I got my haircut the other day. I've been trying to save money lately, so I just went to the local Great Clips and asked for my usual blunt bob. But then the hairdresser cut off about twice as much off as I had asked. Instead of my usual above the shoulder length, I suddenly had hair that didn't even reach my chin. Don't you hate that?
I didn't say anything. I figured, hell, this is what I get for trying to save money on a haircut.
But then a funny thing happened. I went home, washed my hair (to get that weird post-haircut look out) and discovered that it actually looked kind of cute. I've been getting my hair cut shorter for a few years now, but I'd never got this short before. I kind of liked it.
I went to work the next day, dreading it a little because I hate when co-workers feel bizarrely compelled to point out that I've gotten my hair cut (as if I hadn't noticed). I don't like being the center of attention. I hate it so much that I stopped having birthday parties starting in the third grade.
But instead of the usual awkward commentary, I received more complements about my hair in the course of a week than I think I've received in my entire life. People I've walked by in the halls for years without exchanging a word actually stopped and told me they liked my hair.
"Thanks!" I said each time, because here's a tip: when someone complements you, just say thank you and move on. You'll exude confidence even if you're silently questioning everything.
Anyway, the point of all this is only to say it's funny how good things can happen even when mistakes are made or surprises happen. I'd never have asked to get my hair cut this short, but it turns out it's a great length on me.
I can be rigidly controlling. I hate surprises. And I've designed a lot of my life to avoid any kind of uncertainty. It's low risk, but it's also low reward.
Lately, I've been feeling some anxiety about my upcoming job change, from secure academia to self-employment, but I keep reminding myself that the direction I was going wasn't getting me anywhere that great. If I want good things to happen, I have to take a risk for once. I took a chance on a budget haircut and it payed off. Maybe my new job will be like the haircut, and maybe it won't, but it's worth trying just to see if there's any payoff.