I have a confession to make. Sometimes I cut my own hair. Yes I know this is not the best idea but once I decide that I need a haircut it’s like I can’t rest until it has been cut. This has led me into some interesting situations at questionable salons that just happen to be able to fit me in at very short notice and some even more interesting situations when I decide that I can’t rest until my hair is cut and pick up the scissors myself.
Recently I headed to my regular salon and came home with what I asked for although I felt the back was a bit too long. Once I have an idea like this in my head I just can’t shake it, so totally preoccupied with this chunk of hair and feeling rather irrational, I had Amy cut that part off. Amy has no experience at all of hair cutting – after all she just turned 14 and does not have a fringe to practice on like I did at her age but she did an okay job. I ended up, however, heading to the Shearing Shed (!) to have them tidy up the back for me.
On the way, all I could think of in the car was why I just didn’t go back to my own hairdresser and have her cut it a bit shorter, or why I just didn’t wait an hour and head to the Shearing Shed without having Amy try to cut my hair at all. Reflecting on this led me to reflect on my personality and behaviour generally – always a fun time.
I am impulsive and if I want something done right now I have no patience at all to wait. Whether it is a haircut, booking a holiday, or having a baby, if I decide on something that is it. My mind is fixed and preoccupied and I seem unable to change it or even reason with it. When making a birthday cake recently, I just could not wait for the cake to cool long enough to extract it from the cake tin in one piece. Even as I was trying to get it out, I knew I needed to wait but I still just couldn’t do it!
Impulsivity and a stubborn inability to wait are recurring themes in the narrative of my life but in some ways, these character traits have served me well. I vividly remember deciding that I was going to graduate with first class honours. Not everyone believed this was possible, but I did and as soon as I set the goal that was it. There was no negotiation and no discussion that could have changed my mind. I decided to be vegetarian and became one just like that. I decided to stop drinking and that was that. Once I make my mind up about something I am all in and of course this can be positive. I guess the problem is though that this stubborn part of my personality also gets me into situations where I do something impulsive like cut my hair and then spend the next 3 months wondering what on earth I was thinking! It also means that it is hard for me to do anything unless I am committed to it.
It is intriguing that we can learn so much about ourselves if we stop and pay attention and this latest episode has really captured my interest. I wonder where this stubbornness and lack of flexibility comes from. I wonder whether I could train myself to respond differently and whether this would be something I would choose to do. I wonder whether the positives in this case outweigh the negatives. I wonder if it is possible to channel this part of my character and use it only for good. All valid questions to consider further.
I am finding that one of the best parts about getting older is the opportunity to look back on more experiences and life lived to identify patterns in my story. The older I get, the more I like myself and the more I am intrigued by my idiosyncrasies, quirks and character traits. I am learning more about myself with each passing season and this in turn helps me to make sense of my story to this point, forgive myself when necessary and congratulate myself for having made it this far!
I want to encourage you to reflect on what you have learned about yourself lately. Consider how you have responded to challenges you may have faced, opportunities, conflicts and adventures big and small. I would love to hear what you are learning on your journey and would also appreciate hearing other stories of self-haircuts gone wrong (!)