1. done, said, or produced freely and naturally
2. arising from a momentary impulse
Today, I’m especially aerodynamic. I managed to get to the dining hall from my room in two seconds flat, thanks to being a streamlined biddie, silky smooth with my newly shaved head and face. Over the summer, I had been growing out my facial hair in conformity with the oddly exclusive “lumbersexual” movement. My fascination with beards is embedded somewhere deeply in my psyche; my admissions essay to Tufts was in fact centered on the parallelism of growing a beard and entering adulthood. And yesterday, I decided to shave it all off. I think my chakras are still misaligned from that blood moon mojo.
A big perk of being in college is having friends willing to shave your head at midnight in a bathtub. Someone once told me that they thought my spirit animal was a sheep, and I’ve come closer to believing that after being sheared in a public restroom. As I sat in the tub, with tufts of my jet black hair collecting on my shoulders like an unsightly, hirsute shall, I began to wonder what justification I had for making this spontaneous decision. I knew I wanted to do it, but was it the right choice? There are many associated risks with the look. Being constantly cold in the winter wind. Needing to invest in a larger hat collection. Running the risk of looking phallic.
The process also continually kept reminding me of the platitude of “college spontaneity.” You know, that one distant cousin in their late thirties at your high school graduation party that drunkenly reminds you that it is an obligation to enjoy a typical undergraduate experience, as bills, monogamy and baby diapers consume adult life. Personally, I despise the pressure of this statement. My idea of fun at college is staying in on a Saturday night and watching Scandinavian films while knitting scarves in my bed. My initials are carved into my favorite cubicle at the library, and I’m practically already paying bills with the fiscal work I have to do with student groups within the university. And yet, I still consider myself a spontaneous person. While my de-wooling bore a semblance to the stereotype of spontaneity, it was born out of my own neurosis. Due to a combination of lack of sleep, various assignments and a cold that made my voice sound like that lady in the smoking commercial with a food hole in her throat, I was ready for a cathartic breakthrough that came in the form of a drastic variation in my appearance.
So don’t be spontaneous because you think you have to, and don’t think that there’s only one way to be spontaneous. Spontaneity comes in many forms that fit into many personalities. Being adventurous and running around campus naked certainly works, but switching to Greek salad dressing from balsamic can equally get your heart revving. Unplanned actions, in whatever context, are just as likely to come out well as badly. The fact that learning from a bad one is always possible makes them a valid course of action.
(P.S., The new look turned out swell.)