Lots on my mind; time to get it out...

This is a small piece of myself that I'm now willing to share. Handle with care; contents will break under pressure.

16 December 2010

30. Total Accident...

I wish things like this would happen on purpose... but they don't... only by accident...lol.

I started by washing and conditioning in the shower, but this time I did decide to try something different.  I've seen and read a lot of people section, detangle, and twist.  I decided to try this method... couldn't hurt right...?

So while in the shower I started in the back sectioning, detangling, and twisting... it took longer than I thought [definitely ran out of hot water... grrr] I covered my hair with a plastic bag, and accidentally took a 2 hr nap.
Deep condition - check.

I rinsed the conditioner out while my hair was still in the twists and they didn't even come out [score!].

I took out each section starting at the back... but when I started I was using a different conditioner that apparently doesn't like shea.... no bueno... spritz w/ water and oil and re-twist.

I moved on up to the remaining sections and realized they still had a bit of conditioner left in them, so I just put the shea butter on top of what was already there to seal... It didn't look bad, but the back section wouldn't blend... grrr...

I was about to leave so I had to figure out what to do... Then I remembered a few weeks ago I'd used this scarf as a headband...
So with some quick thinking and ingenuity - VOILA!
Its vintage if I do say so myself...

04 December 2010

28. Sir you just hit a nerve...

So last night I was at this house party looking real cute , I might add in my day old twist out with lace head band accessory - lol.  Being the social floater that I am I was saying hey to people and stuff... you know - the usual.  I was saying hey to this guy, and he says to me "So I see you're doing the Erykah Badu thing."

ERRRRRRRR! *Jamie Foxx Voice*

Flag on the Play!

I'm getting annoyed just remembering this ish!

"Excuse me?!"
"You're hair..."
"Erykah Badu had a platinum blond mohawk..."
"I mean I like the natural styles and all...."

So apparently this was supposed to be a compliment.  And that's fine (I guess).  But what I am unable to understand is why 1. I must be attempting to emulate someone since I changed my hair - I've never really been good at that.  and 2. Why does it have to be Erykah Badu [my hair doesn't even look like hers]?!

Don't get me wrong, I love Erykah Badu's music and she is definitely and individual, but she's a bit eccentric for my taste (and by eccentric I mean just a lil crazy).  And that's fine - for her, but I'm gonna pass on that style icon for inspiration.  Not to mention her fro was a wig.

Anywho.... I was just a slightly offended by what it sounded like he was implying and simply responded, "No, this is just my hair."  I can appreciate the compliment for what it was worth, but maybe some people should consider the context of their words before they speak...

23 November 2010

27. Take 2...

So I retwisted my hair last night and this is what I came up with...

Still not quite what I was going for...  apparently my hair is not as thick as I initially thought.  But that's cool.. You live and you learn... back to the drawing board....

I also realized how crooked my glasses are today... hence the angle of the photograph...

26. Don't trust the media...

So today I was web browsing and came across this photo...
Notice anything strange...?

Well if you don't I'll give you a little nudge in the right direction. Same cover. Different faces.
It appears that Beyonce's face was photo shopped onto Alessandra Ambrosio's body.  Same body position the exact same hands. Some contouring so Beyonce looked a little wider in the hip area but really...?! Do I look like Boo Boo da Fool?! Shame.  Flag on the play. It's like the Vanity Fair skin lightening scandal all over again. But what really gets my goat...

1. Who in the heck said Beyonce is who all Black women aspire to be?!  Yes she's young and successful and doing quite well for herself.  But as the media portrays her [and yes I am a staunch proponent of "reality is perception] she's not a very nice person - just left her girls in the wind to do her solo thing - and she's not that personable - I'm not a big fan of the majority of her interviews.  So when marketing to us who gave the okay for it to be all about Beyonce... I mean ok, better her than some people [Rihanna's crazy, suicidal behind], but is she really what our half of Black culture can most easily be whittled down to? But I digress...

2. If it is indeed the case that Beyonce is what we aspire to be why is the media so quick to try to alter her appearance.  I've seen her nose changed, her skin changed, her hips changed... etc.  She got popular and famous being Beyonce.  Men fell in love with the thick chick doing the "Uh oh" dance and chicks were tryna get "Bootylicious" after she wrote that song.  So why try to change her?  She got famous looking the way she actually [and I use that term loosely... lol] looks.

Between butt and hip silicone injections/implants, pads to make your booty pop, and tanning beds - I'm gonna go with Beyonce is just fine the way she is.  No skin lightening, hip contouring, waist slimming or face transplanting necessary...

25. Just Randomness...

So I was going through my camera, and I found this picture... I think Its from August...
I just like it... lol

Please excuse my heat damage... grrr....

