It’s a new year and the start of a new semester. Two days ago, I went to my hairdresser and got bangs.
But when I walked out, I kind of hated it.
I showed my stylist pictures beforehand, and she matched them really well. But something just didn’t look right. Maybe the product she used was different from my normal routine?
I couldn’t tell what went wrong, but I had plans in a few short hours and needed to figure something out.
The first step was a walk, just around my neighborhood, with music playing in my AirPods. I started with a song from my favorite ski video — Markus Eder's The Ultimate Run — and then some stuff from my senior year playlist. I walked about a mile, dancing a tiny bit here and there when the music required it.
When I got home, I messed with it in the mirror for a while. Hairbrush, blowdryer, curling iron. None of it was working.
The next logical move was to put on a cute outfit and see if that did anything. I put on my favorite wide-leg Levi’s and a little red T-shirt and looked in the mirror. Finally, we were getting closer.
Closer, but not there yet.
I realized soon after that the bangs were not the problem at all. It was that she blow-dried my curls away. My hair usually dries in irregular waves and curls, and it was so smooth and styled in a way that looked all wrong on me.
I jumped in the shower and rinsed my hair out until it felt clean and doused it in salt spray when I got out. I put back on the same outfit, brushed mascara onto my eyelashes and sprayed perfume on my wrists.
I danced around my room, excited to go out and see my friends after a month away from Chapel Hill. I changed my top and waited for my friend to tell me what bar they were at.
I walked to He’s Not Here and ordered my blue cup. I sat at a picnic table until I left for another bar. It was the perfect night to begin my last semester in Chapel Hill, a town that I never thought I would come to love as much as I have over the past three-and-a-half years.
My hair dried, and it was exactly what I had wanted.
As we start a new semester at the beginning of a new year, join me in listening to songs that give us permission to sing, dance, jump and embrace when we finally feel joyfully comfortable with who and where we are.
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