In my teeny tiny bathroom in my teeny tiny apartment, there's a teeny tiny sink where I have my curling iron expertly balanced on the edge. There's very little space around my sink for anything other than hand soap, room spray and a cup for toothbrushes, and not really as my cup sits on a small metal plate jutting out from the wall a few inches above.
I am staring intently into the teeny tiny mirror above my teeny tiny sink, so intently in fact that my eyes are crossing a bit. This is what happens when I'm styling the hair at the back of my head. I always have a terrible headache and what can only explained as an eyeache (?) afterwards. It's a relief to reach the front portion because I don't have to strain my eyes as hard anymore. At least, it's usually a relief.
I'm curling my hair towards my face and almost burn my fucking face off. There's really no other way to explain the severity of the situation. See, I normally curl away from my face because (1) curls are better that way and (2) to avoid things like this - burning my face off. I feel like my heart stops as I watch the iron come within inches of my eye. It's like that scene in an action movie when everything slows down and you watch as the nemesis throws a punch that just barely misses the hero's head. You watch the look of relief spread into his eyes as the tight fist sails across his face. Phewwwwp! I'm sure I actually hear the sound of the bullet I just dodged.
Immediately I think, That's what you get for trying something new. I begin berating myself for it. I suddenly wonder why I even tried to change things up in the first place. That's what you get for trying something new. I continue to curl my hair, in the right direction this time of course, as I repeat this to myself. Then, I suddenly shake my head as if trying to shake it free of a tequila-induced haze. Another close call with the iron. I set the iron down carefully and back away from it as if it were a wild animal.
"Why am I doing this to myself?"
No response comes. Even I don't know how to answer this. Why was I giving myself so much shit? Ok, so maybe I tried something new, and maybe it didn't work out so well. It happens. But here I am giving myself a goddamn complex about it. I'm memorializing it in a way that will scar me, deter me from changing things up next time because "oh, remember what happened last time!" And worse yet, it's not someone else pushing these negative thoughts into my head, someone else who'll remind me of that fail any time I think of branching out again. It's me.
I step back up to my teeny tiny sink in my teeny tiny bathroom inside of my teeny tiny apartment and start in on my hair again, curling in all directions, holding my breath a bit when the barrel gets close to my cheekbone. I wish I could say that it went without a hitch, but that'd be untrue. I did catch myself once on the jaw. It stung like a you-know-what for a few seconds and then it just wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. So I kept going, still holding my breath but minus any dread because, hey, I knew I could handle it now.
I learned three things by the end of it all: (1) curls really do look kinda nice in alternating directions, (2) not every mistake has to scar you for life, and (3) if you tilt the bottom of the iron away from your face, you'll avoid burning your fucking face off.