I used to color my hair black. (By used to I mean I last did it like a year ago and it's still growing out)
I joked that I did it because my hair was still so light colored and everyone else in my family had dark hair and I wanted to pretend I wasn't adopted. (Really I did it because Ashlee (you can tell she's cool because of the way she spells her name) Simpson did and I thought it was cute)
But the thing is, I really liked the person I felt like I was when I had dark hair.
I did feel like I belonged more with my family.
I felt stronger.
I felt more confident.
I felt more able to survive the intricacies of relationships that baffled me.
It's easy for me to have black hair (well other than the arduous coloring process and inevitable mopping up of the little black dots all over the place and the streaks on my forehead).
I felt less fragile. Harder. More.
Being soft is scary.
Soft is pliable
Hard is immovable
Hard requires others to compromise
Several years ago I had to pass a friend law that forbade me to cut my hair shorter than my chin (the 1st one) because I loathe not being able to tuck most of my hair behind my ears.
But other than that restriction my hair takes the brunt of my emotions.
I cut it, I color it, I tug at it, twirl it and pick pick pick at it.
It's instant gratification.
When I can't control, or don't know how to act in, any given life issue I try to grab on to something tangible. So I grab on to my hair.
Because I can be soft, I can be hard. I can be carelessly pulled back or severely yanked into a tight ponytail.
But it's my choice.
When I can't choose how I'm treated and the wounds that have happened or are happening I can choose what to do with my hair.
When I feel excluded and other I can color my hair to show how I'm feeling even if I don't know it.
I'm trying to be softer now. More pliable. I'm working to remember that soft isn't weak. Soft isn't careless. Sometimes soft is being willing to work through crap and still believe that people can be good. Sometimes soft is having your heart broken again and again and still believing in love.
Sometimes soft is letting God in even when you're terrified of who he'll make you be. Sometimes it's letting people in even knowing they'll let you down.
But sometimes. Sometimes it's just a hair cut because your ends are damaged and a different color than your roots and you need bangs to cover an awkward outbreak of acne on your forehead.