BUT NOW it's the holiday Christmas season and I love it. Christmas can be very depressing to some, but I choose to be happy and think of happy things. It's a great time of year...from the meaning of Christmas itself to the decorations, the holiday cheer, and all the good people!I look back to my time in Korea and think about the many cultural differences. Christmas in Korea is definitely a couples holiday and then a religious holiday if you're religious. It was quite the experience for me. Though I was single while living in Korea and see myself being single for now, I can respect the differences and enjoy looking back at the memories of cute couples walking down the streets while I had dinner with a friend.
There are parts of the holiday season that I'm not a big fan of. I don't like big spending nor do I like the greedy consumer aspect of Christmas, but I do love giving whether it be in something small and crafted or my time and service.
This year I chose to give up my hair! I decided I would do it about three months ago and I only told a couple of people that I would do it. Not that they would remember, but I know that if I tell people I can't go back on my word. I was having second and third thoughts upon entering the salon. However, there were so many reasons I knew I had to do it! I donated it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes hair pieces for children with cancer.
It's funny how after chopping off my hair I got varied views and opinions. It's always pleasant and fun to learn about new cultures, but also to gain different perspectives from the different people in regards to preferences, tastes and fashion. I walked out not 100% liking the cut I received because it was not what I had asked of them, though it still looked like a good cut. I remember getting a similar cut my first week of living in Korea and deleting all of those pictures. I spent a couple of hours searching for pictures that I did like. My American/western friend acquaintances like it and think it looks okay, whereas my honest blunt Korean friends say go back and get it fixed. Hahahahaha friends. I love you all so much! I do plan to wait a few months and go back for one of the styles that better match my face and body.
As 2013 comes to a close, Christmas finds its way and the new year quickly approaches, here are some of the very personal reasons that I gave up my hair and other thoughts I had while actually getting myself out of bed to do it (yes, I was in bed sick all week and recovering from a quick visit to the hospital)::
- I wanted to give back and give something close to me to help others. Heck, my hair is a part of me and attached to me!
- I also have a rare condition. I've never met people face-to-face in person with this condition. I know that it's not easy to endure so much physical and emotional suffering and sometimes the feelings of loneliness. Yet, there is so much hope and happiness in this life that I want to spread that joy to others.
- I complain that the haircut isn't exactly what I wanted, but I am reminded how blessed I am to have hair. I can only be thankful that I still have my head full of hair!
- I can be happy thinking about a child receiving this gift. I hope that a child will be happy and blessed with a head of new hair. Boy did I have a lot! My hair could fill several heads. There's so much and it's sooooo thick!
- I want to stop hiding. I like my hair being long and playing with it when I'm bored and I often use it as a way to cover up my body and "hide" from other things. I am ready to let it go.
- I am looking forward to a new start and a new do might help push that change!
- My looks don't define who I am on the inside. Okay, so for Korean standards and many other cultures, looks are EVERYTHING. Hey, I live in a America and while I try to look as neat and clean and live up to society's expectation only in as much as I need to get the job done and be respectful, I know that my identity is more than just what I look like. I did have a good conversation with a woman that reminded me that looking good is okay and that it's our right to feel good. Yup, I agree! I just don't want to focus too much on it!
- I also want to think less and do more. I over think everything including the whole idea of getting the haircut. I knew I had to do it before Christmas or else I would think it even more into the new year.
- I want to learn to give up more comforts. The past two years I lived in a lot of discomfort and there are a lot of things I don't have that I could use. However, I was blessed with much this year in some form or another. I hold onto things whether they be small material objects or past experiences or parts of me and my life that need to be put in the grave.
- I am always learning, from this past year, and will continue to learn to let go.
- I want to take more risks.
- This quote of John Piper's, though slightly taken out of context, is one that I want to remember, "If you are wired to see other people's faults and failures and offenses, and treat them roughly, you will not take risks for their joy." It is my hope that I will take risks for both others and myself! I want others to have joy!
- Cutting off your hair is LIBERATING.
- I am free to be who I was made to be and who I am.
- I like being happy. I like helping others and I like happy people.
Cheers to the holiday season and the upcoming new year!! I can't wait.
Here are some of the before and after pics: