The fear of starting over and the big chop

Of all the reactions to my new look, the most interesting has been the wonder I hear in people’s voices and see in their eyes when I say, ‘It will grow back’.

‘Do you know how long it will take?’ Several people asked.

On one funny encounter, I made the mistake of saying ‘It is just hair’. She shouted ‘Jesus’ and then said, ‘Anyway, it’s because you have good hair’. I could almost hear the accusation of ingratitude in her voice.

As I pondered on this, I began to wonder why people are so afraid of starting over. I will be honest. I had spent two years or more talking about chopping off my hair and growing it back naturally. Wait. More than two years. I remember in Secondary School, there was this Revlon advert with the girl that had a Diana Ross styled hair. I craved that hair. But I did nothing about it. My hair was tough to handle without relaxers. So I stayed on the easy path. I loved the hair regardless. And people admired it. It really is good hair either way. Still, I knew what I wanted deep down.

Like many ‘naturalistas’ say, it is a journey. I know this. Three weeks in and I’ve had to keep it moist to make it look its best. I’m not in a hurry to have the mega fro. One day at a time. But I’ll get there.

The hair is just a tiny illustration of how we hold on to many things for too long because we are afraid of how long it will take to get over it and grow something new. Deep down, we know we will love the new style and enjoy it more. We will be happier. But the fear of the ‘big chop’ scares us to a halt. So we stay too long in that career; endure too long in that relationship; manage the partnership till it chokes our essence out of us.

Maybe it is time to take stock of what it is we truly love and want against what it is that we currently are living.

Never be afraid to start over. It is a new chance to rebuild what you want.

I did with my hair and I’m loving it; springy coils and all. What do you need to chop-off and start over?


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