As you all know, I've either a) desperately wanted or b) had short hair for a very long time now. The first time a significant amount of it came off, I was 3 years old and decided I wanted it chin-length because it was incredibly annoying, so I sat myself down on the front steps and started to cut it with a pair of Crayola safety scissors (I was caught less than a third of the way into the job, alas, but I was rather pleased that this necessitated my mother taking me to a salon to have the rest of it chopped to the same length). The second time, I must've been in second grade: I let some gum fall in my hair on purpose while I was lying on the floor watching TV so that, again, you guessed it, it would have to be cut up to about chin-length. At the time, it was permed, so that was all right; it mostly did its own unruly thing, and I liked that. If only I'd been born with curly hair.
In those early years, I don't think I was quite brave enough to ask if all of it could go; I was afraid I'd be told no, and maybe I was even afraid that I'd be mocked at school. Still, finally, when I was in fourth grade, something finally clicked, and I was assertive enough to insist that I wanted it taken up much shorter than my chin. I seem to recall it was just above my ears, a cute sort of bowl-ish cut, and I daresay it made me look even more like a boy than I already did (I developed, shall we say, much later than all of my female friends did on all fronts, significantly so). I was very pleased with this arrangement; what I learned then was this: the shorter my hair got, the more I felt like myself.
I didn't get around to my first dramatic pixie-cut until I was in tenth grade; my maternal grandfather had just passed away, and I turned up to the funeral looking pale, stern, and androgynous in a long dark-green dress. For the next few years, it waffled between shoulder-length and chin-length until, finally, in my sophomore year of college, I went for a rather drastic and feathery pixie cut that changed my definition of short forever, and, since then, it's been many other shades of even shorter. I had a bewildered stylist take clippers to it for the first time in October of 2006, and I'd end up having it shorn back to about a 3 or a 4 setting every few months as and when needed. Or whenever I felt like it.
January 1, 2012: time for something drastic. We clippered and then Bicced it at midnight:
I have to tell you, this stage is awesome. But it feels so weird to the touch!
By January 7, it looked like this (my hair grows pretty fast):
I'm in love with how it looks at this stage, no lie. I was very comfortable.
And now, we've got this, with which I'm not too terribly pleased:
In my book, this is already too long. It now results in annoying bed-head.
Still, this project has turned into something even more bizarre: not cutting my hair for a year. The terms allow for minor shape-ups and modifications if it looks hideous, but nothing to drastically detract from the length. I'm game if only because I know that may hair grows freakishly fast, and it would amuse me to know how much I can grow in a year. In the meantime, I have the feeling I'm going to spend a lot of time feeling less like myself.
ETA: The stress of this UK trip so far has prompted me to buzz it back to as it appears in the second photo. I couldn't deal with having hair that I felt looked funny while I'm packing up and saying (temporary) goodbyes to people. I'd rather have my confidence as armor.