Funny how something like 2 weeks (finals) can take forever and yet 2 years pass by so quickly.
Two years, I’m learning to find, holds more significance to me than I originally thought. Two years ago, I started this blog. Two years ago, I also resolved to let my hair grow for the foreseeable future (with a man bun in mind). Two years ago, was the last time I performed my own music (until just recently) and in that time even thought about hanging the guitar up for good. Two years ago, I began to question the continuation of my 15-year attendance at a church. Two years ago, I started connecting with people whom I’m very glad to know today. In fact, I happened to find an interesting note I had received earlier this year from one of said individuals (this nerd named Taylor) whilst combing through my room the other day…
This note was from a youth group prayer night at Fellowship Community Church, which I was leading at alongside Taylor. (We once threw the best Fear Factor themed event we could muster and, I believe, successfully caused one student hurl. The memory of what we pulled off that night will stay with me for a long time.) On this prayer night, many meaningful notes were passed between many friends (I kept yours too Durrell). Yet if I’m being honest, my favorite part of this note is that Taylor did in fact end up cutting my hair in November (along with Julie Woods, Josh Lucas and Jesse Hacking–roller vlogger extraordinaire). However, this long-overdue act symbolized a necessary shedding of much more than just hair for me.
In the past 2 years, I had seen crushing displays of sin’s deceitfulness and manipulative power. In a way like never before, I became thoroughly hardened by it. Actions and words tore me and my family’s hearts asunder. It has been a long and staggering walk back to former places of mental, emotional and spiritual stability. The walk is not over, and our hearts have a few new scars on them, but I am grateful for every day I am reminded of the good things by good people and a good God who brings a deep, unexplainable healing.
I truly believe our God pays attention to the most intricate details. Not having ever known the scripture reference in the heading of Taylor’s note, I looked it up:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
I could not have predicted that my good friend’s encouragement would have more of an impact today (months later) than the night he gave it to me. I came to realize that the connections I was so thirsty for were around me, I had just been so damaged by previous ones that any new connection had a hell of an obstacle course to run through before they got passed my cynical scrutiny and reached my trust again. I’m talking a Super Aggro Crag gamut of obstacles. Apprehension and despair flowed through me. I am surely no free-lemonade stand now, but I’m letting the right people in again. First and foremost, however, I had to learn how to let God in again.
Ok, so enough of the serious stuff! Here are the pros and cons to having a man bun and why I did it.
I just felt like it. I have a spontaneous side and sometimes just need a change of pace. It was also a trendy thing to do, though I’m not saying I regret it. I’m not sure if it was worse than the bowl cut from the 90s but hey, whatever, it was a fun ride. Finally, I was tired of the strange predicaments I kept encountering during my previous relationships and wanted to genuinely find a girl who interested in who I am over how I look. After much of what I’ve been through I wanted nothing to do with any superficial anymore. Now I know that sounds sly and putting people through single-blind experiments is probably not a healthy life-long habit, but It wasn’t like I gave up hygiene for that time. Besides, some girls liked it more, while others passionately opposed it and I was fine with that.
Hair can be fun and I’m blessed with a thick head of it (thanks mom). But other than just liking the trendy man bun the style for a bit… ?
Honestly, these things are trivial, but annoying enough to be a daily nuisance: 1) Constantly worrying about how your hair looks or if the bun fell out. 2) Seriously gross shower clogging. 3) Not really wearing hats anymore, definitely missed that. 4) Getting snide comments from your burly uncle. 5) Driving with windows and hair down? Forget about it. You’ve just arrived in knot city. 6) All headrests (or anything you used to rest your head on really, like the wall behind your bed when you’re blogging) suddenly became unusable and in the way. I never realized just how grateful I was for the simple act of resting your head back (this alone should have made me cute it). 7) Crafting the oh-so-perfect bun only to have missed that one strand in the back, 4 times in a row… which is actually what led me to my breaking point. One Sunday morning, a few failed attempts later, trying to leave for church… I looked myself in the mirror and said, “Why am I doing this to myself?”, and in that moment decided that today was the day. The bun was done.
Looking back at these passed two years, there’s many things that make me both sad and happy. But I’m coming to realize that’s life. I’m learning to appreciate the good things/people while they’re here. It’s all about balance. Allowing time for certain things while taking time off from others. Rediscovering yourself every now and then and leaning into a God we can trust.
So goodbye and good riddance to the last two years, a man bun is not the only thing I wish to never return to. To the people who have been there during these two years,
Thank you, you are loved.