The human life has times of great joy and times of deep sorrow. You don’t need to believe in any religion or god to know that this is true. We have our good days and we have bad ones too. The thing I hate the most is when the bad days seem to linger and especially when they come right after what I thought was the day things would finally turn around for me.
It was Saturday morning, Spencer and I had broken up and made up and I was ready to transform myself with a makeover. My hair was about to go from incredibly long to super short; think Victoria Beckham/Rihanna’s asymmetrical bob. Maybe I’d even do something with the color, I contemplated to myself.
If you’re a guy and your reading this, after a break up or a highly emotional time in a female’s life you may notice that she does something to change her appearance. It can be as small as buying a new outfit or pair of shoes, wearing a different shade of lipstick or something completely drastic like plastic surgery or moving to a new place. I was somewhere in the middle, I wanted to chop off my hair. I just needed a change to set me free from the last few months of nightmarish events. (Read The Heart of The Matter Part II and III for the backstory.)
I made my boyfriend Spencer and my best friend Piper come with me to the salon. My hairdresser was a genius; she could do anything I gave her a picture of. Piper was there for moral support because I was excited but scared at the same time. Why did I ask Spencer to come? If I’m honest, which I am, I made him come because he didn’t want me to cut it. He kept saying, “Why do you want to cut your hair? I wish you would just keep it long. Why do you want that haircut anyway?” I’m pretty certain that I was being malicious in making him watch me do the thing he didn’t want me to do. It wasn’t as bad as him cheating on me, but it was my own form of revenge.
I sat in the chair. My hairdresser was so nervous; she loved my long locks and did not want to cut it. Instead of chopping off my 15-inch ponytail so I could donate it to a charity she trimmed it off in stages hoping that I would change my mind the shorter it got. I didn’t! I was just getting more frustrated with each snip. I must say I did gain some satisfaction as I watched Spencer’s reaction in the mirror, his face winced with every snip.
She finally finished and it was nothing like I wanted, in retrospect, I think I found the one hair cut that she wasn’t good at. She left me with an A-Line shoulder length bob. What a rip off… I convinced myself that it would suffice until I could find another hairdresser to fix it. There wasn’t much more I could do to prevent myself from feeling like I just made a really big mistake.
I had a catch up with my best friend (the one that gave me the news about Spencer’s other woman) that day so I made the 3 hour drive back home straight after my hair cut.
I called her when I was near and she jumped in my car. She took one look at me and froze. My stomach turned at the look on her face. She looked mortified. This is not the kind of reaction you wanted when you have just made a semi-permanent change to your appearance! Her expression went from horror/shock to anger. I was very confused by this point.
“What did you do?! NIKKI! Why would you do that?!” She actually yelled at me!
“Sky?! What is wrong with you? Does it look bad? OMG, really does it look that bad?!” My feelings were hurt and I was already a little (ok a lot) insecure because it wasn’t exactly as I planned it to look but she was my friend she could have been a little more sensitive!
“Why?! How could you do that?!” She said again, I couldn’t understand why she was so upset.
“What do you mean?! It will grow back eventually!” I replied.
We sat in silence for about 60 seconds, which felt like a lifetime. She just looked at me with a concerned face.
“What?” I asked as the tears welled up in my eyes and, to my surprise, in her eyes too.
“Why would you want to look like her?” She asked.
My heart skipped a beat. Her???
She realized that I didn’t know what she was talking about and her hard countenance melted into pity. She explained to me that Julie (the other girl) had the exact hairstyle that I just got. To make matters worse, not only did she have the same hairstyle but she had the proper one, the one I wanted but my hairdresser f**ked up! I felt sick to my stomach. She asked if Spencer had seen it and I said he went to the salon with me! How could he have not told me?! How could I not have known?!
The Dust Moment
I was so utterly devastated. What I thought would set me free actually did more damage to my self-esteem and confidence than I started with. The drama that made me feel like I needed setting free from in the first place had found me again. So many thoughts were flying through my mind. My hair was my pride and glory and it was gone, if this girl ever saw me she would think I was trying to be like her, was Spencer going to think of her every time he looked at me now? Oh My God I felt like I could just die.
I just wanted a change. I needed a change and boy did I get one.
I found myself in a pit and the worst part was that I dug my own grave. The winds of change weren’t blowing like I wanted them to so I took matters into my own hands. I wanted to repair myself by making myself better on the outside, but it had backfired terribly and left me broken more than ever before. It took 2 weeks to find a hairdresser that knew how to fix my hair. I loved the new look but it took so long to see myself when I looked in the mirror. I saw her and I wondered how I compared to her. Of course everyone I knew told me she was nothing compared to me but I couldn’t let go of the thought that Spencer had, for a time, preferred her over me. He placed her above me, and even though it looked like I won it didn’t really feel like I had.
The Gold Exchange
“You are all together beautiful my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
-Song of Solomon 4:7
“Trying to fix something, but you can’t fix what you can’t see, it’s the soul that needs a surgery.” – “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce
We all do it and I’m trying to put my finger on the reason why. Not every style change or haircut/color means that we are searching for soul surgery, but in times like the one I just described this scenario is true. There was nothing wrong with me. There was no change in my appearance that could be made to fix the hurt and feeling of rejection I carried in my heart.
I was looking for a quick fix for my pain but there is no quick fix. Time is a wonderful healer if you are brave enough to spend it. At this point in my life my worth depended on Spencer’s desire for me. Even if Spencer was the perfect guy for me this sort of dependency would never have be good. My worth had to be found in something greater than man, it had to come from something consistent and unchanging, something unconditional and everlasting. I knew nothing that fit this description at the time so I held onto the only thing I knew, a man that allowed me to alter my appearance knowing that I would end up with the very distinct hairstyle of my worst enemy.
It would take a few more years before I allowed God to find me and tell me everything about myself that I never knew before. I finally found my self worth in the one who created me, loved me, died for me, and conquered death to set me free from every prison I locked myself in.
I’ve thankfully never felt the need to morph myself into someone better after a rough patch or break up since this episode. Seasons and times continue to change and with it my style and my preferences change too, but the motives of my heart are very different.
Change can be a great thing but not when I tried to change on the outside what was still broken or bruised on the inside, the cover up will be exposed one day and I would find myself in a very vulnerable state again. Instead, look within yourself and find the change that was there all along and let it set you free. Stand up and set a fire that will burn into gold.
“Who the Son sets free is free indeed.” – John 8:36
“God cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” – A. W. Pink