I’ve never had that many fucks to give. And I’ve also always given way too many fucks. It’s a conundrum. It’s that I’m depressed, I’m anxious, I’m an asshole thing that’s kind of hard to explain unless you, too, are a ball of depression/anxiety/badassery, and then you get it.
One way or another, I’m pretty sure I’m giving fewer fucks as I get older.
I am trying to give better fucks in specific, targeted ways. I want to care more deeply for the things that really matter to me, and I want to let everything else slide. Everything else can just fuck right off.
As I go through this process, I notice that my hair is getting shorter and shorter.
Is that where I’ve been storing my fucks?
I remember sitting with a friend, oh – fifteen years ago – and wondering why older women always had terrible short haircuts. What happened when you became a mom that made you cut your hair? We were both sitting there with long, curly, full hair pretty sure we’d die before chopping it off.
Here I am on the other side of forty with it buzzed down so far the only next step is literal baldness.
The first chop was right after my son was born. I had dreadlocks, which require more maintenance than you might think. I live in a humid valley, and keeping my dreads dry was a challenge. My son was born in June, and I was sitting in the heat one day and said, “fuck it” and there went the dreads.
It got shorter and shorter over the next 7 years until last week I was sporting a short little mohawk. Then I had a fight with my partner, and a fight with myself, and I was thinking all these things about sex, and love, and commitment, and identity, and self, and I felt certain that I would feel better if I just buzzed the rest of my hair right off.
So I did, and I do (feel better), and I also feel pretty unencumbered like the last of my fucks just floated right away.
Nobody compliments my new hair cut, and I am delighted and amused by this. I feel strangely free.
Women’s hair is tangled up with sexuality. Short hair is always a bit of a transgression. My younger self couldn’t imagine ever wanting short hair, but my younger self couldn’t imagine being so emotionally done with sex, either, and yet here we are.
As a woman who was sometimes mistaken for a boy as a child, who stopped shaving my armpits over 20 years ago and well before it was trendy, and who then became fat, I feel like I’ve been experimenting with the concepts of beauty and attractiveness (and the lack of them) my whole life. It always seems like there’s no further to fall away from social expectations, and then there always, always is.
I’ve given up on all the fucks I stored in my hair. I had no idea how much different this me would be from the me fifteen years ago.
I wonder where I am currently storing the fucks that I’ll give up between now and the next fifteen years from now?