Preface to this post: As my mother will attest to, I usually (always) need a solid shove out of my comfort zone. I would happily live within my bubble for the rest of my life if I didn’t realize that that doesn’t make for a very exciting existence.
A few months ago back in the states, I watched Roman Holiday with my parents.The movie is amazing so watch it if you haven’t. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn are so beautiful, the plot is a classic, and Rome as the backdrop steals the show. My favorite scene – besides the perfect ending – is when she gets her haircut. Here is the clip!
I immediately knew that if I went to Rome, I had to do that. Besides wanting to be Audrey Hepburn, I wanted to, like her character, do something new and exciting and break out of my routine. In the weeks leading up to my departure, I told everyone that I was going to chop off my hair in Rome. I felt like if I told people, I would be more apt to actually follow through.
Well, unlike Audrey Hepburn, who just gracefully wandered off the street into a perfect salon near the Trevi Fountain, my journey was not so easy. First, I kind of forgot about my idea for the first two weeks. I was so busy seeing everything in Rome and doing classwork and traveling on weekends that it just slipped my mind. By the time I remembered, I thought Maybe I just won’t do it…..it seems kinda scary…..and I don’t really have time…..
But then I thought about my mom. She was the one who gave me the push to go abroad – and many many pushes before then – and I knew if she was here she would give me the push I needed to do this, too. But she wasn’t. So I had to do it myself. I promised myself that I would do this because I wanted to.
Two weeks passed and I had gotten salon recommendations from my professor and I had even tried to go to one after school one day, but public transportation failed me and I took it as a sign. But I was determined to not give up. Time has FLOWN abroad, and with only a week (WHAT) left in Rome, I knew this week was the week it had to happen.
A girl in my class, Perrine, is French and has been a student at AUR for two years. She is mellow, sweet, and has amazing dry humor. We have become friends and I told her about my quest for a haircut. On Monday, she walked me to a salon near school and said it was a great place. It was closed on Mondays so I decided to come back on Wednesday – today.
Today class ended, and with butterflies in my whole body, I ventured to the salon. The solid friend that she is, Perrine came with me. And thank god for that.
“Buongiorno. Vorrei un taglio?” I said. (Hello, I want a haircut)
Very fast Italian was then spewed my way and I looked wide-eyed at Perrine. With her as my translator, I maneuvered the questions and got across what I wanted – a simple shoulder-length cut.
After being shampood and conditioned, it was go-time. My stylist was a brusque looking women with blue eye-shadow, but when she saw my terrified-anxious-excited expression, she broke into a warm smile.
The whole thing took under half an hour. It was very unceremonious – probably for the better – and with every snip, I felt more and more confident. Perrine was shooting smiles my way every time I glanced at her, and when the lady started to blow-dry my hair, I could see that it turned out just as I wanted.
I did it, mom! I did it, world! I pushed myself!
In reflection, although it felt like I needed to get my haircut abroad to prove that I was able to get out there and be independent, I’ve realized that I’ve been doing that all along. I’ve mastered (okay, handled) public transportation, eaten unidentified meat, and traveled to Germany for a weekend with only four other 20-something girls.
Hey guys, life is cool when you do new things.