My Hair

My hair has been one thing that I have liked about my appearance for basically my entire life. That nearly puts it in a category of its own. At times I have disliked other things about my appearance : that mole on my right cheek, my long nose, my wide hips, my small breasts, my big feet, and on and on. But my hair? Hair’s been good to me. I have very fine, very dark brown hair with reddish tints that come out in summer. And I have almost always worn it long. And I have almost never bothered doing a single thing with it, except for washing and throwing it up in a ponytail. I have had long hair for so long that it seemed to become a part of who I am. Even with a short bob, I still “thought” of myself as a “long-haired person,” as if that is a static identity.

Above : a commemorative gallery of me and my hair over the years.

And now, most of it is gone. Because I went and did a crazy thing : I got a pixie cut.

Why did I do this? (I ask myself, laughing weakly.) I did this for a lot of reasons. I did this because my long, straight hair has been a protection of sorts. A protection from thinking about the parts of my appearance that I don’t as easily love and embrace. A neutrality, the opposite of a statement. I did it because I realized that my hairstyle had become a part of my identity, and I wanted to challenge that, to shake it up a bit. I did it because everyone thinks that I am heterosexual. You, dear reader, probably thought so, too.

I know I’m married to a man, but just as being single does not make someone asexual, neither can my marriage make my straight (and thank God for that). I identify as pansexual — and I’ve linked you right to Wikipedia so you needn’t even Google — although I often use the term bisexual because people know that one, and I much prefer the term queer and use that term in my personal life. And although my short hair isn’t going to magically queer me in society’s eyes, it’s a challenge to me to not hide behind the heterosexual privilege I am afforded when I’m in public with my wedding band on and David beside me. It’s a way to maybe influence a few more people to feel, I guess, a little unsure when they see me. And mostly what it comes down to is me, trying on a new way of showing my identity to the world. It comes down to me forcing myself to really grapple with how I feel about my nose and the mole on my cheek and my “fang” tooth — because I can’t hide behind my hair now that most of it is gone.

People assume confidence of women with short hair — I know I do it. Wow, she must have great self-esteem to rock that look, I think, seeing chic, cool women with their short, punky hair. I wonder if being seen that way now will help grow some real confidence in me.

I felt like if I didn’t cut my hair short now, I might never do it. I don’t think I’m going to prefer pixie-cut life to long-hair life — but now I’ve tried it. Plus, I got the haircut for free by being a model for a hairstylist class at an upscale salon that I never would have set foot in otherwise. And now, I can grow it back. (Gulp. Right?)

post-haircut-selfie
the selfie I sent my mom right after The Haircut

 

 

 

a necessarily awkward introduction post

I have been thinking about starting a blog for at least six months now. The idea very gradually floated to the surface of my mind and I initially was dismissive. I’m just imitating people I admire. This isn’t a real desire. I could never do that. It seemed impossible, and I doubted my own dedication to the idea.

But then a funny thing happened : I didn’t stop thinking (and daydreaming, and imagining, and sort-of-planning) about it. It kept coming up in my thoughts, especially when I was out running. My thoughts have a tendency to take over while I’m running, and I find that the more I try to grab the reins, the more aware I become of the discomforts of running. So I tend to let my mind do its own thing – and the thing it wanted to do was think about starting a blog. Like, a real, grown-up, adult-person blog, not the whiny LiveJournal I had when I was 14.

After three or four months, I finally brought this idea up with my husband. As usual, he was supportive and encouraging and much, much nicer to me than I had been to myself. In late June I resolved that I was going to do this, and I started really preparing in earnest. And now here we are in, in early September, and I am actually Doing This, it seems.

So, hello world. I’m Laura, and I’m an aspiring researcher as well as a wife, baker, poet, and runner. My hope is that I will get to know you, and you me, much better in the coming months. I’m hoping to share a poem I love, a personal piece, and a recipe review each week. Check back tomorrow for another post, and feel free to follow me on Facebook for regular updates or send me an email with your thoughts. All the relevant links are over on the right there, under the photo of me holding a snail (one of my favorite animals). Happy Tuesday!

I always type blog posts on my vintage typewriter while sitting on the floor by a window. Don’t you?
Just mixing up some poetry books (…and Harry Potter) in my KitchenAid. Y’know.