Upon returning to home from Ohio, it was abundantly clear that I was going to have to shave my hair weekly. Not a problem except the fact that I would have to also color my hair weekly – an expense I was not willing to commit to. It was time to decide – time to nail down my priorities. Fit in… conform to societies version of a 40-something woman or take a stand and BE FREE! Free of the worlds standards, in turn embracing my own!
I asked my son to shave my hair that day – what followed was beautiful! My son trimmed my hair with patience and care. When he finished, I stood before the mirror and for the first time, I saw a part of myself that I had hidden for nearly two decades. Honestly, as prepared as I thought I was, I was a bit shocked by my reflection. Bright white with shades of gray, silver, and black for all the world to see. As shocked as I was, a sense of knowing came over me. I knew it was time to let go of stereotypes and embrace my hair – embrace the beauty that is authenticity.
I had to make a choice and I chose to lose the blonde (it totally clashed with the white). Thing is, I wasn’t prepared to chop off the top of my hair and I there was no way I was going to pay to get my hair stripped of color. What is a girl to do? I decided I was going to have a little fun. I had already gone to drastic measures to face and embrace my fears, why not go one step further? I decided I would color my hair purple. Then blue. Then pink (bubble gum pink… Oh my!). For three months I bleached and colored my hair nearly every week; ultimately creating more work and more pain but boy was it FUN!!
Then came the day I was over it! I had enjoyed the fun of it all but coloring my hair and pushing the limits had somehow become expected of me. I realized I was once gain not living for myself but rather living based on the expectations of the world around me. Immediately, I knew that it was time to make a change. To once again cut the ties that bound me to the perception of others. I had an urge to cut it all off – short – a pixie cut would do. The picture of freedom, once again flashing in my mind; I called my husband to tell him what I was considering. I didn’t need his approval but in a moment of fear, I guess I needed his reassurance. Luckily, he has always been very accepting of whatever style I choose and responded accordingly – “you do what you want babe. I love your hair no matter what you choose. I love you.”
I had no doubt I would be calling my hairdresser in the morning to set up an appointment. I was determined to face my fear – determined to cut it all off; ultimately embracing my natural shades of gray/white/silver. What I did not expect was that within minutes of hanging up the phone, I would be digging out the clippers, attaching a 1” guard and shaving my own head. That’s exactly how it happened. One minute I’m standing in the bathroom considering what kind of hair cut I want and the next I am (without hesitation) shaving the top of my head. I had no idea what I was going to be left with and I DID NOT CARE!!
I stood there looking at my reflection. A reflection of honesty and authenticity. A reflection that had nothing to do with the outside world or it’s expectations. A reflection that was simply BEAUTIFUL! I had never seen it before. I had never been able to look at myself and see true beauty – I could only see my flaws. In this moment, I finally saw the beauty God has always seen in me. I finally saw Aubrey – without masks – without chains – completely free! For the first time in my life – I SAW ME!
I am continually amazed by the beauty to be found, on the other side of fear!
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24