With the kind help of ChatGPT, I generated this little story – or at least the start of it.
Sally sat at her kitchen table, staring blankly at the wall. She had just returned from a two-week medical leave due to burnout, and the thought of going back to work was overwhelming. Her mind raced with anxiety and self-doubt.
“I can’t do this. I’ll never be able to handle the workload again,” Sally thought to herself. “I don’t know how to cope with the stress. What if I have another breakdown?”
Sally took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down. “Okay, let’s think this through. What can I do to make things easier for myself?”
She began to make a mental list of coping strategies. “I could start by talking to my boss about my workload. Maybe there are some tasks that could be delegated to someone else. And I should definitely prioritize self-care. I can’t let myself get so burnt out again.”
Sally’s mind continued to race. “But what if my coworkers judge me? What if they think I’m weak for taking a break?”
She paused for a moment, taking another deep breath. “No, I can’t worry about what other people think. This is my health we’re talking about. I need to do what’s best for me.”
Sally began to feel a sense of clarity and determination. “I can do this. I’ll take it one day at a time and focus on what I can control. I’ll be kind to myself and prioritize my well-being.”
With a newfound sense of purpose, Sally got up from the kitchen table and started to make a plan. She would talk to her boss, set realistic goals, and schedule regular self-care activities. And she would remember to be patient and gentle with herself along the way.
As Sally walked out the door and headed back to work, she knew that the road ahead would be challenging. But she also knew that she had the strength and resilience to overcome it.
As Sally walked towards her workplace, she couldn’t shake off the thoughts of Geoff and Lisa. She couldn’t believe how much their betrayal had affected her mental and physical health, leading to her burnout. She felt a deep sense of anger and sadness at the same time.
“Why did I let them have such a hold on me? Why did I let their actions dictate my life?” Sally thought to herself. “I can’t keep allowing them to have that power over me.”
Suddenly, Sally remembered how much Geoff loved her long blonde hair. It was one of the things he always complimented her on, but now it reminded her of him and the pain he had caused her. She decided that it was time for a change, and she started contemplating a new hairdo.
“But is changing my appearance really the solution? Will it make me feel better about myself, or am I just trying to distract myself from the real issues?” Sally asked herself, feeling conflicted.
She knew that changing her hair wouldn’t solve the underlying problem of her emotional distress, but she also felt that it might help her start fresh and regain her confidence.
Sally continued to wrestle with her thoughts as she walked into her workplace. She knew that she had to take things one step at a time and focus on her mental and physical well-being first.
As she settled into her desk, Sally took out a piece of paper and wrote down her feelings and goals for the day. She wrote about the need to prioritize self-care, seek support from her colleagues and friends, and work towards building resilience.
Sally took a deep breath and felt a sense of determination wash over her. She knew that the road to recovery would be tough, but she was ready to face it head-on. And as for her hair, she decided to make the change, not for anyone else but herself. She deserved to feel good and confident in her own skin, no matter what had happened in the past.
Sally took a deep breath and reached for her phone, her fingers trembling slightly as she dialed her boss’s number. She knew that she wasn’t ready to return to work yet, and the thought of it was causing her to have a slight panic attack.
“What if my boss says no? What if I lose my job?” Sally’s mind raced as she waited for her boss to answer.
“Hello, Sally. How can I help you?” Her boss’s calm voice on the other end of the line helped to soothe Sally’s nerves a little.
“Hi, um, I was wondering if I could have an extension on my medical leave? I’m just not feeling ready to come back to work yet,” Sally said, her voice trembling slightly.
“Of course, Sally. Your health and well-being are our top priority. Take all the time you need, and let us know when you’re ready to return,” her boss replied, and Sally felt a wave of relief wash over her.
“Thank you so much, I really appreciate it,” Sally said, feeling grateful for the understanding and support from her boss.
As she hung up the phone, Sally felt a sense of liberation. She knew that she had made the right decision to prioritize her health and well-being. She felt a renewed sense of purpose and decided to take a walk home to clear her mind.
As she walked, Sally took deep breaths and focused on the beauty of the world around her. She felt grateful for the simple things in life, like the warmth of the sun on her skin and the sound of birds chirping in the trees.
Sally made a promise to herself that she would prioritize her self-care and take the time she needed to heal. She knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but she also knew that she had the strength and resilience to overcome any obstacles that came her way.
With a sense of calm and determination, Sally continued her walk home, feeling hopeful for the future. She headed for the Hair salon.
