For most of my life, it is the way I have presented to the world.
Long hair, pulled back into a pony tail.
It started very young.
My older sister and I shared an evening ritual with my grandmother.
She would take out our hair tie, and brush out whatever tangles had evolved during our busy day.
When we lost her, that loving gesture stopped. Abruptly. My mother didn’t have the patience.
She took us to the local beauty school and had our hair cropped into a pixie cut. Hideous.
I was 6 years old. And I never trusted a hair stylist again. Even into adulthood, I’d have a minor anxiety attack at the thought of getting my hair cut.
It didn’t just change our look, it changed our identity, and pointed out what would become many differences in the way my mother was to raise us.
I kept my hair short for all the years until I left home. And then…it grew. I was surprised at how long it grew. My husband made it clear that he, like many men, preferred long hair.
We were just friends at the time, but somehow, I took his opinion to heart.
When I got talked into a different style, I always had regrets, and I always grew it back long.
Maybe, the style suited my face.
Maybe, it was easy and convenient.
And maybe, it was a throwback to a particularly sweet time in my childhood.
Still wearing that ponytail.