Tag Archives: life

New Growth

8 Dec

Hair is a historically precious currency in the Black community–its length, style and texture was both the owner’s passport and credit rating.

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In the days where straight hair ruled supreme, those with naturally kinky textures had to convert this raw material through chemicals and/or hot combs into a more socially acceptable mass.

But the magic was simply temporary. Within a matter of time, water, sweat or simple new growth–a fresh crop of raw, unprocessed, unstraightened hair–foiled the transformation. Like Cinderella’s golden carriage gave way to its pumpkin origins, the tight coils would always eventually return.

I’ve been natural since college. . .kinda. I couldn’t wait to leave home and all I knew to start fresh with my unprocessed, unstraightened curls. Haha. It was much harder than I imagined.

My attempts at twists, afros and everything in between looked nothing like images I dreamed of. For me, it represented the change from the girl I was to the woman I wanted to be: free, empowered and confident. A woman embracing what she was naturally given.

But the reality simply didn’t match the ideal. I had no idea how to manage, style and maintain what grew from my head. Luckily, one of the girls on campus helped me. She would transform my hair through intricate braids and designs. Love her for it.

My dreadlock journey is about nine years old. But like my initial naturalhair trials, it hasn’t been an easy one.

I had to learn how to care for them. Through warm weather, cold weather, through hair color, through thinning ends and intense swimming sessions in chlorine pools, I’ve had to cut my locks in two big chops over the years to ensure their health.

Health over looks. That’s become my mantra. So over the past year I made the decision to stop coloring my locks. Now, I can literally track the growth by the black roots.

In many ways, my hair journey has modeled my life. From the outside looking in, sometimes I’ve felt stunted. I’ve mocked its snail’s pace and felt my accomplishments should mirror my expectations and the growth of others. But my most frustrating moments, I am forced to turn my eyes inward, forced to examine the roots. And I remember that’s where the future lies: the new growth.

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Dealing Life’s Cards

2 Jun


Bees in a hive. That’s what life feels like at times to me. A place filled with beings with interchangeable faces and limbs, each trying fruitlessly to declare to the world his or her unique value. But what separates one from another? Several years ago, in London, surrounded by fellow theatre lovers, I learned the answer. Continue reading

Stop and Smell the BBQ

3 Jul

BBQing is therapeutic, I noted as I lounged beneath the stainless sky catching wafts of hickory smoke escaping  the charred grill. Think about it. It’s an activity squarely between man and nature, where all of the troubles of the world temporarily subside and the biggest dilemma is shooing away rebellious flies and knowing when to flip the chicken, beef and pork. Continue reading

Rain Dance

19 Dec

It was one of those days: You know, those once in a blue moon 24-hour Murphy’s Law Days completely dedicated to fighting the elements.

My white flag was waved when I arrived at my evening gig soaked to the bone, bra and all. I still don’t know whether to blame my missing umbrella, my genius decision to simply walk to the mall rather than wait an extra 10 minutes for the next shuttle, or the rain men who saw fit to start a monsoon-worthy downpour when I was literally smack, dab and in the middle of nowhere with no place for shelter. Continue reading

Wake Up and Dream

22 Jun

“The whole point of education is to replenish the system.” These simple words from a stranger rocked my core. Replenish. Not upgrade. Replenish. Like inventory, products that simply are restocked when one batch depletes. People as products is a harsh analogy. But is it true? Continue reading

Cakes and Caskets

24 Mar

Amidst fluttering paper fans and strumming organ chords, I couldn’t help but notice the absence of green in the sanctuary’s St. Patrick’s Day crowd. Continue reading

Tastes Like Chicken

17 Nov

My neighbors have a pet rooster.  And about a dozen pet chickens.  I discovered this about a month ago, when I saw them scattered out throughout the yard—squawking and walking that peculiar walk that sends their heads lurching forward and their bodies following sluggishly behind.

I watch them with mingled sympathy and condescension.  Poor stupid creatures, I think as I watch them strut about, pecking at this and that.  Do they not know of the reason for their presence?  Are they not aware that a dreaded and horrible death lies ahead?

Continue reading