If you know me, you know I have it. Desired by many, achieved by few, it requires hard work, determination, true grit, all that stuff. Jared Leto has it, Chris Hemsworth sometimes has it, and Harry Styles used to have it (RIP). The man bun. Think about it: Only 50% of the world can possess it, and of that, how many actually have it? I DO, and I’m going to walk you through the 5 stages of growing a man bun. Each stage is unique and has its challenges. It’s not for everyone, only those willing to dive into the unknown with nothing but a comb and a gallon of hair gel. Stage One: Excitement. I made the decision to grow out my hair in November 2014. I had seen a few man buns on campus when I was a young college man and decided that I wanted one. No, needed one. I didn’t know that this would be one of the biggest challenges of my life (seriously, I am SO first world and I apologize). Stage Two: No Big Deal. Yeah I'm growing my hair out! I'd exclaim with the same pride as if I was announcing I was vegan for the fourth time in one conversation. It hadn't truly hit me yet that this commitment was a big deal. And that's the thing about commitments- we make them, and they're usually more than we're prepared for. So was the case with the man bun. Stage Three: Bargaining. The third stage of growing a man bun is, coincidentally, the same at the third stage of grief. This stage, summer through fall of 2015, was rough. Like BAD. My hair went through some awkward, awkward lengths and there was not a day that went by that I didn’t want to cut my hair. This was the worst stage; the Dark Days. I'm not proud to admit it, but I did cave. Once interview season hit I knew something needed to be done because no one wanted to hire Cousin It, so I had some of it chopped off. Looking back it was only a temporary fix, an illusion that only prolonged the process. It worked, I got a job, but at what cost? The suffering continued. Stage Four: Victory Is Near. My hair was long enough to reveal that I had the crazy, bushy hair that runs in my family (see gif below of an exasperated me). I couldn’t wear it up yet, and I knew I looked like I had a colony of tumbleweed living on my head. But what to do? I couldn't turn back now, months into the investment. I had already foolishly proclaimed my intent of growing my hair out instead of just letting it happen. I was stuck, for better or for worse, until my hair finally grew long enough. Stage Five: Honey Bun. In January 2016 the bun finally arrived. Chaos ensued as I became instantly cooler than I had ever been in my life. I wasn't prepared for the popularity; I was a midwestern Damn Daniel. It was a spectacle, and my proudest possession. It was a sign of a year’s worth of endurance and perseverance. I made it. I know this sounds stupid, and probably privileged, but I have rarely had to wait over a year for anything. Growing out my hair really was challenging, especially when it felt unmanageable and I knew it looked awful. I had a goal in mind, and whatever your opinion on man buns, I reached my goal and I have a head full of hair to prove it. My next big wait is moving international: 2 years to go (we'll get talk about this later). This wait is longer, but the same patience is required. Okay, definitely more patient and a lot more life changing. IDK, maybe growing out my hair taught me something about patience and perseverance. Or maybe it just taught me about shampoos and bobby pins. Now that I've been sporting the man bun for almost 8 months, I'm bored! I crave a fresh look. Let me know what you think I should do next on Twitter, @pizzaselfie, or on Facebook, or just reply to this email. Who knows, maybe I'll get a mohawk.