Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I was quite disappointed when I realized recently that my eyebrows had disappeared. They had given me the impression that they might hold on through this ordeal, but apparently they just didn't have the longevity I thought they had. The hairs on top of my head were gone almost instantly, so good riddance to them, but I thought my eyebrows were different. As it turns out, they were as fickle as the rest of them.

It's hard to get over that, when you expect something to be there, and it's there for a while, but then before you know it, it's gone. And I can't just readily forgive that right away, no matter how insignificant my eyebrows might seem. The reality is that whenever I look in the mirror, I anticipate my eyebrows being there, and it takes me a moment every time to acknowledge and accept their absence.

It's also an interesting experience not having any facial hair. Obviously, I made it a good portion of my life without any; I wasn't the one four year-old in the world with a beard, but I figured that once I had hair on my face, it was there to stay. I don't miss shaving, and I don't think any guy would, but when you add up all of the vanishing acts, it makes for a very different looking face. I have yet to get used to it.

Because of the shaving aspect, I'm not as upset with my facial hair as I am with my eyebrows, though I find myself wearing my glasses much more than I ever have in the past. I like to believe that wearing them lessens the shock of a person without eyebrows, though I don't think anyone would judge me. I just wish my brows hadn't fooled me into thinking they were sticking around, and that they had fallen off right from the beginning. I guess maybe they didn't know they were ever going to fall off, the same way people mean the things they say when they say them, not knowing that someday they might not mean them anymore. Maybe my eyebrows thought they wanted to be a part of my face forever, but then things happened and things changed, and they wanted out. It's not a crime to change your mind about the things you think you want, and I guess sometimes the only way of going about getting them involves someone getting hurt. I'm not sure if that makes it wrong to say those things that are true at the time they're said, since feelings are always subject to change. I'm not sure if I'm just talking about my eyebrows anymore.

I'm told that when my hair eventually does grow back, it might not be the same as it was before. It might be a different color or a different texture, but I'm hoping to regrow the hair I'm used to having. It wasn't the best hair, or the prettiest, or the softest, but it was my hair, and I want it back. I'll take things as they come, however, and if my hair is different, I'll accept that and move forward as best I can, but I'm hoping for something familiar. I already know that plenty of things will never be the same again as they used to be, and that they're not going back to the way they were, and I'm fine with that. But I'm holding out hope that this one thing will return to normal, though I've learned to temper my expectations so I'm not disappointed.

But if we always worry about being disappointed, and for that reason never get our hopes up, or get really excited, or get butterflies in our stomachs when we meet someone who gives us butterflies, then how will we be as happy when things do turn out the way we want them to? And aren't we selling ourselves short?

It doesn't seem to matter how sick I get, or how weary I am, or how angry I can be with my eyebrows, I don't think I'll ever be numb to pain. I may learn to have a higher threshold, but I'll never be numb. Hopefully, I'll just always be that much happier when things go my way.

I will welcome my eyebrows back whenever they do decide to return, and the same goes for the rest of my hair. I'm disappointed in them now, but I know I'll just be happy to see them again.