I used to be terrified of showing my work to people. Sometimes, I still am. I know it’s not perfect, I know what I need to change, I know it’s crap. I wrote it just for me, for that piece of me that needed to see it existing in the world, and now I’ll put it in a drawer and never see it again.

My time is worth more than that.

And the me I wrote that story for is worth more than an imperfect, not-quite-what-I-meant-to-say work.

When I was in middle school, I had hair below my shoulders. You should know, as an adult, I have curly-wavy hair and a tight regiment of moisturizing haircare products. As a kid, I lived in the desert. And as a kid in the desert, we used Suave. We used whatever was cheapest and on sale, and that was Suave. So I spent many years with very dry hair that didn’t like a hairbrush and eventually, I just gave up when I ran into a mouse-sized tangle.

Around Christmas that year, as we were waiting at the ice cream shop after the middle school winter concert, my mother got a good look at the now-guinea pig sized tangle on my shoulder. “WHAT’S THIS?” she asked.

“That was a tangle I couldn’t work out,” I told her. “In September.”

Sometimes we know we have a problem. Sometimes we even kind of know what that problem is, and we even know how to fix it before it becomes a huge issue. Sometimes we still need another person to say that they can see the problem, too.

Anyway, that’s how you get a free chin-length bob in middle school.

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