The Yellow Pages

Life's questions completely unexplained

Overcoming my ‘Rapunzel Complex’

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Theme: Attachment

Right about now, my hair is getting a bit too long. It’s currently straddling the line between “kinda cool” and “pretty weird” and is dangerously close to the latter. I’ve been making excuses about getting it cut for a while now: ‘there are no Supercuts near school’ (lie), ‘it hasn’t reached my belly-button yet’ (half-lie), and ‘it’s winter and it keeps me warm’ (truth, but what?).

I have some strange attachment to my long hair: a self-diagnosed ‘Rapunzel Complex’.

Visual Symptoms:

Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 8.16.57 PM

We can all admit it’s getting a bit ridiculous. So why don’t I get it cut? Because I’m attached. Like I mentioned before, I’ve formed an attachment to my long hair and am unwilling to face change. I’m comfortable with the way things currently are and am closed to what possibilities lie behind some shampoo and scissors.

The last time my Rapunzel Complex flared up was the summer before high school. I hid behind closed lipped smiles and a curly mane of hair in order to mask my fear of growing up. Yet after my soccer coach withheld my spot on the team until I got a hair cut (s/o to Danielle) and my braces came off, I let go of always having to be comfortable. 

Pre-high school model shots:

Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 8.17.57 PM

To me attachment is the fear of letting go. It’s holding on so tightly your knuckles are blue and energy is waned. I find myself attached to things, ideas, places, and people when I  fear losing them. There seems to be a delicate balance between loving the moment  and wishing it would never end. I become attached to what I think will make me happy only to have it transform into what causes me the most pain (e.g. loving long hair, but hurting when its caught in the car door).

There’s peace in letting go. In accepting the impermanence of life. In letting your hands slip off the monkey bars, knowing that hitting the wood-chips will hurt less than holding on forever. In moving on. In cutting your hair. Buddhists speak of attachment as the greatest source of suffering, yet the origin of joy. My goal is to ‘carpe’ the ‘diem’ without crying when the sun sets.

And so, I am not about to claim my Rapunzel Complex is part of the past. But I am learning to cherish what I love about life without wishing for its immortality.

My first step is to go get my hair cut. A whole. Two. Inches.

– j

Unanswerable question: Where is the balance between ‘seizing the day’ and letting it go?

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