Tuesday, August 31, 2010 3:21 PM
I have struggled with money management for many years. Since I was 18 years old, basically. I didn't become aware of myself enough to try and change my ways until a few years ago. I was deep in the weeds of denial and blame back then. You know the routine. (or maybe you don't. if not, perhaps you can relate this to something other than finances.) I was an "immediate gratification junkie". I could not put off what I wanted in an impulsive moment, for what would benefit me in the long run. Even if the long run was just a few days away when rent was due. At the time, I favored the temporary exhilaration of a shopping spree over the servitude of turning over half of my paycheck to pay the rent. It was an endless cycle of spending money then feeling guilty about it. I was impatient and living outside of my means; slowly but surely sabotaging myself right out of the success I truly wanted. Deep down I didn't believe I'd ever truly be successful, so I told myself I'd better do what feels good right now. Living in the moment was my drug of choice.
My point in telling you my messy financial business is to point out that when we start to recognize our patterns, we can often see them at work in every aspect of our lives. So, what does this have to do with hair? After all, this is intended to be a hair post. Follow me.
Awhile ago, I shared with you all that I want to grow my hair down my back - waist length to be exact. Why? Because I love hair, and setting hair-related goals helps me to practice discipline and build confidence in my ability to make things happen. So, I joined Long Hair Care Forum to glean advice from other healthy hair growers and to share what I've learned from my years of hair recreation. I posted a question to the forum about how to get over the hump when your hair growth seems to plateau. I got many helpful responses. This is the one that finally hit a cord with me:
"I'm all about sacrificing style for strands these days, because what I've observed is that--with the exception a few--most ladies on here that are waist length and beyond protect their ends the majority of the time." - Curlyninjagirl
I don't know why this comment hit me more than the others. Other commentators said similar things. Being a girl who is drawn to catchy rhythms and lyrics, maybe it was the phrase "sacrificing style for strands" or something. Who knows. But all of a sudden it hit me. I already knew that I needed to protect my hair in order to retain length. Historically, my hair loves to be moisturized and put away. In the past, I learned that if I wear my hair in a bun the majority of the time, it will grow. Simple. All at once I realized that I just didn't want that solution. I wanted a quick fix that would require minimal discipline on my part. I wanted to find a solution that would allow me to still wear big, sexy twist outs most of the time. Because for me, wearing my hair in twist outs is to shopping sprees as buns are to paying the rent on time. Do you see the pattern yet?
No matter where I go or how much I think I've evolved, my stuff will always be my stuff. In other words, my vices and patterns have to be managed or they will pop right back up much like the bumps on my acne-prone skin. Thanks to Curlyninjagirl and many other helpful forum members, I finally recognized that in order to reach my goal there would have to be some sacrifice. As I've said many times, one of the keys to happiness is accepting that everything has a price. We think we are entitled to the desired result; so entitled that we think it is owed to us simply because we want it. We don't want to accept our circumstances, roll up our sleeves and do the necessary work, so we settle into complacency. Immediate gratification only gives you a temporary high, and then you spend the best of your energy chasing that high. Life keeps trying to teach me to be true to my priorities and experience the continual high of self-actualization. Eventually, I held myself accountable for my messy money meanderings. Likewise, I'm ready to sacrifice style for strands.
Tomorrow, I'll share my new bunning regimen and some pics documenting my current length for tracking purposes.
P.S. I know you know what self-actualization means but I wanted to share the definition because I dig it: the achievement of one's full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world.