Sally arrived at the salon and took a deep breath before walking inside. She scanned the room and spotted her hairdresser, Geena, chatting with a customer.
“Excuse me, Geena. Can I talk to you for a moment?” Sally asked, tapping Geena on the shoulder.
“Hey, Sally! Of course, what’s up?” Geena said, turning to face her.
“I’ve been thinking about changing my appearance, and I wanted to get your opinion on it,” Sally said, her voice shaking slightly.
“Sure, what are you thinking?” Geena asked, a look of curiosity on her face.
“I was thinking of cutting my hair. It’s been a long time since I had a major change, and I think it might be what I need to start fresh,” Sally said, feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness.
Geena smiled warmly at her. “I think that’s a great idea, Sally. You have such beautiful hair, but I can see how a change might be just what you need. How short are you thinking?”
“I was thinking of going for a bob,” Sally said, showing Geena a picture on her phone.
Geena studied the photo for a moment before nodding. “I think that would look fantastic on you, Sally. Let’s do it!”
Sally felt a sense of relief wash over her as she sat down in the chair. She trusted Geena and knew that she was in good hands.
As Geena started to cut her hair, Sally felt a sense of liberation. With every snip of the scissors, she felt like she was shedding a layer of her past and making room for a brighter future.
“So, what made you decide to go for a change, Sally?” Geena asked, making conversation as she worked.
Sally took a deep breath and opened up to her hairdresser. She told her about her burnout, her ex-boyfriend, and the need to prioritize her mental and physical well-being.
Geena listened with empathy and understanding, nodding along as Sally spoke.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Sally. But I’m glad you’re taking steps to take care of yourself. Sometimes a change on the outside can help us feel better on the inside,” Geena said, smiling at her.
Sally felt grateful for Geena’s kindness and support. She knew that changing her appearance wouldn’t solve all her problems, but it was a step in the right direction.
As Geena finished cutting her hair and handed her a mirror, Sally felt a sense of awe. She hardly recognized herself with her new bob haircut. But she also felt a sense of excitement for what was to come.
“Wow, I love it!” Sally exclaimed, feeling a smile spread across her face.
Geena beamed with pride. “You look amazing, Sally. Remember, change is good. And if you ever need someone to talk to, you know where to find me.”
Sally left the salon feeling like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She felt grateful for the support of her hairdresser and the sense of empowerment that came with her new haircut. She was ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead, knowing that she had the strength and resilience to overcome them.
Sally stepped out of the salon feeling a bit disappointed. She had hoped that her new haircut would give her the confidence and energy she needed to face her job again. But as she walked down the street, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t enough.
“I still look like the same old Sally,” she thought to herself. “Maybe I need to do something more drastic, like dye my hair or get a tattoo.”
Sally walked a few blocks, lost in thought, before stopping on the sidewalk in front of a coffee shop. She looked around, feeling unsure of what to do next.
“I thought this haircut would make me feel different,” she said to herself, feeling defeated. “But it hasn’t changed anything.”
Sally realized that changing her appearance was just one small step towards feeling better. She needed to focus on the bigger picture and find ways to take care of herself and manage her stress in a healthy way.
“I need to find a way to feel more confident and in control,” she thought to herself, determined to find a solution.
Sally decided to go into the coffee shop and take some time to think. She ordered a latte and sat down at a table, pulling out a notebook to jot down her thoughts.
As she sipped her coffee, Sally started to brainstorm ideas for how to feel better. She wrote down things like exercise, therapy, and reconnecting with old friends.
“I can’t keep relying on my appearance to make me feel good,” she said to herself. “I need to focus on what’s really important, like my mental and physical health.”
Feeling a renewed sense of purpose, Sally left the coffee shop and headed home, feeling empowered and ready to take control of her life.
Sally almost turned onto her street when she noticed an older woman stepping out of Edith’s Salon. The woman had a short permed haircut, and Sally couldn’t help but notice how stylish and confident she looked.
“Maybe it is all about the appearance,” Sally thought to herself, feeling a twinge of jealousy. “Maybe if I had a style like that, I would feel more confident too.”
Sally watched as the woman walked down the street, feeling envious of her confidence. She couldn’t help but wonder if a different haircut or color would make her feel better about herself.
“That woman looks so confident,” Sally thought to herself. “Maybe it’s not about the color or the length of the hair, but the way it’s styled.”
