Start. Stop. Continue. - New Year 2012 Edition

Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:21 AM

This edition of Start. Stop. Continue. will be a bit different.   I'll be reflecting on what I've learned in 2011 and what I'm focusing on for 2012.

My very first post of 2011 was Closure: Letter to the Me that Got Away.  How perfect!  I started this year by letting go of any remnants of the identity crisis that had me spinning precariously through my late twenties.  That post definitely set the stage for my 2011 journey towards becoming more unapologetically me. 

*Walking the Walk*

I already know that I'm good enough just the way I am.  It's time for me to start acting like it.  I have a new perspective on my shortcomings and mistakes to take into the new year - They Don't Matter.  They only matter if I allow my thoughts about them to get the best of me.  In February, I wrote about giving up the victim mentality and holding myself accountable.  There are really no excuses -- only choices.

As such, I'm choosing to start trusting myself.  Particularly trusting the choices I make as a mother. 

When it comes to parenting, 75% of the time I feel like I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  But I'm trying.  I've never worked so hard at anything in my life.  Real talk - if anything else in life were this hard, I think I would have quit a long time ago.  I've been terribly afraid of missing out on my life and the things I want to do because I'm raising three children.  Terrified that my distraction with figuring out life for myself would hurt them in the long run.

But I know that I was chosen to raise them for a reason.  Being a mother is part of my purpose.  No matter how scary or complex it seems.  I have a new found resolve and I'm redefining what it means to me to be a mother, a woman, a creator, a soul with other souls to tend to.


*Holding Back*

I started this blog right when I was on my natural hair high towards the end of my transition.  I talked about hair much more often back then.  While hair is still a passion of mine, it's just a part of a whole lifestyle transition that also includes style, body image, diet, emotional and physical health, and much more.  As I've become less specifically consumed with hair, I've been considering changing the name of the blog.  While I feel that the content has evolved with me, the name doesn't seem to be the best fit anymore.   I'm still thinking about this one, but there may be a change coming.

With change comes the familiar yet unwelcomed concern about how everyone will feel about it.  "Will I lose subscribers if I change the name of the blog?"   Maybe so.  But maybe I will also gain some.   Either way, I'm not going to hold myself back.   In 2012, I need someone to charge me a dollar every time I act like I need to please everyone and their mother.  That mentality is such a hindrance for me.  I know I'm not alone.  How often do you avoid change to keep other people happy or comfortable?  Well, I've played it out enough for all of us.

*Figuring It Out As I Go*

I fully expected to have waist length (WL) hair by the end of 2011!  Right now, I'm just about grazing bra strap length (BSL).   I had two inches cut in August followed by another 2 or 2 1/2 in November, so that has a lot to do with it.  I don't regret it though because I want my ends to be healthy and they were not. 

I'm still hoping to reach my goal in 2012.  I'm happy that I've learned to listen to my hair. What I know now that I didn't know at the beginning of  2011 is that my hair needs to be trimmed more often than I thought (in order to keep it manageable), my hair likes some products with mineral oil (used strategically), and my hair is more cooperative when it's stretched in some way.  These discoveries have been significant in learning my natural hair and going from a novice when I started this blog in 2009, to maybe an intermediate level now (and that's generous).  I still have much to learn.

Much like my hair, my relationship has been a constant exercise of trial and error.  We've been together for the better part of 12 years and we've grown apart in some ways and we've grown together in other ways.  And it's been anything but easy.  Everyone says that it takes work, but how do you know when it's too much work?  We talk about that all the time and I can't say that we've come up with a practical answer. 

Anyway, I'll say this:  I get consumed with the kids - plain and simple.  I know it and I'm sorting through it.  It takes a dedicated effort to stay in tune with each other and keep the lines of communication open.   I will continue to be honest, loving and openminded (most of the time...)

I'd love to hear some of the things that you'd like to start, stop or continue in 2012.  Please share with me in the comments.  

Also, please have a safe and happy new year's weekend.  See you Monday!!