When I started college, I began to change my appearance many times over. I got a nose piercing, bangs and a tattoo. A few months into college, I cut all my hair off and began sporting a short bob.
“I feel different, so I want to look different when I look in the mirror,” I told my friend visiting at Christmas, “I want something to reflect who I am now, not who I was.” I was 18 years old and beginning a period which would immensely change to how I approached the world.
Eventually I settled on a look I love using to present myself to the world. It has been many years since I had that dramatic change of self and appearance. In the most recent months, I graduated college and moved to New England to pursue a law degree. I began a new journey of self love and compassion and exploration into myself and the world I inhabit.
Although law school has been a goal of mine for the last several years of my life, I left behind many things I know and love. Despite the changes to almost everything around me, I am not scared; I am all the more confident in who I am than for most of my adult life.
I recently turned 22, and I am most fortunately, past most of the awkward stages of life and finally have an idea of who I am. Becoming comfortable in myself will be a life-long journey as I grow and change from new experiences, but I feel well prepared.
The earliest part of my twenties has come to an end, and I embark into a world which will no longer consider me a child. I am a woman: strong, beautiful, and (I believe most importantly) confident.
I am confident in my skills, my ability to make friends, my ability to love and fall in love. I know I am loved, and I have friends on whom I may rely for a boost in any confidence that falters. It is through love and support that I succeed.
This past week, I cut off all of my hair. Again.
I did this not to change how I present myself to the world; I rather, re-engaged in a version of myself I love the most. Cutting my hair like this is something I do every year or so, but this year it felt different. I left things I didn’t like about myself behind, I cut the bad parts off to engage with the new.
Although I am in a new space, I do not want to change how I appear to the world, as I am most comfortable with how I am at the moment. I am comfortable because I know this is where I am meant to be.
As I forge a new path, I want to sculpt a new self. I think I cut my hair to settle into the woman I have grown into. I know I cannot change myself for the new place I am in, and learning to maintain who I am in the face of new experiences is a journey every young person faces.
I may change how I look again soon, but for now, I know I am destined to be here.
I do not need to meet a new version of myself because I am here to be utterly happy. I always knew I would end up where I am. Now, I find myself in entirely the same world but as a different person.