Sally watched as the woman walked down the street, feeling inspired by her confidence. She realized that changing her hairstyle could be a way to boost her confidence and feel better about herself.
“I should try something new with my hair,” Sally said to herself. “Maybe I could get a perm like hers and see how it looks on me.”
After being inspired by the older woman’s permed hair, Sally decided to try something new and walked back to Edith’s Salon. She entered the salon and approached the receptionist.
“Hi, I was wondering if I could speak to someone about getting a perm?” Sally asked.
“Of course, let me get Edith for you,” the receptionist said as she picked up the phone.
In a few minutes, Edith came out from the back room.
“Hello. How can I help you today?” Edith asked.
“Hi, I’m Sally, I was actually looking for some advice on what kind of perm would suit me,” Sally replied.
Edith looked at Sally’s hair and asked, “Have you ever had a perm before?”
“No, I haven’t,” Sally answered.
“Well, there are different types of perms, and they all create different types of curls. We can discuss your options and see what would suit you best,” Edith said.
Sally followed Edith to the consultation area, and they discussed the different types of perms and which would best suit Sally’s hair type and face shape.
As Sally sat down in Edith’s chair, Edith walked over to take a closer look at her hair.
“You know, Sally, with the thickness of your hair, you could really pull off a nice broad lion mane look. It’s a bold statement, but it would definitely make heads turn,” Edith said.
Sally’s inner voice told her that she wanted to be even more daring than that. She wanted a drastic change that would make her feel like a new person.
“Actually, Edith, I was thinking of going even shorter and getting a curly perm,” Sally said.
“Shorter and curly? That would definitely be a big change, Sally. But I think it could look great on you,” Edith replied.
“I’m ready for something bold and daring. What’s the shortest curly perm you could give me?” Sally asked.
Edith looked at Sally thoughtfully before responding.
“I could give you a pixie cut with tight curls. It would be a drastic change, but I think you could pull it off,” Edith said.
Sally’s heart raced with excitement as she thought about the possibility of a new, bold look. She took a deep breath and said, “Let’s do it.”
Edith smiled and got to work, trimming Sally’s bob down to an inch and a half all over. As she cut away the long locks, Sally felt a sense of liberation wash over her. She was shedding her old self and stepping into a new, confident version of herself.
Once Edith was finished, Sally looked in the mirror at her newly cropped hair. It was shorter than she had ever imagined, but she felt powerful and bold.
As Sally admired her new crew cut, Edith began to prepare the perm solution. She wet Sally’s hair and rolled out a trolley with perming supplies on it, reaching for a drawer containing bright red perm rods. She carefully sectioned Sally’s hair and started rolling it in a brick lay fashion from front to back.
“So, Sally, what made you decide to go for such a big change?” Edith asked, making conversation as she worked.
Sally thought for a moment before answering. “I realized that I was holding onto the past too tightly. I needed a physical change to help me move on and start fresh. Plus, I was tired of feeling insecure and unsure of myself.”
Edith nodded understandingly. “It’s amazing how a new haircut or style can make you feel like a whole new person. And you’re right, you should never let anyone make you doubt yourself. You are strong and capable, and your hair should reflect that.”
As Edith finished rolling Sally’s hair, Sally felt a sense of excitement and anticipation building inside her. This was the start of a new chapter in her life, and she was ready to take it on with confidence and strength.
Edith carefully protected Sally’s face with cotton to avoid any irritation from the perming solution. She then grabbed a towel and began blotting Sally’s hair dry. Afterward, she applied the perming solution thoroughly, making sure every strand of hair was covered.
“Alright, Sally, we’re almost done here,” Edith said, smiling as she put a plastic cap over Sally’s hair. “I just need you to sit under the old fashioned hood dryer for a bit so the perm can set properly.”
Sally nodded and settled under the old fashioned hood dryer had Edith switched on earlier. As she sat there, Edith made small talk with her, talking about the latest fashion trends and how a proper look can give someone the confidence they need.
“You know, Sally, sometimes all it takes is a little change to make a big difference,” Edith said, glancing over at her. “I’m glad you’re taking this step to feel more confident and secure in yourself.”
Sally smiled, feeling grateful for Edith’s words of encouragement. She couldn’t wait to see the final result of her new, daring haircut.
As Sally sat under the hood dryer, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of anxiety wash over her. The heat from the dryer made her scalp tingle, but it was her thoughts that were racing. “What am I doing?” she thought to herself. “This is a huge change. What if I hate it? What if it’s too curly or too short?”
