I am strong, I am capable, I am afraid.

I cut my own hair last night. It was so long and every time I took a shower I got angry at the mane hanging down my back, wet and tangled. I watched a tutorial, carefully parted my hair, tied it neatly together per the instructions, and then slowly mangled it with dull scissors that can barely cut paper. It looks terrible and it looks fine. It was strangely liberating to break the rules and take ownership over a part of me, even if it was just over my hair. I stopped slicing after a few inches but for a second I wanted to go all the way. I didn’t. I will leave the rest for a professional one day. First, I need to concoct a light and entertaining story about why my hair is loved but jagged.
I wrote about going to get a haircut awhile ago, around the time I got my new glasses. It was one of those moments where you realize self care is often forgotten and yes, you are worth it. Whatever “it” is, you are worth it. Doing something to make life easier or prettier or calmer while rolling around in today’s troubled waters should be a priority, but it’s not. An easy moment feels unsafe, a pretty moment feels too luxurious, and a calm moment, well, that seems out of reach. I still haven’t taken myself out for a haircut. Instead, I grabbed the reins and the scissors and took care of the situation myself. I am strong, I am capable, I am afraid.
Sometimes I look around and it feels like the rules don’t apply anymore. Go to the grocery store with wet and disheveled hair? Sure, no biggie. Forget to email a client back? It happens. Miss the return by date on the latest Amazon delivery? It’s ok, it’s only money, I’ll donate it. What looks like a simple attitude shift is something deeper and much more troubling. Yes, having the desire to trim my own hair and following through to action is small and somewhat insignificant. Missing an email can be chalked up to a full day of work and not enough time. Missing a return date? No one is perfect. These are simple things that I’m glad I no longer stress over or tie my self-worth to as I did in my younger days. What is troubling is the growing trend that I just. don’t. care.
Is the world going to end soon? Is anything actually important anymore? Are people, things, and dreams worth holding onto? Am I going to wake up in the morning? I am afraid. I am planning for retirement. I am setting goals. I am strong and capable. I am not going to let fear run my life. I am helpless. I am everything and nothing. I want silence and noise at the same time. I want peace and a peaceful distraction to go along with it. I’m not looking for hope. I’m making my way through life on will and determination and pure curiosity about what comes next. I am afraid of the sadness, suffering, and grief I will encounter along the way. I’ll make it until the one day when I won’t. Bring on the fear and the scissors. This is not going to be easy.



  1. Amy on August 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Yes to all of this.

    • Courtney A. Casto on August 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      It will be okay but it will not be easy!

  2. Brittany on August 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, I just loved this post! “It looks terrible and it looks fine.” It reads like poetry and I love how you acknowledged that you could be strong and capable while still being quite scared. Although I’ve never cut my own hair, I once drove to the closest salon and requested a pixie cut. I didn’t allow myself time to really think it through but I just knew it was something I needed to do – it was like a way to reclaim myself. While I don’t think I’d ever cut my hair that short again, I really loved it at the time. And I felt good about doing something that, yes, maybe it wasn’t a huge deal to other people, but it was a huge deal to me.

    Good for you, lady!!

    • Courtney A. Casto on August 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks Brittany! For the record, I do not recommend cutting your own hair! I’m strong and capable but there are some things best left to professionals. 🙂

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