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  • May 9th, 2011 | 11:13 AM
People don't see what you think they see

Boy, after National Poetry month I seem to have fallen off the blog wagon, again. I had a Friday Five, sort of, in my head. But this morning five seems like four too many so I have just one random thought.

About a month ago I cut my hair. It was long, long enough to sit on. Long enough to make an impact when I walked into a room and I'll admit, that impact was a big factor in me keeping it long for such a well, long time.

But I cut it. Cut off 13". More than a foot. Cut it so it is a little below my shoulders.

I expected to get a little bit of attention when people saw me for the first time because, to me, it was such a dramatic (almost traumatic) event. In the month since I cut it I can count on one hand the people that noticed it. And they were all in the same room at the same time. After that, nothing.

Now granted, if I were still working in cubicle land I think more people might have noticed but still it surprised me. And heck, if I'm being honest, it hurt for a bit. Then I realized there is an important lesson here for me if I am smart enough to internalize it:

What you think you look like matters less than you think, so quit worrying about it so much.

Food for thought. I think.
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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave comment )
halfmoon_mollie
May 9th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
hm...
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
ha!
halfmoon_mollie
May 10th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
I had a snotty thought - which I often think about myself as I'm getting ready to go somewhere and fussing with the way I look. No one is there to see ME, anyway. But I like what you had to say so much better.

goadingthepen
May 9th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yep. I think you might be on to something.
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yay. I need to quit worrying so much.
boreal_owl
May 9th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Excellent point. Do you like it?
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
You know what? I go back and forth. I like not getting it caught in the car door. I like not waking up with gobs of tangles. I like being able to dry it in less time. And it looks okay.

But if I am equally honest, I miss the wow factor. :)
(Deleted comment)
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're right...people notice something is different but they're not sure what. Even my husband, when he picked up at the salon that day, said, "Wow, you look amazing!" and he said two or three times before it dawned on that I had cut so much off. :)
mirtlemist
May 9th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yes, something to ponder...Sometimes my friends notice little changes but miss the huge ones! Like the time I had stitches in my face and no one said a word. Spouse suggested that people often do notice but are reluctant to mention it, for whatever reason. But, hey, I would have noticed and would have said something :) I bet you look fabulous.
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Your spouse might be on to something. People might be reluctant to mention something for fear of getting into a conversation they don't want to have.

And for me, looking at the negatives as I so often do, I think, well, if they say something about my hair they might feel compelled to say something about how much weight I've gained so maybe it's good that they keep their mouth shut. :)
chant_1
May 10th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
I think your conclusion that appearance matters less than we think is a good one...and a huge relief, at that!

Perhaps because your hair was still long, the difference wasn't as noticeable? I mean, from the front, it probably didn't look different at all, right? Just a thought...I wouldn't take it too badly. I think people tend to be a bit clueless, and like another commenter said, if they're not exactly sure what's different, oftentimes they won't say anything.
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, I am trying to take this as a huge relief to not worry so much! I do think it's that people notice something but not the specific "what"

From the front, hmm, down to my waist versus above the bust line....it's a pretty big difference. (I usually split my hair and pull it forward, over my shoulders)

It was an interesting observation for me.
(Deleted comment)
susanwrites
May 10th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Jone, you're right, a lot of people aren't visual. The salon was doing something with it. I couldn't donate to Locks of Love because the highlights solution they use has bleach in it and they don't take hair with bleach.

The 30 poems in 30 days WAS intense. I always think, man, that's almost a chapbook in a month. I just wish I could maintain it.

I'm sorry you weren't able to continue yours but sometimes life has other plans for us.
( 13 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






Susan Taylor Brown

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