I’ve just made a second pot of coffee. I have today and tomorrow off from work because tomorrow is my birthday.

For various and sundry reasons, I’m contemplative.

I cut my hair off recently. It was well past my collar bone, faded blonde and thin towards the ends. Now it is short, an inch or two on top and trimmed around the ears, tight in the back.

People asked me why I did it, and my answer was short, I needed a change, It was unhealthy, I didn’t want to be stuck.

Those aren’t lies.

They just aren’t the truth.

There is an interesting social profile about the people who genuinely like it, and the people who really, really don’t. For the most part, they don’t think I can tell the difference. What they don’t know is that reading people’s faces is my superpower. I know when I’m being lied to. It’s why I detest talking on the phone.

In general, men fifty and younger hate it. Women 40 and younger hate it.

Women over 40, love it. I think they know without knowing why a woman past 40 would chop off all her hair.

So much of my life has always revolved around my weight. Have you ever played the Once-I-Lose-Weight game?

Once I lose weight, I’ll cut my hair. Right now, my double chin will be show.

Once I lose weight, I’ll buy new clothes that make me feel good. Nothing looks good at this size.

Once I lose weight, I’ll be the me I’ve always wanted to be.

Once I lose weight…

Once I lose weight…

Once I lose weight…

So the reason I cut my hair was simply because I wanted to stop being somebody I wasn’t. I wanted to force myself to see that I might not ever be smaller than I am now. And that I was okay with that.

When I was in high school, I’d eat a rice cake and some grapes and run around a stadium track after school. I would tell my parents I had eaten dinner at a friend’s house, and I’d tell her I had just eaten at home.

I’m 5′ 9″ and weighed 125 pounds. Nothing was more important to me than keeping that weight there. When I put on a pound, I’d stop eating.

I am now 185 pounds.

So I cut my hair because I want the magic of life to begin now. I  needed to prove to myself that nothing, absolutely nothing, has to wait because I am larger than I have ever been before.

My weight does not control my happiness.

So I cut off my hair to prove that I am a woman, not a girl, and I control my destiny. I decide who I want to be and how I move through the world. I am not trying to be 25 anymore. I am embracing, as of tomorrow, 44 years on this planet, and I’d like to spend them surrounded by people who are kind, who are thoughtful, who are creating anything, whether a craft project with their kids or a literary masterpiece.

And in turn, I want to be creating things. In the last week, I’ve finished a short story first draft. Today I’m going to work on another one and maybe type up the first one. The form seems more conducive to working full-time, and spending the little time not at work with my family. Short stories can be squeezed in on the train.

And I’m not thinking about publishing. I’m thinking about writing.  That’s it.

I’m thinking about second chances and what it means to be human. What it means to fuck up. I’m thinking about how life can surprise you when you don’t resign yourself to what is, but rather to what it can be. I’m thinking about magic and embracing all of me, not just the parts if they are improved. I’m thinking about work, the work on myself and the work of making art.

I’m thinking about making time for what’s important.

(Thanks to Nanea Hoffman of Sweatpants and Coffee for the quote above. If you don’t know about her, take a look. She gets the joke, my friends.)

Pursue it relentlessly, my friends.


But make another pot of coffee first.






10 responses to “Cut

  1. I wrote an essay recently about a movement called Health At Every Size, and your post reminds me of the ideas behind HAES.

    I say YES to the short hair and to the decision to live and to create, yes to your magic, Louie.

    And I’m 46, so I fit the profile!


  2. Health at Every Size, yes. Love.
    (I edited the name. You all know who I am, but for work purposes I had to change it. xoxo.)

  3. I have never loved you more. Go get ’em.

  4. Happy birthday Louie. Change is gonna come.

  5. Happy Birthday, youngster! I hope I get to read your story some day.

  6. I love this. I nearly hurt something nodding in agreement! Love. xoxo

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