Dear Mr. Luukkonen,
I would like to start this letter by saying that I am still moved, two weeks after your devotion about dealing with harmful friendships. As an English student, I honestly believed your speech was quite effective. You exhibited the act of “cutting off” an undesired relationship, a toxic relationship, a relationship that will hold you back, each time you buzzed the trimmer across your scalp. My respect towards you grew greater whenever I saw a chunk of hair rain down your shoulder.
Every time your hands swiftly glided through your own hair, the air around me seemed to get colder and colder until it was cold enough for my body to become numb.
Sitting there in the middle of the bleachers, with hundreds of students cheering and applauding for you as the trimmer slid against your scalp, I allowed the gasps and screams to enter my ears from each corner of the gym. You shaved it all. Each strand of hair representing a toxic relationship that you were choosing to cut from your life.
The buzzing of the trimmer across your scalp continued and the desire to cut my own hair only seemed to grow with every second of your speech. I looked down at my own hair, it was absolutely damaged. Lengthy and split, anyone could say that it needed a trim. But, I did not have the energy to fix it anymore. I did not even have the willpower to take care of it. I did not have my courage built up that high. I would rather just throw on a beanie and pretend as if the hair that hid underneath was perfect. I even considered going bald, but is it really that easy, to just cut everything off? What if the cold wind froze my head? What if I looked ugly? What if I just could not bring myself to do it? I know it isn’t right to keep a friendship that has no value; in fact, it isn’t even fair, not to me nor my “friend.” Still, I choose to keep it.
I choose to keep them.
I keep them for I am scared to hurt someone I care about, to lose someone I care about. But more importantly, I choose to keep the friendship because I am afraid. Sometimes it seems as if the people around me define me, making me who I am, and I am afraid that if they leave, they may take that part with them, leaving me empty. Left with nothing but my skeleton. I am scared to hurt myself, to lose a part of me. But more importantly, I choose to keep the friendship because I am afraid.
Though you may know this better than I do, I would like to state this: we live in an inclusive society; we reside in a boarding school, making it harder for us to stay away from people when we tend to see them every day, everywhere.
It is of human nature to be interdependent. For thousands of years, we, as a species, have survived and come to where we are today because we rely on others. Each person plays a significant role in another’s life, thus is obliged to be with the other in order for life to function as it should. Every person that you choose to grow a relationship with matters, no matter how damaged or beautiful. Every strand of hair on your body keeps you warm, it keeps you from freezing.
It keeps you alive.
Given these reasons, can it be considered that we should try to mend the hair instead of chopping it all off?
9 thoughts on “An open letter about cutting off hair in assembly”
I absolutely loved reading this piece, Arina! I agree that chopping off hair might not be the way to go with relationships. However, if the hair grows too long, it becomes difficult to handle. You need to oil it constantly to keep it soft, nourish it and treat it with love and care, which can be especially hard if it’s damaged. In fact, trying to mend it bit by bit can waste more time and effort and it might not yield the desired results. That damaged relationship will definitely teach you something but it will only matter for a short period of time. Soon, the negativity can make us ruin our relationships instead of fixing them. I think it’s good to give it a try, but if it doesn’t seem to work out, chopping it all off and letting go will provide a sense of relief while giving you an opportunity to let new hair grow, and form fresh, positive relationships. Thank you for this! Great writing.
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Thank you Navya, I agree with you too. 🙂
good job 🙂
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Please see Navya’s answer as I was going to say exactly that!! Yes, you definitely try and mend the relationship first! If something doesn’t work you clearly don’t go the extreme and let it go, but I guess my assumption was you all knew that and if the mending didn’t work you NEED to let go!! It’s healthy to learn to let go if things aren’t going the way they are instead of trying to hold onto something that is damaged!!:) Loved the article and come by and talk more if you want!! Or if you need a haircut!!;)
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Thank you Mr. L; this was, however, just a reply based on how I perceived your devotion. I personally adored it and it got me thinking about how it applies to me. Thank you.
Having a bald head or an afro makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. What matters is what the hair/scalp protects, your brain. Unless you keep your mind healthy, it would be futile to grow hair or to be bald (because both would just be facades of your own misery). Take care of your mind and know what you want, the relationships to keep, then, will be much easier to determine. Great analysis of Mr. L’s devotion and great insight into relationships. Great work 😀
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Thank you 🙂
Hey kid, loved reading this. The summer before tenth grade started, I took a trimmer, looked into the mirror, and buzzed all my hair off. It was pretty liberating tbh but when I came back to school, the staring and people calling it ugly was pretty overwhelming too. The rude comments aside, it was one of the best periods of my life, it was when I had let go of the many pressures I had and truly focused on myself and what was important at the time. That trimester, I let go of many toxic relationships and as my hair started sprouting, I made many new ones. I’m not saying that you should full on ‘nappily ever after’ style shave all the hair off your scalp, but sometimes a change can help you sort a bunch of things out. For me, maybe it was the new look that gave me a little push of courage to get my stuff together, maybe a change could help you sort out problems that you might be having with certain people 🙂
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Hey, Arina. Honestly speaking, you’ve provided me with an insight I haven’t thought of while watching the devotion. I have to say, it was quite clever how you associated hair keeping us warm and safe with that of what friends do. You’ve artfully conveyed your message without crossing any boundaries, which is truly difficult to do. Many a times, we tend to be too focused on our own emotions and opinion to realize how its conveyed. But you’ve conveyed your story and message so beautifully, it was touching.