Cutting Bangs and Saying Yes


leah abraham -cutting bangs and saying yes2

I let my friends cut my bangs last year.

It wasn’t a cry for help or an emotional breakdown.

Rather, I was complaining to my friends during a girls night out about how much I’ve always wanted bangs and how every stylist I’ve met shook their head and said, “Oh honey, that’s not for you.”

Perhaps my friends were exasperated by the number of times I repeated my story that night that they said, “Well, why don’t we just do it?” Or they were amused by my willing, “Yes, let’s do it!”

Either way, I found myself seated in the middle of a tiny apartment, as my two friends hovered over me, measuring various chunks of my hair. I said I wanted Zooey Deschanel bangs, so they Googled various pictures of her and made “Hmms” and “Ahhs.”

One friend got out a bag of hair cutting shears and selected her weapon of choice. She held out a large strand of hair and looked at me cautiously, “Are you sure about this?”

“Snip away,” I said, shutting my eyes and clenching the end of the chair I was sitting on.

Snip away she did.

Snip Snip Snip.

Occasionally, she’d giggle and mutter, “I can’t believe we’re doing this. I can’t believe you’re letting me do this to you.”

I can’t either.

Several minutes later, she handed me a mirror and looked intently for a reaction.

“You guys, I think I like it,” I said. “I really, really like it!”

After we swept up the floor, the conversation drifted to the recent SNL episode or boys or something … To be honest, I don’t quite remember. I was too busy staring at my bangs.

My bangs were, well, sort of controversial. Some loved it and gave me the thumbs up of approval. Others simply responded, “Wow. That’s different. You let your friend do that to you?” It took my mother a month or two to come around to it.

Now, two years later, my mind keeps wandering to the story of my bangs.

I probably should be thinking about advent, baby Jesus, Christmas carols, gifts and something more holiday-related, but my mind is full of bangs.

But it’s more than bangs. It’s about saying yes.

When I let my friend cut my bangs, I was saying yes myself, yes to a dream I’ve had for years.

Olive Chan spoke a blessing over me this year. She told me to stop waiting for permission. The more I meditate on this blessing, the more I’m awakened to how many times I’m waiting for someone else to say yes for me.

If you’re feeling in the same boat as I am, if you’re waiting for someone else to give you the green flag and scared to say yes to yourself, know that you’re in good company.

I see you. I see your fear. I see your heart. You are not alone.

May we say yes to ourselves.

May we ask our hearts to reveal our deepest desires and may we say yes to each one of them.

May we not let shame and worry dictate our paths, but follow the ways of feeding our souls.

May we make impulsive decisions every now and then, and let adventure lead the the way.

May we say yes to small acts of self kindness and joy. May we say yes to reminding ourselves we are worth all the love the world has to offer.

May we say yes to ourselves.