I have this theory about my hair. I’m convinced that once it grows out past my shoulders again, every man in Manhattan will think I’m beautiful, and I won’t go more than two days without snagging a boyfriend. Not that I remember what it takes to fool a man into dating me—its been nearly a year since I ended a tumultuous, three year relationship, and I haven’t come close to dating anyone since. But none of that matters: my happiness, my sanity, rests on the length of my hair.
Consider every Victoria Secret Model currently plastered across billboards and buses, the pictures of the most popular celebrities on the cover of almost every fashion magazine, or even the most popular girl from your high school. Each of these women have one trait in common: they all have long, soft, smooth locks of hair. Long hair represents femininity, and as a girl that’s had short hair since I was 12, I’ve often missed out on the pleasure of being considered feminine, in the most traditional, classical sense.  Over the years, I’ve succumbed to the belief that my love life will suddenly take off once I have long hair again.
In my experience, relationships have been tests- long, arduous, frustrating experiments in human emotion. Love has left me reevaluating my values, beliefs, ethics, all doubts about my character have surfaced, every scrap of self consciousness has emerged.  Though it seems bleak, for me, love’s ability to stir up the strongest, most passionate emotions is what draws me to it. The cliché is real, love hurts, and yet most people are dying to experience the mayhem, myself included. Love takes true dedication, a willingness to brave and embrace the potential chaos fearlessly. My over-active imagination might like me to believe that the only reason I’m still single in New York is because of the length of my hair, but in reality, I’m scared of falling in love.
As a successful student and writer, I’m used to working hard. But in both my writing and school work, I know there is going to be a tangible pay off at the end of the day: I can see my work published, and good grades result in the praise of my parents and my peers. Relationships are trickier. For most people, working hard in a relationship often does pay off in the long run, but people’s emotions are unpredictable. Sometimes, the people we love let us down, even when we spend all our time and energy ensuring they won’t; that’s just part of being in a relationship. What if I risk everything, (my sensitive emotions, my trust, all my secrets) and I end up heartbroken and alone all over again? I’ve taken a risk on a person whom I trusted, and he betrayed my trust without even blinking. Of course I’m scared now.
Yet I’m fully aware that there will always be some degree of risk when forging a new relationship, always some chance it won’t work out in the end. Failure is a natural aspect of being human. Not everything goes according to plan and I’m not perfect; I can’t force love on myself or anyone else. But on the off chance that it does work out, it’s usually worth the sacrifice just to experience the happiness that love brings.
I’m still learning how to forge successful relationships. Having the little experience that I have puts me in good shape, despite how dire things might look right now. Everyday I complain to my friends about how I’m still single, but rushing into something now would be a disaster for me. When I’m ready to face all my fear of failure and rejection with my head held high(short hair and all), I’ll deserve the love I desire.

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