But as quickly as those thoughts came, she pushed them aside. She had made a decision, and there was no turning back now. It was just hair, after all, and it would grow back eventually. She took a deep breath and reminded herself of the confidence she would gain from this new look.
“It’s just hair,” she whispered to herself. “I can do this. I am doing this.”
As the minutes passed, Sally felt a sense of excitement building within her. She couldn’t wait to see the final result and show off her new, daring hairstyle. She knew it would take some getting used to, but she felt ready to take on this new look with confidence and grace.
Okay, Sally, let’s move back to the styling chair,” Edith said with a cheerful smile as the timer on the hood dryer went off. Sally slowly got up, feeling a bit wobbly, and made her way back to the chair, her head feeling much lighter than before.
As she turned off the dryer and removed the plastic cap, Edith chatted away about how Sally’s new style would suit her. “You know, Sally, a good hairstyle can really boost your confidence. It’s all about feeling good about yourself,” she said as she moved to the sink. Edith carefully removed the cotton from around Sally’s face, revealing refreshed and cool skin and instructed Sally to lean back.
As Edith began to rinse Sally’s hair with lukewarm water, Sally couldn’t help but feel a little anxious about the final result. “I hope it turns out okay,” she said, voicing her thoughts to Edith.
“Don’t worry, Sally, it’s going to look amazing. Trust me,” Edith reassured her, continuing to rinse her hair thoroughly.
Edith starts by blot drying Sally’s hair with a fresh towel, being careful not to disturb the rods. She then places fresh protective cotton around Sally’s hairline, making sure to cover every inch of skin.
“Now, we’ll apply the neutralizer,” she says, reaching for the bottle. “This will help set the curls and make them last.”
As she works the neutralizer through Sally’s hair, she continues to chat cheerfully. “You’re going to look fabulous, my dear. Just wait and see!”
As Sally sits with the neutralizer in her hair, she can’t help but wonder what her new hairstyle will look like. She starts to wonder, “Will it be too short? Too curly? What if it doesn’t suit me?” Sally tries to push these thoughts out of her mind and instead focuses on the conversation with Edith. They talk about their favorite movies and what they like to do in their free time. But no matter how hard she tries, Sally can’t shake off her anxious thoughts about the new hairstyle.
Edith removes the cotton from Sally’s face and instructs her to sit up as she starts to rinse her hair with lukewarm water. Sally can feel the weight of the rods pulling on her hair as water drips down her face. “So, what do you think, Sally? Are you excited to see the new you?” Edith asks, smiling. Sally nods nervously, her hands fidgeting in her lap. “I’m excited, but also a little scared,” she admits. “Don’t be scared, honey. You’re in good hands,” Edith reassures her as she continues to rinse the perm solution from Sally’s hair. “I can’t wait to see what it looks like,” Sally says, trying to sound more confident than she feels.
Edith carefully removes the rods from Sally’s hair, and Sally watches in amazement as her once straight hair now transforms into tight, bouncy curls. “Wow, it’s amazing what a perm can do,” Sally exclaims.
Edith chuckles. “I told you it would look great, didn’t I?”
Sally nods, feeling grateful for Edith’s expertise. “Yes, you did. Thank you so much.”
Edith pats her on the shoulder. “It was my pleasure. You’re going to turn heads with this new look, I can guarantee it.”
Sally smiles, feeling a newfound sense of confidence. “I sure hope so.”
Edith continues to rinse Sally’s hair until all of the perm solution and neutralizer is removed. She then helps Sally up from the sink and leads her to the styling chair.
“Let’s get you styled up,” Edith says as she begins to blow dry Sally’s hair. As she styles it into place, she gives Sally tips on how to maintain her new perm, including the best products to use and how often to get touch-ups.
After Edith removes the rods, Sally watches as her hair falls in tight curls around her face. She hardly recognizes herself in the mirror. Edith towel dries the hair, gently patting it down with a fresh towel. “You’re going to love it,” Edith says with a smile. “It’s just what you needed to give you that extra bit of confidence.”
As Edith begins to pick through Sally’s curls with an afro comb, Sally can’t believe how fast her hair has dried. “I can’t believe how bouncy it is,” Sally exclaims. “It’s amazing!” Edith nods in agreement as she continues to style Sally’s hair, fluffing and shaping the curls. “I told you it would be worth it,” she says with a grin.
