01 August 2013

Letting Go of My Lost Ponytail


* This piece was written on July 31, 2007, exactly six years ago. 

Twelve years ago, I was tiptoeing on a red sand desert, and I can feel my feet slightly sinking beneath the powdery-fine like mass. The heat of the sun was scorching and the sand cools my feet. I thought that in a place like this, no plant can possibly grow. But there were. The air was dry, and even if the heat was scorching you can cover yourself with a blanket and you're guaranteed sweat-free. There is something in this place that makes you look younger and beautiful than what you're supposed to. I guess that was how I see things. I was just around seven or eight years old that time and I was there because my father had been working at Saudi for years and he wanted to bring us there before his resigning to the company he was working with, to make us experience how to live in a wonderful place and practice and live our religion fully.

As I was busy playing with the sands, dune after dune, sinking my feet, lying down and running here and there, I suddenly realized that my ponytail is missing. I was wearing a ponytail and a headband around my head. I felt alarmed at first because I don't like losing my things. I value anything I have. I thought of going around looking for it—but I thought that the place is so vast; the sands can quickly cover anything beneath their surface. And so I left that place leaving a part of me, because I consider that ponytail as a part of me.

As the years passed through, that ponytail-lost-in-the-desert event stayed at the back of my mind. As a psychology student, I consider childhood memories crucial in every individual, and they actually play a big role in shaping who we are at the present. But now, I learned I have to let go of it—that lost part of me, that past I am constantly clinging into.

It is not merely a string tied around my hair, it is not merely a rubber band with fancy designs in it, but it is symbolical of the things both physical and emotional that hinders me to the present. Those memories will always live within, but I learned that I should not center my life around them. They were destined to happen in God's own plan we should dare not question. As our professor told us during one of our classes, every step that we take is connected to our past leading toward the future. Every step we do in the present is crucial for our future.

I finally learned the art of moving on with life. Letting go of my lost ponytail.