24. As Promised...

So initially I WAS NOT going to post these for all the world to see because I thought I looked just wretched this morning.  However, upon further inspection I realized I only looked half wretched... lol.  It seems as though while half of my head had no problem cooperating, the other half was choosing not to play nice... hence the head band.  But... I am a woman of my word, so this is after the whole day....

So this was my initial reaction...

So then I was wondering what  the heck I was gonna do...

I was not feeling this side....

I did like the way this side ended up looking...

...the end result

So I realized the problem... lack of product... grrr.... I attempted a twist out using only a little leave in [a quarter sized amount of HEHH for my whole head...] and some shea butter... no bueno. Take 2...!

21 November 2010

23. And I'm Back...

So clearly I've been a little slack... but I think I've snapped out of it... so here I go....

Hair UPDATE!!!
by day...

by night...

This is successful flat twist out #2.  And clearly I have decided to stop being soooo fricken lazy and actually style my hair.  Mostly due to the fact that since it's getting colder I'm showering at night now which means I [co]wash my hair its at night.  And for those of you on the kinkier side of curly, you know that sleeping = flattening = smushed hair.  Not cute.  I've also decided that I really don't want to cowash as much right now and possibly do some experiments with stretching (at this length, protective stying isn't quite for me).
I did another flat twist out when I visited DC and got second day hair... Pretty Awesome! But sorry no pictures...

I was also able to do my first real twist out... It came out really well and lasted for 3 days - but alas, still no pictures... So slack. I know. I will do better.

I actually washed, deep conditioned and twisted my hair yesterday so I will definitely take pictures this time.

14 September 2010

22. Hair Stuff

So if you hadn't noticed, my one-picture-per-day-to-track-progress method didn't so much work out.  Between the move, bad lighting, and technical difficulties (including, but not limited to, not having Internet for a month) the original plan kinda fell through... but I do have some pictures courtesy of Facebook as well as my Blackberry.  Lol.

I promise I will try to do better..... as soon as I get some batteries for my camera.

Yes there's a tattoo in my ear....

Pre Club

Only successful [flat] twist out!

Most days the puff is enough... lol.

21. Something I'd like to get off my chest...

So I love my friends and all, and I try to make the most of the conversations that we have with out taking the things they say too personally or to heart.

With that said....

The other day I was walking with a friend of mine and she and I were talking , you know normal everyday stuff.  At some point in the conversation I called her bourgie, in response to something she said.  Her response was that she wasn't bourgie, it's just how her mom raised her.  And so, I responded, "Cuz your mama is bourgie!"  To which she replied, "My mama can't be bourgie - she's white!"  (My friend is biracial; her mother is white, and her father is black, and she was raised predominantly by her mom.)  So what she was saying was that she couldn't be bourgie, because her mom is white and in some respect raised her white.  Really now?

I'm the last person to try to get caught up in the race thing, however I also like to be real about the world around me, which is why I found where our conversation went disturbing.  We continued to discuss the matter and I asked her if she was aware that outwardly the world generally perceives her a Black.  To which she replied that people perceive her as Mixed (of mixed race), and told me, quite matter-of-factly, that her birth certificate says she is white.  Something that, I'm not going to lie, kind of offended me.  But that was her mother's choice, and who am I to argue with how people raise their children.

Moving from this I chose to drop it.  I'm not gonna change her mind about who she is, or thinks she is, in a 10 minute walk to class.  I chose to attribute much of the way she feels about herself to the antiquated Charleston mindset of race and racial stereotypes.  Seeing as how she's spent much of her life here and this city  remains in somewhat of a time-warp, I tried to evaluate the situation from her point of view (as best I could).  She told me that people that when people see her they assume she is mixed, and that the fact that she doesn't "sound like [she's] from Charleston" i.e. she doesn't sound like Black people from Charleston.

To that I my initial [mental] reaction would be, "Hell, people think I'm Mixed, and I'm not!"  The assumption that fair complected people are of mixed heritage is common, and to some extent true, but that mix being of immediate relation (parents) is not always the case.  In my own case, to my knowledge I'm to far removed from whatever "mix" I may be for it to matter to me.
Personally, I think some people (usually light skinned) get too hung up on that stuff.  If you have one black parent and one parent of some other race, clearly, you're mixed.  People who look to grandparents and even great-grandparents if they feel the need to take it that far are fully justified in the "I'm mixed" thing.  However, when you simply have light parents, who have light parents, who have light parents (like me) no point in getting all hell bent in proving how "not black" you are.  It's just another one of those things that creates division and hatred within the community.

