I’m keeping my long locks.
I’m sitting on my hair right now. An old friend asked if I would consider donating to Locks of Love. A new friend challenged me to cut it in order to make something new. I admire both of them and am glad they brought up the question, even while I make the decision to keep this part of myself.
Let’s start with how it got this long.
I had a horrible colic in elementary school. The choices apparent to me were either to crop my hair very close (possibly prophetic of the balding tech industry I would join as an adult) or let it all grow out. So, I began the sixth grade with a near buzz-cut.
Really. It happened.
I was also curious to try the other approach, and let the buzz cut grow out. By summer vacation I had a nice mop on top of my head that could cover my eyes and was totally getting good in the back. I put a spinning gyroscope in it and learned how easily it tangles. I forgot to comb it for days at a time and learned what kind of extra care goes into growing hair out.
I had a lot of dreams. A lot. I was twelve or thirteen years old and dreaming that my hair touched my waist. Every time I began to look inward at the perfect, idealized Andrew, it was there with me. Hanging there. Reacting to and with me.
Stylists would cut my hair back to my shoulders. I would dream every night for a week that it grew back by some miracle and woke up crying. Yes, I went through every stage of grief when my hair was taken from me. It would be worse today.
That’s what this all comes down to: My idealized image of myself has had this hair for twenty four years. Even if other parts of the vision went to hell, I did this one right. I don’t want it to define who I am. The person I am pulling back into the open is defined with that feature – among many others. This is a wonderful, uncomfortable, exciting, dream-come-true point in my life. The full vision is slowly being brought into existence. In short, it’s just not a good time to give up on any of it. In the long run, I had already made plans to be buried with it.
This is really a time for celebrating. I need to see the entire “person inside of me” come out, long mane and all.
I’m maturing inside and shrinking on the outside into that idealized vision. For the foreseeable future, I plan to chase after the whole package.
I admire the hell out of anyone who donates to Locks for Love. My father has grown his hair to donate to them. I have seen acquaintances lose their hair to win the more important battle.
Several people have begged me not to cut my hair. They lost their own hair, either by choice or by severely overzealous application of scissors at a hair stylist. Each one has lamented that life will not be long enough to grow all of that hair back, least of all at its original youthful color.
He has worked as a level designer for a small online video game, as the grim reaper in a haunted house, and traded web design for concert tickets and tattoos.He can be sometimes found performing improvised comedy or stage magic in the south side of Austin, Texas.