The horror you feel when reading a magazine article entitled, “Signs You Have Forgotten Yourself” and realizing that you hit the mark on one sign in particular.
Questions immediately fill the mind:
- Had life sucked me so dry that I stopped caring?
- How did a season of ease (a.k.a. neglect) turn into months and now years?
- Had I really forgotten myself?
- I had.
- I was a dead ringer for sign #9—a sufferer of “ponytailitis.” The condition of wearing a ponytail in excess.
The Innocence of It All
It all started innocently enough.
Pulling my hair back was par for the course playing sports in college. After graduation, work came. Late nights at the office and back went the hair.
When babies arrived, it quickly became apparent that hair draped down the sides of the face was going to be an occupational hazard. It was a jungle gym for pulling and tugging from little fingers and hands and didn’t fit the lifestyle. It was inevitable that the innocuous ponytail became a mainstay.
At first, it was an innocent sweep of the hair tied back in a low ponytail with tendrils of hair falling out “framing the face.” The look was semi-sophisticated; showed that some care was taken. It worked.
Then, the casualness of pulling it back evolved into the thought of let’s put more time in and go for the high ponytail ‘cause it’s cute and instantly puts a little pep in the step as it swings back and forth with each stride.
The high ponytail lasted for years until… the day came when the realization of looking like a teenybopper wasn’t in the cards anymore.
One would think the awareness of outgrowing the “youth look” is enough to force anyone to begin to wear their hair down. But no. It metamorphized yet again into all the hair going into a loose knot on top of the head for that more adult-like, sophisticated, “European” look. Ha, not fooling anyone on making this look into something sophisticated. It turns out, this version of the transformed ponytail is the easiest of them all and has stuck the longest.
I can’t recall the day I realized that wearing my hair down was considered a special occasion in my life, like the well-intentioned lingerie that barely ever sees the light of day.
It comes down to simply forgetting.
I forgot myself in the crux of it all.
It’s Not About The Ponytail
I hope you all know that the “ponytail” can be anything and this story isn’t just about the shallow sharing of how someone’s hair is worn on a given day.
The ponytail represents anything in our lives where we have fallen into a trap, a black hole, if you will.
A place of neglect.
None of us ever mean to wear the proverbial “ponytail” everyday of our lives.
Our intention isn’t to follow the easy route or to have a simple, one-time, “ease of the moment“ situation insipidly turn into a lifestyle, a way of life and a crutch.
But, it happens. We fall prey to neglect.
What’s your “ponytail” in life?
What is something simple that you started doing in your life out of ease that turned into a week, a month and now still sticks with you all these years later?
Could it be a sign that you have forgotten yourself somewhere in your own life?