To those who are Mixed, by no means am I trying to downplay or trivialize any part of your heritage.  I think its sad when Mixed children who are raised by only one parent don't get the proper opportunity to know one side, because both, together, are an integral part of what makes up that person.  This, however, is not the case of my friend.  She was raised by one parent, but from what I gather her father is not by any means an absent parent and she is not culturally isolated from Black people - she goes to school with and socializes with  Black people, and, at will, uses the "n" word.  She's definitely Black saying that right?  If not, I may need to re-evaluate this friendship.  But I digress.

The point I am trying to make, is that society is based on appearances.  Hate to state the most obvious example but: Barack Obama.... hello?  Barack Obama is known the world over not just as the President of the United States, but the first Black President of the United States.  This is in spite of the fact that in reality he is Mixed.  When people first see him the thought is that he is a Black man, not a Mixed man.  That is simply put, because in reality most Black American heritage is mixed heritage.  So that being said we're all mixed, but realize that doesn't make you any less Black, any better, or any worse.  While it is one thing to be proud of one-half of your history,  it's another thing to use that half to distance your self from the other half.

In any case, I like to let people have their opinions, and sometimes it is better to just agree to disagree.  Like I said I wasn't going to change her mind about who she's come to perceive herself to be after 20 years.  Maybe I made too much of something that wasn't actually that serious.  Like I said in actuality people make too much of the whole light skin = mixed = not black mentality.  We all eat, shit, and sleep no matter what color, right?

All that said, this is just something I wanted to get off my chest, don't take it to heart.

06 September 2010

20. You can't always get what you want....

Why is it that when a good thing is dangling right in front of us we're too stupid to see it, and yet, once it gone it's the only thing we want.
"Everyone wants what they can't have..." I heard this once before and thought maybe it was directed at just me... like some kind of sign from God.
In any case, I have been both the wanter and the wantee... It's really not fun from either side.

As the wanter (something I've found myself to become very familiar with), it is simply a sad state of affairs.  No matter how much you think you deserve something, nor how much you're willing to fight for it the fact is the attainability of this thing is simply not something that your will determines.  For many of us that is hard pill to swallow.  I don't how many times I've thought to myself "Why isn't this working?"  If I'm saying the right things and I'm doing the right things why can't I get what I want?  And what it boiled down to is the fact that we don't control the things (or people) that we want.  It is simply out of our hands.

And as hard as it is to deal with this type of rejection, silently, I'd say in my head, "One day you're going to want me, but by then it'll be too late."

And indeed I have been the wantee.  After months or years, there's some guy who rejected me for [insert generic excuse here] is in hot pursuit.  I am not much for bashing egos, though sometimes I'd like to be.  So I quickly put these idiots - as I see them - in the friend zone and just hope that works because I know how it feels to be brutally rebuffed, and I'd rather not bestow that feeling upon others.  (Maybe I try to be too nice about it.  Sue me.)  But as I do my best to preserve their masculinity and alpha male dignity, silently, I say in my head, "I told you so."

But alas, I too am an idiot.  Look we all make mistakes.  And it is now that I have found that the tables have turned themselves upon me.  Stupid tables.

The chance dangled in front of me like raw meat in front an angry lioness.  All I had to do was jump out and take it.  And the reason doesn't matter.  Maybe it was fear.  Maybe an incomplete understanding of my feelings.  Maybe just the time.  Whatever the case, I changed my mind.  The problem being, I changed my mind too late...  And now the thing that I could have had, but maybe didn't want at the time I can't have now that I want it.  Oh the irony.  Guess it was right what I said to those guys silently in my head.  Maybe the reason I was saying it silently in my head is because I was the one who was supposed to be listening.

But I guess life's funny like that sometimes.

I'd like to say I learned my lesson, but I can't say that I've been able to find it yet.

This is a work in progress....

04 September 2010

19. I wish my life was like this...

This is one of the lovely drawings done by actress Jasika Nicole and can be found with many more at her homepage

The simple things in life are what make me happy.  Once upon a time, I wished I could just skate my life away.  I've since been shaken back into reality, and that's fine.  But every once in a while, something reminds me of my first love.... and I smile.  

03 September 2010

18. Eyes...

A wise man once said
The eyes are the windows to one's soul.
The eyes that we use
And take for granted their power to behold
But what we use to look out
Allows others to look in.
Oh the irony of it all

But what's sad is when you can look at your reflection and see the vacancy in your own eyes.  The emptiness in those telling pools is almost palpable. And you can't help but wonder if anyone else notices.  When they look in, do they realize the lack of substance in the area that is supposed to tell the most about you.  Or is it something only the individual has the dreaded honor of beholding?  Using what is given to see to realize that as you look in nothing is looking back at you.  Dull. Still. Lifeless.  The space that sits behind those eyes is not bright with the light of joy, nor is it grim with the darkness of grief. It just is.  It has become space that exists because it must, with no acknowledgeable purpose.  


