December 9, 2011
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My mom calls me “the girl with the ever-shrinking hair” because I cut my hair so often. I started cutting my own hair about six months ago, and between that day and today, I have probably given myself ten or eleven haircuts. I used to be a girl with long hair, but, currently, my hair is like a glass of water left outside on a hot day: steadily diminishing.
The first time I cut my hair did not go as I had planned. I wanted to cut off one inch, but ultimately I chopped off three as I tried to straighten the jagged edges. Though the end product of this escapade was a crooked head of hair, I found a singular sense of satisfaction in the experience. The cause of this feeling was a mystery to me, but this sensation of fulfillment was enough to convert me into an avid haircutter.
Haircuts, to most people, are a mundane facet of life. However, to me they are of considerable significance. They are my outlet, my vent, a chance to decipher the puzzle of my identity. Like many young souls, I still have not been able to determine who I truly am as an individual, a student, a daughter, a friend. I do not know what kind of person I am, nor do I know what kind of person I want to be. Hair and haircuts, plentiful resources, supply me with infinite exploratory canvases to try out different looks. They furnish me with a feeling of satisfaction as I actively search for my identity by experimenting with varying versions of myself.
A few days ago I looked back at pictures from my long-haired days and realized that my different haircuts have each held discrete meanings. My long hair signified typicality, timidity, and meekness. I think it was for this reason that I felt the desire to cut my hair the first time: to rebel, resisting the conventionality and demureness I felt was growing inside me. My subsequent haircuts have all been for different purposes. I thought the haircuts would improve me in some way, making me more confident, expressive, or compassionate. My haircuts do not fundamentally change me however, but do allow me to uncover which attributes I possess and which I desire. Basically, haircuts allow me to physically manifest my seemingly endless quest to find me.
Even with my constant haircuts, I’m still not sure who I truly am. Am I kind, silly, uptight, obnoxious? Am I nervous, clever, helpful, odd? I feel like a disoriented, colorless entity caught in the hazy muddle of my identity. I remain adrift in the sea of the mystery of who I am, far from land, far from an answer. Though haircuts have helped me unravel the mysterious tangle of my identity, letting me discover some of my attributes, such as industriousness, unconventionality, and willfulness, I still am in want of a superior opportunity to illuminate the murky confusion of myself.

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