During the summer of 2020 I made a list of topics I thought would be fun/challenging/informative/worthwhile, both for myself and my audience, to create. Over these many months I’ve checked off several of those topics. The last I have yet to embark on are, admittedly, the hardest for me because they require a good stretch of the ol’ comfort zone.
However, last month, even though I didn’t create a video, I was gathering valuable material for one, my latest, about going bald in public. Now, I’m not talking about leaving my wig at home for hours on end while I hike, run errands, visit the vet’s office with my dog, etc. I started small in the yoga class I’ve been attending for the last fifteen years. And I have to say it was pretty wonderful. It felt like a veil was removed in making the conscious choice to just be me.
Of course, there were moments when I worried about what assumptions my fellow yogis made of me, moments when I judged myself negatively for not having hair someone else in class could compliment (as happened at the end), moments when I thought I caught the slightest hint of a wall between myself and the guy practicing next to me. But for my own sanity I have to acknowledge that these realities are in my mind, not actually in the flesh.
I was physically more comfortable, and emotionally OK. Strangely, I felt more like myself, down to my bones, without my wig than I have all these years I’ve been wearing (and suffocating under) one. And I think I have the yogis to thank for that, at least in part, because they met my gaze when I lifted it, just like it happened before I lost my hair. They held conversation with me, laughed and sweat and meditated on getting out of our physical bodies alongside me. It all felt so normal. I have more to chew on as it relates to this new, astounding iteration of honesty, and I’m looking forward to it. Not since that first class when I shed my head scarf have I gone back to donning a wig, and I may never again.