25 August 2010

17. Life doesn't come with an eraser... shit.

Along with the move to my new place, there has come a lot of free time.  Time to think (and talk) to myself about... myself.  With these thoughts, I always get back to the same question, "How the hell did I end up here?"
The answer is simple.  Our choices dictate the lives we lead, and I have made a lot of choices.  Some good.  Some not so good.  Some bad.  But these choices are what shape the person I have become.

And then I thought, if I could just go back...

But I can't.

Because life doesn't come with an eraser... shit.  There comes a point when you have to will yourself to stop living in your past.  Personally, I suck at that part.  But what I'm getting better at is not living in the world of "What If"  That is a bad place.  It leads to regret due to lack of understanding.  This is because the mind works like a pen, and even though it can't erase things, it can scratch through them and try to act like they're not really there.  But they are there, and they usually have some affect on the things that come after.

One of these nights, I sat in my house.  Alone.  I made a list of everything I don't like about myself.  On that list of about 20 things - around half were things that at this point I have no control over; they are the products of decisions I've made.  When I realized that, I then realized that once you come to terms with the things that bother you the most only then can you work to rectify them.  They may not necessarily be fixable but where there may not always be a solution, there is generally a resolution.

16. And another thing...

So I'm totally down with Obama and all, but I've also decided to stop relying on hope.  Sure it's optimistic and open minded, but it too just leads to disappointment.  Hope is like knowing the likelihood of something going wrong, and then telling yourself, "But just maybe..."  It's one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but the end result may leave less than desirable results. 

Hope is also the thing that leads you to think, "one day it could happen to me..."  That's what I used to think about love, and you know what happened?

DING! DING! DING! - Still single
And no I'm not against hope all in all - some situations call for it.  But in the case where it leaves you clinging to what was and what could be again or having a fantasy come true it kinda seems like not such a good idea.  So please excuse my cynicism - it's just that in a reality that keeps knocking you down, wouldn't it be better to push back rather than hoping you don't get pushed again?

15. The "L" Word.

I have come to a crossroad.  To love or not to love, that is the question.  Well it was the question.  The answer is clearly - "Not."   I have officially quit lusting after love.  I mean, yeah, it's a nice idea and all, but really what's it good for?  You slowly give away pieces of yourself until you're so caught up in we that you are no longer a me.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

The real reason I'm through with the contemplation of this dirty four letter word is that I realize it brings more pain than anything.  I've seen love rear it's ugly head, and that's just not a monster I'm prepared to tackle right now.  Love ruins lives.  You put so much stock into another person, hoping they don't disappoint you.  If you're lucky they won't; if you're luck you also win the lottery.  And the ability of people to just fall in and out of it at a moment's notice is beyond me. The ability to forsake all rational thought for what - a feeling that may or may not last through the end of the week? 

And so gone are the days that I long for a significant other.  I mean sure it'd be nice, but at this point in my life its like chasing a pipe dream.  Guys don't know the meaning of commitment anymore - and yes that is a glaring generality, but it's all I have to go on at this point.

Maybe I'm bitter.  Maybe I'm jealous.  Deep down all these things are quite possible.  But on the surface, I'd just like to go with the fact that love in reality seems to lead to nothing but disappointment.

And so, I think I'm just gonna give up on the whole love thing... I know, I know - its kinda early.... But I figure I'll just quit while I'm ahead...

14. Getting Back on Track.

So I've finally almost gotten my life together.  For the three people that read this thing every once in a while, I'm sorry if you've been waiting in agony wondering what is going on with me (note sarcasm).  I've been moving.  I hate moving.  That is all.  Well not quite all.  In the last three weeks I have spent a lot of time with myself.  Making decisions and coming to some new realizations.  Those thoughts are the many musings to follow.

04 August 2010

11. Pictures of the Day.

So I've got this new plan that I'm hoping is going to help me stay positive.  I relaxed my hair when I was young because it seemed like there was no one for me to look up to that looked like me.  As young girls we all find someone we try to emulate, but there was no one that I looked up to that I felt looked "like me."

Fast forward a few years, and I no longer worry about who I can be like, but what would make someone want to be like me?  So I've decided [to attempt] to take at least one good picture of myself everyday and post it along with some inspiring famous face.  No correlation.  Just someone that caught my eye at some point.

03 August 2010

10. Okay... I'm ready to talk...

It's been a few days and now I'm ready...

