Yep, that happened.
I had entered the trip with the intention of growing out a travel beard and letting the flow go, but that didn’t last long. On the second day in Chiang Mai I felt compelled to shave my head, so I decided to go for it. On some level, it was simply curiosity to see what I would look like, but on a deeper level I think it was meant to challenge my perception of looks and their impact on human interactions and my self-confidence. And besides, I figured even if it did look like complete shit, it would have grown back by the time I made it home in December.
Despite rationally knowing better, I often think about how I look before I go places, and it has often impacted my confidence and self-perception in many of those situations. This is dumb. The idea of shaving my head always seemed ridiculous because I had big ears when I was a kid, so figured I would just never do that unless medical reasons forced me to do so. One of my goals for the trip has been to do things that scare me, and this definitely being one, I decided to prove to myself that it really does not matter how I (or others) look, it is more about how I interact with the world around me.
We found a little barber shop around the corner, Jason explained in Thai what I wanted to do, and the woman sat me down and got to work. I immediately began questioning my decision making process as she buzzed off large chunks of hair, and thought I had made the biggest mistake of the week (well, actually, I guess showing up at the wrong airport still might top this), but I was too far in to turn back. I closed my eyes, and in just a few short minutes, it was all over.
I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror for a few moments, but after the initial self-consciousness, I reminded myself to relax and it was all good. 10 days later, I’m happy to say I did it. Here’s to pushing limits and stepping into fear of all forms.