I was out to dinner with my family celebrating a friend’s birthday. We went to this small pizza place where the kids were able to run around and be loud, which was great for us but not great for anyone who wanted to enjoy a nice quiet evening. To everyone who was in the restaurant and not part of our group, I am truly sorry. The noise of six children running around screaming and parents trying to have a moment with another adult and yelling over the six children is no way to enjoy your spaghetti and Chianti.
I was not wearing a wig that night I only had on my Softie. As the evening progressed more patrons came in to what they though was a quite evening to enjoy a meal. I started to notice that a larger group was seated behind us and that most of them were also wearing hats and scarves. It was a group of women celebrating their survival of cancer. I was not sure why, but at that moment I began to feel incredibly self-conscious of my shaved head and choice of head wear for the evening.
In the beginning I was really uncomfortable and afraid to take off my hat even though the temperature of the room was rising at an alarming rate. I began to question my feelings and began justifying my choice.
“I had shaved my head for an important reason.”
“It was not anyone’s business to know why my hair looks like this any more than it is my business to know why they have the hair (or lack) that they do.”
So the real question was why did I feel uncomfortable? After a few days I can finally answer that guilt is still a major part of what I am experiencing.
I am comfortable when I am around my close friends and family. I am open about everything and excited to share. What changes is when I am around someone who has no control over what is happening to them.
I hope that I keep the guilt feeling and that instead of having it stop me, it challenges me to make a difference.