So this is how it happened.  It was Thursday night.  I decided to forgo the antics of the previous two weeks and stay in.  I washed my hair.  I was trying to employ the baggy method and just watching tv.  I was also having mixed emotions about boy issues, but I'll save that for another time.  I was almost asleep and at 2 a.m. started getting texts from friends about how much fun they'd had going out as well as a, less than sober, late night visit from the bff who "didn't feel like walking up the stairs" - but I digress.  Anywho, all my friends were home safely and I couldn't sleep, still thinking about "boy stuff."

My head was starting to itch and I decided to remove the plastic cap, but my hair felt funny.  Not soft and fluffy, not like the last time I'd done this.  When I went in the bathroom to look in the mirror, my hair looked dreaded.  It was tangled and it felt dry.  I was not happy.  On top of the fact that I was already thinking too hard I thought to myself, "Something's gotta give."

I looked and random pieces and snipped a few.  I'd done this before; no big deal - or so I thought.  But this time was different.  This time I didn't stop.  It was 4 am and I was doing it.  This was it - the BIG CHOP.  What actually happened was after the first few little random snips, I grabbed this huge section at my crown the length of my fingers, and I cut it. I dropped the hair in the sink and just stared at it in awe.  Limp and lifeless in the sink was my hair.  A big, fat chunk of my hair.  I felt amazing and terrified all at the same time.  Amazing because I was finally doing something I'd talked about for months.  Terrified because my hair hadn't been this short since like 10th grade.  Then I cried.  'Twas brief.  I thought I was going crazy.  I felt like my motives weren't right.  Then again maybe it was the push I needed.  At any rate it was done, nothing else to do at that point.

The one thing I couldn't do just yet though was cut my bangs, I pinned them out of the way.  Partially because I was afraid to eff it up.  Partially because I have always reserved the option to hide behind my hair.

Two hours later and the length of my hair was in the sink and I was back in the shower washing and conditioning.  I told a few friends and was mostly met by congratulations.  My only real reservation was the fact that that evening I'd be going home... and I'd have to face my mother.

My Facebook status simply read: "my mom is so gonna kill me..."

(I decided to cut the bangs last night.)

30 July 2010

9. When there are no words....

I just cut all my hair off...


Sure did.

Don't really know what to say yet.

My mom's gonna kill me.... lol.

I think it's cute....

It's really soft.... and healthy...

I don't know how I feel though.

That is all for now...

Wish me luck.

29 July 2010

8. A rose by any other name....

* Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by language... STOP READING NOW!

So if you don't know or you haven't talked to me recently or haven't seen me recently, I have become totally immersed in this natural hair thing.  Well one of the many things that keeps coming up is the word "nappy."  Well if you're English this doesn't mean a lot to you - you probably just look at a nappy as a baby diaper.  For the Black community in America, however, from what I know nappy is a word spoken with much contention.  It's a word spoken by Black women with much disdain.  Well... at least that's what I thought.  But as I stalk the natural hair blogs, natural hair forums, and YouTube channels more and more I hear women talking about embracing their naps, being nappy and happy, and what have you.

But it got me to thinking.  People talk about the re-appropriation of words all the time.  Some how in the last 40 years rappers have turned the derogatory use of the word nigger to everyday slang in the Black community.  I don't know how many times a day I hear, "What's up my nigga?" or "Nigga please..." or any phrase where you could use the word "guy" but in place of it choose "nigga" instead.  And the same goes for the word bitch.  In normal conversation, females of all races and ages repeating the phrase "That's my bitch!" and "Yeah, I'm a bad bitch..."

And in each case the affected party when asked why use such offensive terminology will reply, "We're just taking the word back.  Using it in regular conversation takes the power from it"

And to this I reply - "GET REAL!"
So you claim by using a word we take the power from it, huh? Well answer me this:

Regardless of how in touch with your nappy roots you are, when the girl with the long, loose silky, curly hair says your hair is nappy are you seriously not just a little incensed at what she may be implying?  Even if you call every one of your best friends your "main bitch," when that guy in the club calls you a stuck up bitch because you wouldn't give him any play, you aren't even the slightest bit offended?  No matter how long you've been using the word nigga, when the White guy across the street (who is clearly a skin head, adorned with a stars and bars vest) calls you a nigger you're telling me you aren't gonna be even a little pissed.  (And eff all that "-er" vs. "-a" we all know its the same...)

But don't mind me this is really just some food for thought.  I'll even play devil's advocate a little....

Remember when Snoop was trying to "do better" and claimed he's stopped banging and smoking weed, and in his songs he started using the word nephew instead of nigga.  I mean we all knew what he was doing, but since we knew what he meant did it even matter.  And on social networking sites I don't know how many times I've seen the words "ninja" and "bish" (which is totally made up by the way) being thrown around, in place of nigga and bitch respectively... but since it's clear what is meant does it matter what you say...?
If slave owners used the word flower instead of nigger, would we be calling them "flowas" in contemporary times...

