Thank you to everyone who weighed in a about my proposed hairstyle change. I've been thinking in these past few days (are you ready for a deep thought?) that hairstyle is an identity issue. The intersection of how I see myself with how I present myself to society. As such there seems to be a lot at stake when the presentation changes. Will everyone accept me in the same way they did before? if not, is there an asymmetry between the person I think I am and the way my friends view me?
The answer seems to be Yes and No. The people I've told in person "Hey, I'm going to dread my hair" have all pretty much shrugged their shoulders and been like, "Yeah okay. I get that that's something you would do." Which makes me feel pretty good about the way I currently present myself. Which is to say, I feel like a crazy hippy in my mind, so it's nice that my friends see that. It's the friends on facebook that have been more like, "Wait, OMG what?"
Here's another banal deep thought coming your way. It's hard for me to reconcile my current sense of self with the person my facebook friends knew ten years ago. Of course, the Leah who goes to reunions is the same person: I certainly present the same combination of fake-outgoing anxious over-sharing bubbly exhaustion that I did in high school. That's just the way I talk. But from a values perspective there are few things I cared about ten years ago that I still care about now. (Of course how banal again. I had kids in that interim and that changes everything; I'm not saying anything that everyone else hasn't figured out, and yet and yet...)
The person that I was ten years ago, overanxious and striving and wicked concerned about my appearance, that person died (theology alert!) and was buried in the waters of baptism. Yes, I know the way I appear in this blog post is overanxious about my appearance, but, er, it feels different and I swear I'm a different person. And theologically speaking I can be both that person and a different person; we are resurrected both in the "now" and the "not yet."
Dot dot dot. I feel like I started to write this post with an air of "You guys don't get me" and now that I've written it I find the whole thing kind of bitchy.
Dot dot dot. I've left this post and come back and I've completely changed my mind. Of course I am the same person I was ten years ago, extremely anxious over how other people view me and whether they accept me. If not, why would I vomit so many words about whether people like or dislike a hairstyle that I haven't even gotten yet?
No. The Leah I was at 6 and at 16 (theology alert!) is the Leah that God created, the same Leah that lives today saying every stupid joke that comes into my head and being more exuberant than the social situation warrants and having my heart break into pieces every time I see a fuzzy animal. But. (one last theology alert and then I'm done.) The Leah at 16 did not live in freedom, and I do. On account of Jesus, yes. Primarily so. But also on account of pursuing a life of freedom. Living freely sometimes feels very easy (thank you Jesus) and sometimes very difficult (thank you facebook). But that's the struggle that we've set ourselves to, and I hope that's what my friends see in me when they look at me and see a crazy person.
Okay, enough on this already. Hair is going into dreads on Thursday. I'm not going to talk about it again until I have photos.