Sometimes when I'm out alone, such as, at the mall, and my eyes meet someone else's, I wonder what they're thinking. Is it, "Whoah, that's a bright hair color! Why did she do that to her hair?" or is it, "I could never wear my hair that short," or is it, "Gosh that would be really easy to take care of, being that short"? What is their impression of me, with this very bright hair? Is the first impression I now leave one of a daring, artsy kind of person, or just of one who doesn't care what people think? I can tell you this, it's different from before, whatever it is. With a blonde ponytail and yoga pants, it was pretty clear that I was a stay-at-home mom; now, with my short hair, I'm more likely to have on makeup and big earrings, and I know that people can't immediately categorize me just on looks. As my friend and I discussed, right after a drastic cut, you want to run up to people and scream, "THIS IS NOT REALLY ME!!! THE REAL ME HAS LONG PRETTY HAIR! I'M JUST LIKE YOU!!!"
But in truth, I can't be the bland mommy that I was before, because it is my job to stand for something now, and I suppose my hair goes along with it. It's okay with me that in circles of friends, instead of "Julie with the pony tail," I'm now "Julie with the short red hair." My daughter and I always talk about how God thinks that we are all beautiful, and I think he's okay with a crazy new hair color, too. :) There are so many changes on the inside, psychologically, emotionally, and physically, I suppose it's okay with me now that they show on the outside. It's just one component of figuring out the new cancer "normal"--accepting that although you're still you, you're a DIFFERENT you. I can only hope that DIFFERENT also means BETTER. :)