But I could be totally off base... I mean in the end they are just words. Right?

7. Thoughts...

To be in love.
It is a thing only attainable in my dreams, I think.
In a space somewhere between fantasy and reality.
There is where love waits for me.

There it lies in a place I cannot go.
Life's funny like that.
In a place I cannot reach,
Love waits there beyond touch, taste, thought, or speech.

Beyond you and I.
Love lies in a space left unseen
There is nothing more that I can do
I can no longer chase love and no longer chase you.

And though the words are in my mind
They may never escape my lips.
Because "I love you"
Though said by many is understood by very few

And despite that I do
And I'm in way over my head
And want you and only you
It's simply better left unsaid.

26 July 2010

6. The List...

So every time someone makes a suggestion or I get really interested in something I say "I'll put it on my list."  Well there was never actually a hard copy list.  Until now.

  1. Write a book
  2. Find a job I enjoy.
  3. Enter a committed long term relationship
  4. Learn to drive a stick
  5. Buy a Jeep Wrangler
  6. Go to Africa
  7. Finish college
  8. Make something from a Food Network recipe
  9. Grow my hair long enough to donate it
  10. Understand my purpose in life

*I will be updating as things come up.

5. Why can't I do this...?

It is at this time, that I, Alexx, officially admit that I have commitment issues.  Yep!  You heard it here first folks I currently find myself unable to commit - to my hair.

I've have never been in a place like this before.  When I was 15, like a week before starting my sophomore year I let, scratch that, I wanted my hairdresser to cut off half a head worth of hair from my head.  Everyone thought I was crazy.  I later realized that I was going through something, but that's a story I'll save for later.

Short hair was a true commitment, one that I thought I was ready for, and come to find out - I was.  I loved it; everybody else loved it; and it loved me.  Cutting my hair in that style forced me to take care of it.  There was no hiding behind ponytails on bad hair days.

But now I don't know what's going on with me...

I committed to going natural.  No relaxer 9 1/2 months strong.  But now, for some reason, I cant just cut my hair.  It's not that I don't want to - I do - EVERYDAY!  Every other day I tell my friend Weldon, "I'm gonna cut it all off tomorrow.  I can't take this!"  He just looks at me and laughs at this point, and I'm starting to understand why - because I DON'T, or can't (in the mental sense, that is).  The date goes from tomorrow, to October (my one year mark), to December/January as a New Year's type thing.

I look at it and the relaxed ends depress me.  I touch it and the fluffy center intrigues me.  I think about it and I the girl who's motto is "It's just hair; it'll grow back," is scared of the thought.  Sometimes I think it may just be the fact that I know it's going to go out and not down (clearly I'm qualifying my unfounded fear here).  Sometimes I think maybe I'm just scared of what's lying underneath.  Mostly, I'm pretty sure it is the fact that this haircut, like the last one, signifies something - didn't know what it was then, and I'm not completely sure what it is now, but I know it's something.  Or maybe I've just fallen in love with the really BIG puff I get to wear and I know that cutting my hair will make that option non existent for a few more months.

In any case, clearly I'm not mentally prepared for the change, but I'll admit does irk me.

24 July 2010

4. Life's funny like that.....

Today just may be the day that has made the last 9 1/2 months totally worth it.

I was awakened this morning by a phone call informing me that I was late for work (not my fault there was a time miscommunication, but I digress).  I didn't have time to do anything but brush my teeth.  Yesterday I wore my hair out all day to some compliments and some not-so-compliments, but you win some you lose some.  Last night I just kinda pineappled it all on top of my head to keep it out of my face while I slept.  Well that's also exactly how I walked out of the house this morning.  Not my most attractive moment in my eyes.

At work, I sit at a desk for countless hours making sure summer guests and residents are legit and happy.  Well in the last two hours I got two hair compliments!  They both kinda caught me off guard.  On a day that I feel mediocre, at best, two girls, on different occasions, asked me if I did my hair myself, and then proceeded to tell me it looked nice.  It was just one of those unexpected things that make make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

It reminded me of my former waitressing experiences.  Where I worked people tipped for two reasons - respect and attraction.  I worked as a waitress in a "topless dance club" I think is the PC term... lol.  In general, speedy service and physical appearance are what make you money in that environment.  But today I couldn't help but reminisce about the few times I felt much less that beautiful and some slightly less that sober middle aged man telling me I was the prettiest girl in the whole place.  Given the atmosphere I took all compliments (and criticisms) with a grain of salt, but when you feel like you're less that peek, its nice to have someone tell you otherwise, even if only halfheartedly (esp if you can't tell the  difference... lol).

Just one of those unexpected things that makes you feel good I guess...

