Some girls could never even dream about cutting five inches off of their hair, let alone shaving it. For the longest time, I was the same way. Seeing as I wasn't allowed to grow my hair out until fourth grade, cutting it all off again wasn't on my radar.

However, in my sophomore year of high school, I had my own Britney-Spears-Style meltdown and shaved it all off in my own bathroom. From then on, every time I tried growing my hair out, I'd always end up back in the same spot: shaving it all off again.

As I sit here with my hair well on its way towards shoulder length, I can't help but wonder why that urge kept hitting me.

It wasn't that I didn't like my hair. I'd come to terms with my frizzy curls long before I picked up the shaver. It's not any easier to manage at short lengths, either, especially when I tried growing it out. So, why on Earth did the urge keep hitting me? More importantly, why isn't it hitting me now?

Whether I like it or not, my hair had become a big part of my identity in high school. I'd dye it all kinds of crazy colors, and eventually, it was the first thing people thought about when they thought of me. It defined me, but I was also hiding behind it.

I realize now the only reason I'm comfortable growing it out again is that, for the first time in what feels like eons, I don't feel the need to hide. I'm at a point in my life where I can be unapologetically me. That being said, I also realize there are plenty of others out in the world doing the same thing without knowing it.

As a society, we are all trying to fit into unrealistic expectations. We fear what other people might think of us, and that fear blinds us from seeing that the only acceptance we truly need comes from within.

If you find yourself hiding, remember that there is more room outside the box you're trying to fit into.