Being bald has given me a lot to think about. So far it has been thoroughly unenjoyable. It's physically uncomfortable and leaves me completely vulnerable to visual scrutiny. Vulnerability is one of the things I have been forced to think about. I can't help but laugh at the irony of my situation. Here I am posting a blog online for the world to read, yet I am uncomfortable with the statement my bald head makes. The fact is when I post a blog, I do feel vulnerable. I tend to get extremely caught up in how I feel in the moment and post about those raw emotions with no filter to prevent myself from feeling vulnerable. When people tell me they've been reading my blog, I think to myself, Oh crap...they know everything. But this is the position I've put myself in. I made the choice. I choose what I share on my blog even though I am lacking a filter. My emotions are very fickle and sometimes I regret a post within ten minutes of posting it. I don't delete them though because my fickle emotions are a part of this process and I feel like it would be dishonest for me to edit any of it.
On the 4th of July, my sisters, my mom and I went down town to the street fair. It was my first time in public with my bald head. I was wearing a hat and felt somewhat discreet, thinking that people who don't know me would never assume that I am bald underneath. We stopped at a booth where a lady was selling hats. She said to me, "I make hats for cancer patients all the time." Okay, so maybe she could spot me from a mile away because she knows where to look for an easy sale. But really??? Am I that obvious? After the street fair we went to lunch. I was wearing my hat and I could feel people staring at me. The same thing happened yesterday when I went to Target. I was wearing a hat but I felt like it didn't do any good in concealing my condition. An emotion I wasn't prepared to deal with was a feeling of betrayal. I don't know if that's the best word to describe it but it's the best I can come up with. Both at lunch on the 4th of July and at Target yesterday, I felt like I was hiding behind my hat (which I was). I was almost more embarrassed of the fact that I was hiding behind the hat than I was embarrassed of being bald. This is the confusing part for me. I am bald and I feel that by hiding behind a hat I am betraying myself. These are the emotions I'm going to have to figure out because I don't want to spend my days feeling uncomfortable being me. I'm pretty certain I will not feel comfortable in a wig, which is why I haven't even tried one. But I didn't expect to feel uncomfortable in a hat. I have always been more interested in function than fashion. Hats being used for function make sense to me. I wear hats to protect me from the sun. I wear them to keep my head warm. I now wear them to sleep in because I don't like the feel of my scratchy scalp against the pillow. To wear a hat so that I can hide...I just don't feel like that's me. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel like I am betraying myself. So now I need to re-examine myself and find out what makes me feel the most like me. No matter what that looks like, it's going to require me getting used to people staring at me. I am an unusual sight after all...pregnant with cancer. I would stare too.