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Of Hair Ties and Hearts.

Picture Credits: Jennifer Kem (via Instagram)

I've been feeling like too much of an elastic lately, shamelessly stretched to an extent where I can no longer hold the contents of my hair together. I swore off of the usual messy bun tied up in a quickie, because it ended in adjectives like breathless & reckless. My emotional trajectory has usually been, 'I will resist the strange unfamiliar knot no matter how palpably it pulls on my strands and nerves, just like you.' When I locate the comb & hair tie in one fine singular moment, an impertinent stray hair falls out framing the sides of my face just the way you'd want it. So I terminate the procedure and rather settle to learn and unlearn and repeat feeling, aching and breathing all over again, without you this time. I'm guilty of being an extension that has held together too much, for far too long at the cost of its own existence like I remember all the times a girlfriend in need hastily pulled it off my wrist because she has wreckage and wisps of her own to tackle, emotional labour to expend and exhaust herself over.

It's hard to admit how we share the solidarity of hair ties and emotional labour that is freely attached to our womanhood. We internalize the incessant patience, sensitivity, the pretense of not hurting just to make our partners feel a little more loved. Love is most possibly supposed to hurt, yes but not pull back your hairline to an extent where you near balding. We've been snapping our hair ties and emotional intelligence trying to fix our partners for way too long. What we mistake for kindness overflowing from our fingertips is most often irreversible cruelty to our own growth, in ways we've always only learnt to give but never ask. 'You're nice' sounds nice as long as it can cover up the whole, that is, 'you're nice because/as long as you put up with me.' Patience, honesty, nurturing & emotional dependence is a claim free of gender in any romantic pairing.

It took a lot of hurt to get to the realization. From a point where I'd once cut my hair short for someone, grew it all back & chopped it off shorter this time with harsher intent. So short that it can no longer be contained in a hair tie.

-Written By: Mansi Vijay