An open letter to The Mane

To my long, voluminous, Curly Sue, Diana Ross mane of hair,

We only have a week more. So far you’ve helped me to raise almost $1500, which I don’t think either of us would have dreamt of in the beginning, and I’m now hitting the days where I realise what I’m about to do.

It has been a long long ride. We’ve been together for eight years now, and though I love every inch of you, and wish I could have the best of both worlds, it simply cannot be.

Curly Sue

We’ve been through a lot of things: a lot of loves and a lot of losses, and a lot of mayhem. We’ve done some great and terrible things together, and I am not going to be the same when you go. And though I will miss you like a limb has been removed, and though I will cry and though it’s probable I will immediately wish I hadn’t said goodbye, I know that what I’m doing is right, and that making this choice will make me a better person.

You’re forever my inbuilt scarf, my shelter from the sun, my way to hide from the world, and my only vanity. On days I felt like the worst kind of troll, you made me think for split seconds at a time that I was pretty. On the winter mornings when it was crisp, you kept me warm. In the summertime, I had no fear of sunburnt shoulders. You’ve been the tick I adjust when I’m uncomfortable and the way to hide horrible skin from others. You have been my protector.

In spite of my fierce commitment to keeping my promise and the confidence that I have in being able to let you go, deep down, I’m really scared of what it’s going to be like with you gone. Because I know you’re going to be gone for a long time. I can deal with you coming back slowly, and I am looking forward to the new adventures we will have as we grow together again. But if I’m honest, and if I really look into the darkest parts of this, I am scared that I’m going to miss you to the point of despair. I’m afraid that without you, I won’t be myself. That I won’t find a way to love what I’ll be. I guess that’s half the reason I’m doing this, to challenge myself. To take away what’s become a security blanket. To fulfil a promise. To do something special for a loved one I lost. And I’m proud of myself for taking up the challenge. I am. But I won’t lie about being nervous about a life without you. That’s vain and selfish. But it’s the brutal truth I need to face.

Olaf

On the days when I feel troll-like, what will I do to find that split second of confidence to get me through the day? Will I feel as fierce without you, or will I need another thing to hide behind? And when the day comes that I forget my scarf, as I know it will, there will be no fallback option, no default setting to engage. Truthfully, you’re like a hug, like an arm forever draped over my shoulders. And I’m like Olaf; I like warm hugs. I guess I’ll get used to sunscreen and carrying actual scarves… one day.

I know that when you go, I’ll send you off to another, someone who will hopefully love and enjoy you and take pride in you as much as I have done, and whomever that is deserves you far far more than I. I know you’ll take care of her, and make her feel beautiful. I know this because you made me feel beautiful on days when looking in the mirror was difficult. And I’m proud that through our parting, you will be helping another, and that we will keep making a difference despite being so separated.

Diana RossI’m gonna miss being Curly Sue. I’m gonna miss selfies hiding behind the Diana Ross mane of hair you have become. I’m going to miss arguing with myself about whether or not to cut in a fringe, or whether spending 35 minutes straightening you will be worth the effort (it’s always a no, by the way.) I hope you have a nice time on your new adventures with a new person. I can’t promise they’ll take care of you better or will appreciate you like I have, but I promise you’re doing something incredible for them, and that’s enough for now. Take care of her, whoever she turns out to be, make her feel as wonderful as you made me feel, and know that you are making a difference – no matter where you end up.

I will see you soon, probably much sooner than I think. But for now it’s farewell.

Goodbye shield; safety; armour. I’ll think of you next Monday morning, when instead of silk, I’ll feel spikes in my pillow.

Your ever-loving Stace x

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