I realised something was wrong when I chopped my fringe off and started welling up at the site of a rather messy, and 'boy-ish' looking thing staring back at me...
I like my long curls, but they're too much work and at the moment, I'm just not about that life so I prefer this pixie freedom. However, not everyone is a fan! I'm not surprised, I mean I've sported short hair for a few years and of course I've had the 'Is this your son?' moments (what still baffles me, is the fact that I wore a skirt when this was asked!).
Once I hit that big old 20, my immunity to the suffocation of cultural expectations eased. I am Asian, and Asian girls are 'expected' to dress a certain way...long hair, jewels...you know what I mean! I love the occasional bling but my staple is a baggy top and a pair of jeans. The occasional frown never really bothered me, in fact, I've always found the stares at Asian gatherings rather amusing! This time around however, the comments became more frequent and I even had a little 5 year old ask me if I was 'becoming a boy' - that was a first, and for some reason it shocked me so much that insecurity finally kicked in.
I became more conscious about hair, my not-so-slender physique, and just about everything - but it was so subtle that I didn't recognise what was going on until I stood in front of the mirror with some hair I had chopped in an attempt to make me look 'girly' - ironically the chop was so horrendous that I now look more like a boy!
I let people's opinion of me distort mine. I was letting them change the way I dotted my i's and crossed my t's. I was too focused on winning their approval that I forgot about what the most important person in the universe thought of me.
God knit me together, from the bases in my DNA to my passions and dreams, He put it all together before the beginning of time. He thinks I'm wonderful and that's all that matters. My preferences, likes and dislikes have nothing to do with being a woman, my sexuality or even my relationship with God (I can't tell you how many people struggle to place my short hair alongside my love for God); I need but one approval - as long as it honours Him, why care about what anyone else thought?
I am not defined by any of this, neither are you. Our identity is in Christ.
The quicker we believe this, the more effective we'll be in pursuing our God-given mission.
I view this universe as one grand puzzle. Changing a piece disrupts the picture; trying to press it in up-side down delays the outcome but missing a piece altogether, leaves it incomplete. Like a piece of a puzzle that's shaped to fit into a specific space, God fashioned each of us with our little quirks to occupy a niche that no one else can. Let us be that piece God made us to be and see His grand plan unravel.