The bun series

[WARNING: this is a tad longer than my usual posts… it has an introduction…]


Going on the eighth consecutive hour, hunched over, eyes bloodshot, listening to nothing but the tapping of the keys and clicking of the mouse.

“I just need to finish reading these articles and creating these studies and.. oh yea, the book is due too, and that blog post… did I eat dinner?”

Phone vibrates. A notification pops up on the computer screen.


Why hair? It’s there, it’s in the way. We either cut it off or throw it up on top of our heads when we don’t want to spend time on it. In graduate school, hair is by far the least of our concerns. You don’t see students interrupting their oral exams to make sure they didn’t forget the hair in the back when throwing it up in a bun beforehand… And yet, even when we don’t care about it, hair is still us. Hair is our expression, especially when we don’t care.

Dajana Nedic and I decided to “care” about our hair over spring break. Each day we got a notification reminding us to snap a pic of the buns or current states of our hair, regardless of what we were doing or what we looked like, we stopped and posed. We held each other accountable too, we sent each other our pics, motivating each other to keep up the “good work.” So, yes, this is a post about our hair.


As you can see, one of us models very well. Dajana has beautiful, thick, brunette locks that seem to always make the perfect bun variation. Every time she sent me her pic over break I thought, “Damn, I have to mimic this somehow with my super thin oily stuff on my head.” But we had to stick to the rule, in the moment. So in the moment I would do a variation of whatever Dajana sent me or vice versa. Then I thought about it, we mimic each other all the time, not just Dajana and I, but everyone does it. We see something we like or appreciate, and we try to copy it, or use parts of it in something else. So now here is the big question: are we ever ourselves? And if so, who are we when we are ourselves?

When someone says to you before a big moment, “Just be yourself” I never know what to do about that because who am I? I can state my name, where I’m from, where I live now, who my friends are, where I went to school, what sports I played, blah blah blah, but those don’t tell me who to be in that instant. The truth is that we have the ability to be too many selves to choose just one all the time. So when I hear someone tell me to “Just be yourself,” I question which self I should be. I end up choosing the self that applies to the moment, just like my bun. Each of these pics are who we are in the moment, and they are not who we always are in every moment.