Waking up is so hard these days. After hours of homework and extracurriculars and chores and tasks, I flop onto my pillow with more burdens in my head than dreams. But one burden I never seem to mind bearing is my hair.
I’ve been growing it out since freshman year, when I cut it all off in hopes of finding a “brand new me” beneath those layers. But I deemed it a juvenile mistake soon after when I became acquainted with a few adult realities. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me a few months later, two weeks after he said he loved me (ha, I know), I got my first B+ ever, and I found that at school, I was now a small fish in a humongous pond.
As I approach my eighteenth year, my hair is long and dark and thick. In the sun, it reddens instead of getting blonder. It creates knots quicker than I can brush them out, and always seems to be greasy, no matter how much I wash it.
But I love it.
It’s dark like the hair of my mom and my grandma when she was younger, my two greatest inspirations. It’s long to show my dedication to cultivating myself to be better through patience. It’s thick because I am healthy and I take care of myself, no matter how hard it is to do sometimes. It produces oil because my body is strong and protects itself, even without my help. And it’s reddish for my little bit of Irish, something I get from my grandma’s name, my genes, my birth religion, and nowhere else.
Even when I hate my body so much, or can’t find a single thing I like about my face, or talk down to the hair on my arms or my slumped shoulders or my droopy eye, I always like my hair, through the bangs and the bob and the middle parts and the pigtails. It is mine, and it is a part of my identity. So thank you to my hair, for making me who I am.