of procrastinating, I'm putting the "Just Do It" motto into practice. Already I've got stuff done that I've been putting off for months...and it feels sooooo good!

I was keen to get the ball rolling, and tick off an item from my 40 Before 40 List. With the current stifling heat and humidity here in Tonga....well it seemed like the perfect excuse to cut all my hair off!! After convincing my husband it was a brilliant idea, I made the appointment.

It's almost as if, after 8 almost-consecutive years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding or caring for a baby, in which entire time I probably "did" my hair (as opposed to just scrunching it up in a bun, without the help of a brush, which was probably lost down the side of the bed, anyway...) a total of 3 times....

...and "making do" with the occasional do-it-yourself trim of split-ends, using a pair of paper-scissors...

I''m ready to care for myself again. 
The night before my appointment, I was so nervous and excited! I spent hours on the internet looking at different hairstyles, trying to decide which I wanted. I realised that I hadn't felt this way in ages - both excited and scared all at once.

So, I fronted up to both the hairdresser and my fears, and this is what happened...

When my husband saw me, he liked it straightaway. 

I must admit, it took a little while for me to warm to it...and even now I'm not sure it really suits me. But I don't particularly care...because the boost in confidence from facing one of my (albeit "little") fears has been so rewarding and motivating, that I've already started working towards another challenge that I've always wanted to do (but didn't!) - Compete in a 10km race. 

I realise that the things I accomplish (off my list) are not what's truly important, but who I become in the process, is. The items on my list are things I really want to do, but they all scare me a little bit too. All of them require me to become more than I currently am. 

And that's a good thing.

I think this little graphic sums it up perfectly...

I'm ready to leave Comfort Zone cul-de-sac (it's a dead-end street), and go where the magic happens.

I've always been a big believer in "investing in yourself", and now I realise this also includes investing in my appearance. It's not the haircut that matters. What matters is the way it makes me feel. Taking on a small fear has given me courage and motivation to tackle bigger things. I think that's the biggest lesson I take from this experience.

Oh, and by the way...

I'm already plotting my next hairstyle with enthusiasm. The next one will be more funky and edgy...and even shorter than the current one. 

Update (Two months later): Am loving having short hair, and experimenting with different styles. It's been so liberating! Here's a pic of my current style. It's my favorite so far. I've even had a few women (and one man!) ask me if I could cut their hair into the same style!


Ben Carter said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this Kate! I too believe if we don't push ourselves every day for new experiences then we are robbing ourselves of living and feeling ALIVE. Please continue the blog; I'm loving the journey :)
B x

Kate Punivai said...

Thanks Ben,
We're on the same page there! Only one sure-fire way to grow, and that is to stretch beyond our comfort zones :-)