Freedom, to me

Independence Day for America. I guess this is important to a lot of people. What’s more important to me? Emotional and mental independence. Freedom from the barriers and constraints American society have insidiously impregnated my mind with.

Slowly, ever so slowly, as only a human can be slow, I have worked to free myself from unnecessary constraints. My favorite one this year? I have freed myself from my hair! For 20 years, I went to the same hairstylist; I got the same exact haircut. There was safety in this. There was familiarity in this. And there was boredom. There was a lack of ever thinking outside the box of who I thought I was.

“How am I not myself?” A favorite movie line of mine. It turns out, my hair is not me. I do not need long, healthy hair to show I am a docile, desirable female. I do not need beautiful hair to prove to the world that I am a safe and beautiful human. No, I am a ridiculously silly, awkward and, often, panicky little woman. So I cut my hair. The hairstylists didn’t want me to go through with it. Like cutting a regenerating thing like hair is truly the end of the world.

Today, I feel a little more myself. I feel a little less cognitive dissonance. To me, that is freedom.

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