The emotional attachment to my hair has ebbed and flowed over the past few months. Some days I feel liberated and empowered other days I feel like my femininity and physical appearance has been compromised. There is really little rhyme or reason as to how I feel on each particular day but I think that is normal for all of us hair or not. Regardless, I have been pretty committed to the wig and rotated through a few different versions of my typical brunette self. The wigs are fun honestly. They have way more shape, body and volume than my own hair has ever offered me but it comes to a point where you’d rather just be dealing with your own mop especially in 90+ degree heat. I more or less committed myself to the wig look because I’m a 25 year old single female. Though I haven’t tried it, walking up to dudes at the bar, winking and saying “hey, you into bald chicks?” probably isn’t my best method of attracting the opposite sex. So wig it was.
Little by little I have been slowly going into public sans-wig. My most recent wig-less act was at Penn Station in NYC on my way home from visiting my Torrington loves. Penn station as you may or may not know is SUPER crowded so normally I would not go without hair in front of strangers in a situation where I was by myself . Tuesday I finally mustered up the courage to go without the wig to work as shown in the picture above. This was a huge milestone for me. I honestly had a knot in my stomach driving to work but my head said “shut up stomach, let’s go baldy”, and so I did.
Exposing my head in a picture in the safety and comfort of my own blog is way different than exposing yourself to your colleagues and students in real life. I expected some people to be polite about it and others to avoid the elephant in the room. Much to my surprise, the response was overwhelmingly positive. I’ve gotten more compliments than I did when I had long hair. How about that? Not that I ever had remarkable hair. It was average at best but it was long and could be straightened and curled and pinned and dyed. It could blow in the wind (usually in the wrong direction covering my face, definitely not sexy and windswept like a runway model). Despite all of the times I’ve tried to make my hair look perfect, the Sinead O’Connor look ended up being the homerun. I got positive feedback from people who don’t even know I had cancer. WILD. Bottom line, the positive feedback made me feel a whole lot better about my circumstances and perhaps I will go without the wig in other settings. If I’m feeling adventurous I may not wear it out this weekend but that is TBD. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to a woman at Bryant, a fellow survivor, that went without her wig at work for the first time on the same day that I did. She looks absolutely stunning with or without hair. We had to laugh that we accidentally did it on the same day since we joked a few weeks ago that we would plan a day for the “big reveal” at work.
I guess we can chalk this up to another success.