I have ponytail envy. My friend Shauna is one of my absolute most favorite people in the world and I adore her but I’m jealous of her ponytails. She somehow manages to achieve that elusive goal of having them look perfectly imperfect.
You know what I’m talking about right? Where they’re just a tad bit messy and yet still look styled so beautifully that she could probably get away with wearing a ponytail to meet the queen. She would be curtsying and rocking that ponytail like nobody’s business!
Alas, I have been sadly unable to achieve ponytail perfection.
One day as we sat on the floor of our playroom with the kids running all around us, I told Shauna about my ponytail envy. In true Shauna fashion (which is why I love this girl!) she first laughed hysterically with me and then quickly pulled the rubber band out of her hair letting loose her perfect ponytail so that she could show me how it’s done.
Gather the hair low, put the rubber band around it, pull the rubber band down a little bit, tighten a little bit, repeat, pull some strands loose, tuck some in, etc., etc.
I did everything she said. Followed her instructions to the letter. And my ponytail looked NOTHING like her ponytail. So she tried her hand at it. She gathered my hair low, put the rubber band around it, pulled it down a bit, tightened, pulled, tightened, pulled, tightened, etc., etc. And still, even with her magic touch, my ponytail paled in comparison to hers.
And that’s when we both realized the truth. My ponytail would never look like her ponytail because my hair is completely different from her hair! It was a lost cause.
And I think that this year I finally realized that my front porch is a lot like those ponytails.
I see the porches with the rocking chairs or the porch swings in all of their farmhouse/cottage-y glory and I’ve secretly wanted mine to look like theirs.
But I live in a stucco Mediterranean style home. It has a big, beautiful arch and a giant window over the door. I loved it the first time I saw it and yet somehow over the years, I’ve tried to make it something that it’s not.
I’ve tried to ‘cute’ it up. I’ve tried to make it look vintage-y or cottage-y or farmhouse-y.
And it just never seemed quite right.
So, just as I let go of my ponytail dreams and embraced my ridiculously thick hair which has been known to break more than a few ponytail holders, I’ve embraced my porch and decided that this year I wouldn’t try to make it something it’s not. I would simply pull it back and let it just shine for what it is.
Crepe Myrtles purchased on clearance for $12 frame the door beautifully. And as their leaves change color and begin to fall they perfectly reflect the season.
When I saw the giant yellow chrysanthemum in the burlap bag with the definition printed on the front at WalMart I thought, “I’ll bet I could make that!”
And then I realized that I didn’t have to. Because someone else already did. So I just bought it and simplified my life like I’m simplifying my porch.
You know, I think my porch and my hair both breathed a sigh of relief this year.
They were happy that I stopped trying so hard. Stopped fussing. Stopped wishing they were something else.
And something amazing happens when you let got and embrace something just as it is.
Suddenly, you are able to appreciate it’s beauty in a new way.
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve given up on ponytails altogether. Or my porch.
I’m just giving them a much deserved repreive!