Sally can’t stop staring at herself in the mirror. She feels like a new person. “Thank you so much, Edith,” she says, turning to face her hairdresser. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” Edith smiles warmly. “That’s what I’m here for, my dear,” she says. “To make you feel beautiful, inside and out.”
Edith switches on the clippers, the sound startling Sally at first. She places the afro comb at the nape of Sally’s neck and begins to run the clippers up the back of her head. Sally watches in amazement as her hair falls away, leaving only a thin layer of tightly curled hair. She can hardly recognize herself in the mirror. Edith works quickly and expertly, using the clippers and comb to create an even, close cut all over Sally’s head.
As Edith works, Sally’s mind races with thoughts and emotions. She feels a mix of excitement and nervousness at her dramatic new look. She wonders what her friends and family will think, and how they will react to her transformation. But at the same time, she feels a sense of liberation and empowerment. She is shedding her old self and embracing a new, bold identity.
The clippers finally fall silent, and Edith steps back to survey her work. Sally stares at herself in the mirror, her hair now only a finger’s width in length, tightly curled all over her head. She feels exposed, vulnerable, yet strangely exhilarated. Edith turns to her with a smile. “There you go, love. What do you think?”
Sally is taken aback by how short her hair has become, but she can’t deny that the perm suits her. She’s at a loss for words until Edith points out that she forgot to finish off the edges. “Oh, I’ll just clean you up,” Edith says, starting up the clippers again. Sally can’t help but jump a little at the sound, but she tries to stay still as Edith works her magic. With a regular comb, Edith does a slight taper over both ears and in the neck. Then she uses a wet spray bottle and a straight razor to shave around the ears and up the neck, leaving a well-defined contour.
As Edith works, Sally can’t help but marvel at how skilled she is. She asks Edith how she got into hairdressing, and Edith tells her that it runs in the family – her mother and grandmother were both hairdressers. Sally also asks about the different types of hair that come through the salon, and Edith shares some of her favorite styles and techniques. Sally is amazed at how much there is to know about hair, and how much care and attention goes into each cut.
Finally, Edith steps back and admires her work. Sally can hardly recognize herself, but she can’t deny that she looks good. “What do you think?” Edith asks, and Sally can’t help but smile. “I love it,” she says. “I feel like a whole new person.”
As Edith removes the cape, Sally can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. As she stands up to take a look in the mirror, she can hardly recognize herself. The reflection staring back at her is a woman with a bold, confident, and daring haircut. She runs her fingers over her short, curly locks, feeling the texture and shape. “I love it,” she says, looking at Edith with a big smile. “I feel like a whole new person!”
Sally can’t believe how much more confident and self-assured she feels with her new haircut. She can’t wait to show it off to her friends and family. As she pays and thanks Edith, she can’t help but think that this was the best decision she’s made in a long time. “I feel like I’m born again,” she thinks to herself, walking out of the salon with a spring in her step.
As Sally stands up, ready to leave the salon, she hears a sudden clap of thunder outside. She looks out the window to see the sky turning dark and rain starting to pour down. “Oh no,” she says to Edith, “I didn’t bring an umbrella or anything.”
Edith smiles and walks over to a shelf where she keeps a stack of plastic rain caps. “Here you go, Sally,” she says, handing her one of the caps. “It’ll keep your new hairdo nice and dry.”
Sally takes the cap and pulls it over her head, tying it real tight. “Thanks, Edith,” she says, smiling. “I don’t want my new look to get ruined on the way home.”
“You’re very welcome, dear,” Edith replies, still beaming with pride at the transformation she’s brought about. “You look fantastic, and I’m sure you’ll turn heads wherever you go.”
Sally reaches for the door handle, but then turns back to Edith. “Oh, I almost forgot. How often should I come back for a touch-up?”
Edith thinks for a moment before answering, “Well, if you want to keep this style looking fresh, I recommend coming in at least once a week. We can do a quick trim and touch up any areas that need it. And if you decide to let it grow out a bit, we can adjust the frequency accordingly.”
Sally nods thoughtfully. “Okay, once a week it is then. Thank you so much, Edith. I can’t wait to show off my new look.”
Edith smiles warmly. “You’re welcome, Sally. It was my pleasure. And don’t forget to wear the plastic cap I gave you. It’ll keep your hair dry in this rain.”
Sally chuckles and puts on the cap. “I almost forgot about that. Thanks again, Edith. See you next week!” She waves goodbye and steps out into the pouring rain, feeling confident and excited about her new hairstyle.
To be continued.