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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    camp—it’s
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...
    Readmore...

Parentheticals

A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: wrestle , reflect , record , life , lessons , identity work , cancer

(Sorry, couldn’t resist that post title.)

So a few days ago I went in to my trusted hairdresser Tracy (whom I’ve known for many years...she was the one who transformed me from long hair to shorter hair about 8 years ago) for my chemo haircut. In other words, the “cut it all off before I lose it” haircut. I had many people counsel that it would be easier if I had a little transition time with super short hair before getting to total baldness (and I think that was wise advice). I’d made the appointment a few weeks ago, and was dreading it as the time approached. Not because I thought I’d look bad with short hair, or that my hairdresser would do a bad job (she’s awesome). Rather, I was dreading it because I knew it was going to be another externally imposed transition, one that, just like with the boob reduction, touches on (and frankly, squeezes and stomps all over) core presentation of self and body image identity issues.

Now, I’ve done a lot of identity work in my life around my “outside standard beauty norms” body. (I’ve blogged about some of this before.) I had grown accustomed to and finally even proud of my zaftig curves, my curly hair, my Jewish nose. Sure, I knew I’d probably benefit from losing some weight, but I’d mostly made my peace with the pros and cons of extra flesh and knew how to work with it.  I had also finally gotten to a point in my life where I was feeling pretty confident about my personal style (the clothes I wear, my hair and jewelry and accessory choices). So in general, I was pretty happy with the way I looked and the self I presented to the world. But cancer came along (AGAIN) and has been messing with that confidence, over and over. First it was the vast reduction in boobage (which even now nearly three months later, I am still displeased and distressed about, and we’re not even done messing with the boobage yet). Now it’s the hair. Dammit, I was happy with my hair. I had finally settled on a length and style I liked, I had dialed in my preferred styling products, and I was enjoying having all the sparkly colorful tinsel bits in it.


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