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Lessons from the Stylist’s Chair

“Those who watch and wait for favorable winds never plant,
and those who watch and fret over every cloud never harvest.”
Ecc. 11:4

 “Thinking ‘Here goes nothing’ could be the start of everything.”  Drew Wagner

“Are we cutting today?” she asked as I sat down in the chair.

Well, at least she asked, I thought. She has been known to cut first and apologize as an afterthought.  I looked in the mirror, not sure there was much to cut.

“The pixie is in style,” she informed me in a “I-really-want-to-get-my-scissors-in-your-hair” kind of way.

“Hmmm… is it?” I chuckled.

My hair has been various lengths and shades over my 64 years.  As a child, I had a thick mane that my mother was very intentional about growing. By the time I was in junior high school, it hung well past my shoulders. The thought of cutting it never entered my mind — even during my “I’m-Black-and-I’m-Proud-More-Power-to the-People” Afro days.  But as I grew older, an inch or two here for the health of my hair. A snip or two there for some kind of manageable style. Then came the day when I was finally ready for the big chop.  And once it was gone, I never looked back. Long hair was a thing of the past.

But I’d never had it pixie short.

“I could give you a long pixie,” she said.   Long pixie? Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron?

But it’s summer, mid-June and we’re already seeing “feels-like” temps over 100 degrees. And I am a woman of a certain age with my own internal furnace that kicks on without warning.  And  I’m just plain tired of hair. Short would be cooler. Short would be easy. I’d take the leap.

And so, she began snipping my already-short crop. And then I began doubting  and  questions bombarded my mind.

What if I don’t like it?

Snip. Snip. Snip.

Is my head too big to rock a pixie?

Snip. Snip. Snip.

What will people say?   This is pretty drastic for me!

I wanted to know for sure what it would look like on me before the first snip. I wanted the certainty that nearly bald was not a bad look on me.

I know, it’s only hair, and to cut or not to cut is not a life-altering decision.  But it got me thinking how often we choose to play it safe  because of our need for certainty. How often we choose to remain in our comfort zone — even when it has become uncomfortable  — because we want to know outcomes before we leap?  That leap may be the one that lands us smack dab in the middle of destiny. That leap may cause everything else in our world to shift and align with God’s plan for us.  That leap may just land us in the “Exceeding-Abundantly-Above” zone where God loves to move.  But we will never know if we need all the answers before we leap.  We’ll never know if we don’t take a risk and . . .  leap.   

The need for certainty can shackle us to familiar and possibly cause us to miss out on the next great thing God has in store for us. The need for certainty can nullify faith.  The need for certainty can leave us with regret.   And I believe there is truth in the saying:  “Better oops than what if.”

When she swirled me around to spy my new look in the mirror, I was stunned! I didn’t know whether to laugh, to cry, or simply to admire. It was short – really short.    I felt the back — smooth and slick. Ran my fingers through the curly –and short — tuft on top.  Then I settled into this new look.  I could rock this! I would rock this!

And with the new  look came a new attitude.  I felt free, light,  empowered and ready to leap into a new adventure.


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Debra L. Butterfield

    Terrific analogy, Deborah. I keep my hair very short. I’ve been known to tell the stylist “think military haircut.” I think Satan fools us into thinking there’s no returning once we make a decision–sometimes that’s true, but for the majority of the decisions we make, we can always make a 180 or simply make a course correction. It isn’t always “all or nothing.”

  2. Kings Child

    I can relate to the surprise haircut. Numerous times I have sat in my stylist chair awaiting a trim that turns into an unexpected cut. As a result, I found myself having to quickly gain the confidence to walk through the unexpected comments, stares, etc. Your analogy reminds us not to focus on what others might think about us but to focus on the One who thinks about us. Thank you!

  3. I have definitely been there. It was like reading my own thoughts jumping out on the page. I think we are all a little attached to our hair and personal styles

  4. shannon

    You know I change my hair….A LOT! I loved your story. I pray I begin to take leaps in life as much as I try new hair looks!

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