22 July 2010

3. When bad things happen to good people...

Today I drove almost two hours for a doctor's appointment.

For the last 15 or so years of my life I've been dealing with chronic atopic dermatitis, a.k.a eczema.  I've been itchy for as long as I can remember.  I remember getting chicken pox at age 3, but the itch never really went away.  My mom just thought I had really dry skin so she'd load me down with lotion and hope for the best.  As I got older it just got worse.

Around age 8 my mom took me to one of those modeling talent searches.  I got "picked" if that's what you'd call it took some classes and occasionally booked a job.  My mom knew how much I enjoyed it but the cost of modeling and acting classes and the hour long ride once or twice a week was beginning to take it's toll.  She got me signed up for a local agency and I actually booked a few more things.
(That's me on the left!)

Though good things were happening the itching hadn't stopped.  All the lotion in the world wouldn't help my dry skin.  And it gets worse.  When you scratch your nails make tiny cuts in the skin.  Overtime these little cuts turn into scars and dark spots.  My mother started noticing the marks being left and knew this wasn't just dry skin and I went to one of the best dermatologists in the state.  She prescribed pills and ointments that were supposed to make the itch go away, and in the beginning they did.  I took that little orange pill every night; I slathered on creams and ointments morning and night; I even slept with socks on my hands so I couldn't scratch at night.  My mother even tried wrapping me in saran wrap at night, to no avail.
I became more and more self conscious as I got older.

The creams would work for a short period, but after 2-4 weeks they seemed to stop taking effect and the itching would come back in full force.  The scars got bigger and darker, mostly on the backs of my knees and the insides of my elbows.  I wore shorts less and less as I got older and completely eliminated them from my wardrobe around 12.  If I didn't live in SC I'm pretty sure I would have given up tees and tanks too, but it was simply too hot for that here, so I just tried to keep my arms crossed.  I pretty much stopped with the modeling and acting at 13. I decided to focus on volleyball and rollerskating.  Honestly, I just didn't want anyone to see my skin.  It was bad enough at school.  I felt like a leper.  I have fair skin so the scars were extremely visible.  Middle school is hard enough considering puberty and being taller that everyone without having to worry about people asking if "that thing on your arms is contagious?"  I was awkward enough without having to answer questions that embarrassing.

Then I started having emotional breakdowns.  I would look at myself and wonder what I'd done to deserve this.  When I turned 13 the eczema spread to my neck.  It was always in the back so I couldn't see it, but it itched - so i couldn't forget.  I would scratch constantly to the point that I had large open gashes in my neck.  I'll never forget the time I had to excuse myself from class to go dress my wounds as I cried in the bathroom of pain and embarrassment.

At some point I just decided it was just one of those things.  Something I couldn't control; something I'd probably deal with forever.  When I turned 16 I started going out with my older "sister."  Whenever I was with her and her friends I felt so pretty.  It was those nights that I'd walk into a room and all eyes were on us. The first few times I got away with wearing jeans, but eventually she asked why, and I told her it was because of my skin.  "It's dark in clubs, no one can tell" was her reply, and slowly but surely, I eased myself back into wearing shorts.  It was actually quite liberating, but strictly a nighttime thing (well other than games, but that was the uniform and no one was paying me any attention as far as I was concerned anyway).

Fast forward to senior year.  Things were looking up.  Graduation and college on the horizon, there were guys that actually liked me, and my skin finally wasn't so bad.  There were still scars and marks, but not nearly as bad as they'd been before.  I'd finally started wearing shorts again, and in the daylight, sparingly.

I started college and things were still going good.  I'd become much less self conscious about my skin and it was actually clearing up - no itching, no marks, nothing.  I could wear shorts when I wanted, go to the beach with my friends, and not once did I worry about looking like some kind of liberating.  It was the best year and a half of my life.

Fast Forward again.  Mid April, great weather, but I'm a little itchy.  I get some new lotion, no big.  But by mid summer I'm the sobbing 8th grader in the bathroom all over again.  In the years prior I've had flares. But it'd just be one area.  I haven't had all of it break out like this in years.  I'm miserable.  So my mom made me an appointment with the same doctor I went to 11 years ago.

So the moral of this LONG story.  Bad things happen to good people.  I'd like to think I'm a good person, really.  I'm kind and inviting.  Little kids love me.  And I always give lost tourists the right directions (as far as I know [Kanye shrug]).  And I'm a firm believer in the principal of Karma.  Problem is I can't figure out for the life of me what I'm being punished for!  Eczema made me hate myself for a long time.  I would always wonder in silence or through tears, why me?  Well, I've yet to receive an answer to that question, but I must admit, it's nice to get this monkey off my back.

