Since my emphatically dramatic teenage years, I’ve tried many times to reinvent myself. I went from clean-cut kid to nerd, from nerd to metalhead, metalhead to grunge kid, and back to nerd — and that was just at 15.
From the time I was 25, however, I became more or less settled into an identity that was kind of a non-identity. I was overweight, always had facial hair, and was identifiable by my long, tied-back hair. I wore the same glasses for nearly a decade, my gait was always familiar, and I was just me.
I always said that I wanted to change, but my efforts at doing so were always half-hearted. I wanted to go back to school (or so I told my girlfriend, who wanted me to go back to school), but I never sent any applications. I wanted to lose weight, but couldn’t even make myself walk into a gym. I wanted to start writing, but couldn’t get past a blog post.
I’m a purist at heart; I don’t watch Doctor Who because I can’t watch every single episode (some early episodes are no longer extant), and I don’t change myself much because I’ve always felt like there was just too much to change. I let the idea flounder around in my brain like a fish that needs water until it just dies for awhile.
So, for the last ten years, I stayed roughly the same.
And then, I got a haircut.