I am NOT my hair

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Before I started this blog I made sure to listen to India Arie’s track with the same title, ‘I am not my hair.’ You can listen too.

Hair… What is hair and why do we have it? If you want a Google response then try this…

“Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. Attitudes towards hair, such as hairstyles and hair removal, vary widely across different cultures and historical periods, but it is often used to indicate a person’s personal beliefs or social position, such as their age, gender, or religion.”

“any of the fine threadlike strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals.”

So we know for sure it is a part of all of us. Hair serves different purposes depending on where it is. Hair on our skin helps with warmth, our brows and lashes protect our eyes, nostril hairs are to keep particles out, and even pubic hair which in some instance signifies maturity. But I want to address the hair on our heads.

In some cultures, it requires you to style your hair a particular way. The length and style of your hair is also used to identify your sex. Hair textures and sometimes color identify your race. But in today’s day there is so much emphasis placed on hair that we have lost our identity in that regard.

At around four my mom relaxed my hair and a couple years later it all broke off. It grew back even kinkier, and in society kinky hair is ‘bad hair’. I have the type of hair that makes my head hurts when it’s being combed, the type that breaks combs, the type that Jamaican’s call ‘pepper seed’ when it’s rolled up.  And the best ‘cure’ for kinky hair is to get it straightened or pressed.

When I was ten my mom relaxed my hair again and 18 years later it’s still being done. I’ve gone through it all with this hair. It grows and breaks, I color it and it breaks. I cut it and it grows back, then it breaks and I cut it again. I wear a wig and it’s too hot, I’ve worn weaves and it itches, I’ve done braids and liked it, sometimes not so much. It all led me to one conclusion, that apart from breaking combs and it hurting to get it combed, I have no other issue with my natural hair. So why put ourselves through the torture of chemical burns, split ends, curling iron marks, bad colors, damaged textures, ridiculously long weaves, extremely tight and heavy extensions and never ending itching? And anyone who says weaves are comfortable is lying, because I’ve seen and done the ghetto scratch (when your finger doesn’t fit to scratch the itchy area so you beat your head into a coma)… yes, the head patting.

There is no denying that when my weave is freshly done, and those 14 inches flow down my back all shiny, I feel like a superstar. Get my face beat (make up) and put on a cute outfit and I feel sexy and confident. But I want to learn to appreciate me in my natural form and feel sexy that way too. I want to know that if I can’t afford to relax or extend, then my kinky hair can still be styled and I still feel like the superstar I am inside. It’s a personal journey that I want to take and it’s going to be tough because  I’ve been at the hair game 18 years strong, and I don’t know if I’m able to last long on this new path. Plus I’ve tried it before and a couple months in, my head began to hurt, and the pain reminded me why I have a weave or relaxer in.

Another reason why I want to do this is because I don’t want to lose my identity. I am a black woman with kinky hair, of African descent. And not until I love that, which I truly am, no amount of cover up can change what I am underneath it all. Another thing too, I see this craze over Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian etc hair. People are using it to define others. I remember being at the nail shop when a guy made a comment that if a girl’s extensions aren’t Brazilian or any of the others mentioned, then she’s not  a ‘hot girl’. I was like wtf… so now it’s left up to hair to determine how great we are and how hot we can be? Smh Plus, I will NOT be spending them crazy ass money on hair, I got bills to pay lol.

To my ladies in your weave, you rock it well and big ups to you. Most of you guys look absolutely amazing and beautiful when you’re all done up. My sista’s are some superstars!!!

 But I want to do this one for me… because I am more than what is on the outside. I am not my hair!

 I AM MS DADRIAN… BE BLESSED! 

Forgive and Forget

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Forgive: to cease feeling resentment against an offender.

Forget: to lose the remembrance of, unable to recall or think of.

Two of the hardest things to do in this world are to forgive and to forget. What this means is that when someone has wronged you, no matter how intense the hurt, you should no longer feel any anger towards the person and on top of that erase the hurt like it never happened. WOW! That’s an uphill battle.

The bible speaks of forgiveness; we should forgive those who did us wrong 70×7, that’s 490.

Matthew 18:21-22:  “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

That seems like a lot for one person, giving chance after chance. Feeling more hurt after hurt, yet still is willing to take another chance with this ‘oppressor’.  Mommy peeked at my screen and said “490??? One person? What a lot of chances!!!” That’s the same thought most of us will have when we realize that we’ll be riding a roller-coaster of forgiveness, making 490 stops. Nauseous at the thought huh? When we think of how we felt when we were wronged, it seems like too much leniency for someone proven guilty. How many warnings do the police give before you are charged? How many suspensions do schools give before you are expelled? How much probation does a company give before your employment is terminated? How many ‘life lines’ does the Millionaire game give before you lose the money in your bank?

But when you think about it, what’s more painful… feeling anger and resentment every time you see the person, or moving past the hurt having learnt a lesson which will be useful in the future? I found this quote online and it speaks volumes.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.Lewis B. Smedes 

The pain may be unbearable at first impact but don’t re-infect the wound by picking at the scabs. Allow it to heal and in time you’ll realize it doesn’t hurt as much if any at all. It may leave a scar, but that scar serves as a reminder that you have experienced hurt but you made it. You overcame what was once thought to be the wound that never heals. Personally I’m learning to forgive, some days I re-infect, but I clean the wound with the hope of seeing a scab; the final stage of healing. I just have to keep reminding myself, ‘Dadrian don’t pick it’. I have realized that the more I allow the wound to heal, the less painful it seems, and even when I try to channel my energy to feel the hurt, my inner strength says no. The feeling I once longed for is finally arriving, and I know this because I don’t feel angry anymore, I actually pity to foolish.

 

The forgetting part is what I’m working on. How do we do that though? Erase from memory a horrible experience?

Forgetting is removing from thought, information that has been encoded and stored into one’s long term memory. I guess suppressing those memories will work. Avoid the situation altogether so as to eliminate the possibility of re-infecting the wound. Replace those bad memories with good ones. Try to focus on the aspects of life, or experience with someone during a happy time. Keep yourself occupied by doing things you love, things that makes you happy. Have new experiences and build new memories. Avoid the stimulus; get rid of things that takes you back to that hurt. Stop feeling the need to avenge the situation or person, eliminate the need to fix things.

Forgetting takes a long time, but life is so short. Use your time wisely.

Remember we are sometimes the victims and also the accused. He without sin cast the first stone.

Never forget to forgive; and when you forgive, forget it.

 

I AM MS DADRIAN… BE BLESSED!