20 July 2010

2. The Hair Story...

So as my first official post I decided to start with my initial reason for even coming across blogs in the first place - my hair.  I'd never read an actual blog until I decided to go from relaxed to natural hair.  Well I should probably start at the beginning.  I was born on a warm spring day in May...

Fast forward a few years.... I was a happy child with the exception of the never ending battle with my grandmother.... Grr.  But that's another post... lol.  As I got older I HATED getting my hair done.  It seemed like an all day affair.  The washing. The braiding.  The placement of underwear atop my head, because my grandmother said it would help my hair dry faster... (Thinking back on that me and my lil sister probably looked like some damn fools!)  But perms at that time were not something I thought of.  My grandmother being extremely Afrocentric didn't believe in straightening hair chemically or otherwise (she doesn't even own a blow dryer), and this was before the time when mothers were slapping relaxers in their 3 and 4 year old daughters heads.  I knew my older cousins had straight hair but I figured it was a part of getting older and my time would come.
By the time I was about 10 which means my younger sister was 8 when we were introduced to the press and curl.  She got it done first, my mother was having a harder time dealing with our hair and having a full-time job.  Hers was thicker and she was tender headed so naturally she was first.  She came home that afternoon flaunting her hot combed tresses, much to my envy.  So it was only natural that I go too.  3 hours in a hair salon that smelled of burning hair every two weeks. for about 3 years.  I personally grew weary of the hot comb.  The press and curl never lasted more than 2 days and I was very active with volleyball and skating so it just ended up in a ponytail or a bun anyways.  These are the last pictures i can remember of my hair in its natural state.  Its a braid out before I knew what a braid out was.  I was 12 it was summer, post swimming...

These are the oldest unstraightened photos I can find.  Then I learned how to straighten my own hair with a curling iron... I would get my whole head to this poofy straight mess and then I would put the front into single braids and leave out the back in a big puffy ponytail or bun it.  In the 8th grade I decided that I wanted a hair cut like TBoz from TLC and I knew I would need a relaxer to do it.  I talked to my mom about it and eventually she said I could, my little sister already had so she really had no reason to tell me no.  I got my first hit of the creamy crack at 13.  For the first 1.5 years I wasn't much of an addict I would go three or even four months without a touch up.  And then there was the cut.  I wasn't quite TBoz but I loved my angled bob.
But to keep up with it I needed touch ups more frequently to keep the back laid flat (she'd taken the back half  of my head down with the 1 blade on the clippers....) I LOVED my short hair and it really became a life saver as far as keeping my eczema on my neck from flaring up.

But then came senior year and it was time to let it grow... So I did.  By graduation it was back around my shoulders.

And then there was college.  With college came new experiences and new people.  For the purpose of this exercise, new people included one of my new suitemates, Sabrina.  She was in the process of growing out a botched texturizer.  I watched for a year as she snipped and braided and snipped and braided and then lightly weaved (it was short, no one could tell).  By the summer she was totally natural, but constantly flat ironing.  But still I was intrigued.  It was October, just getting cold and I got yet another relaxer. 6 years strong.  Then came Christmas Break.  I was already flirting with the idea of forever forgoing relaxers.  I walked into the mall on Christmas Eve hoping my hairdresser would be there - she wasn't.  I had places to go and people to see.  I did my hair myself that night and it came out just fine. I took this as the first sign.  And then came Good Hair and Chris Rock was on Oprah and the Tyra Show.  I hadn't seen the movie yet but that demonstration with the can should really be enough to convert anyone.  And that's all she wrote.  I've been relaxer free for nine months now and couldn't be happier.  Well.... I mean unless my hair just started growing an inch a week... I aint gon lie.  That would make me happier.

1. Introductions are in order...

This is my first attempt at sharing with the world.  Depending on how it goes I might just right that book I've been thinking about.  (It's in development... but its REALLY good... lol)  There are so many things I think between walking to classes, sitting at work and doing nothing, and battling bouts of insomnia.  I'm the Google queen and using a search engine is the only way I'll believe someone when they tell me I'm wrong... lol.

The idea for this blog came about well about an hour ago when I started.  I hadn't really considered it until yeah about an hour ago.  I mean how pretentious can you be? What makes me so special that people would give a flying flip about the things going on in my head? Well the answer - absolutely nothing! Lol.  Luckily vanity isn't my strong suit.  This is simply an outlet.  A means of getting things off my chest, and if someone else gains from it score for me!

I've been stalking fashion blogs and natural hair blogs for about two months and now I guess it's my turn.  I've got opinions - time to use em.

This is way better than the diary days of old already!

That's Me!

Oh yeah.... Follow me on Twitter where the madness never stops.... Seriously, I say some profound stuff...