Shallow?

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Yes, this is a post about whether or not I should get a haircut. Shallow? Yes, probably. Strange that I should agonize over a seemingly easy decision? Yes, definitely. However, I’ll liken my attachment to my long hair to my reticence over the thought of leaving the routine monster. It is hard to depart from the familiar. In fact, I see this as one of the main themes of my life. I cling to the known, and hesitate to dip my toes into new waters. What if its too cold?

My hair has been my security blanket for a long time, and I regret nearly every haircut I get. It doesn’t even matter if my haircut is perfect and everyone else says it looks lovely. This inability to properly process the compliments of others is another recurring theme of my life, as I tend to only register the negative and discount the positive. Not a happy way to live, nor a confidence-inducing phenomenon.

The first time I noticed my double standards of judgement, my much harsher view of myself, was perhaps on open house nights at dance class. After a class my parents had watched, I was feeling down, having clung to the constructive criticism offered by my dance teacher. “Did you hear her say I needed to work on my turn out? Suck in my stomach? Smile more?” I wondered aloud to my mom. She replied by quoting the more positive feedback I had recieved in that very class, and it dawned on me that they had gone in one ear and out another. I heard all of the positive comments that had been lavished on fellow classmates, but not allowed myself to absorb similar praises. Therefore, to me, they were all superior and I was a horrible dancer and, by extension, a failure.

This is but one example of the truth in the adage that we are all our own worst critics. Hence, agonizing over a decision such as whether to get a haircut might not be so shallow after all. The decision to wait a while might be a self-preserving mechanism. In clinging to my security blanket of split-ends, I’m saving myself from the judgement of the person who is the most demeaning to me: myself. It is times like these that remind me of the importance of continuing on the path of recovery, not only for my physical health but for my emotional well being. Developing a sense of self-confidence is a crucial step on the path to recovery, and even just the recognition of the fallacy of my self-judgement will hopefully help me to get there. But for now, I just need a haircut.

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