My First Henna Treatment

Monday, January 31, 2011 12:00 PM

As you can see, things are looking different around here.  I'm changing things up, so the appearance of the blog will be in transition for awhile.


Lovely readers and hair enthusiasts, I've finally stopped playing hard to get and let henna have its way with me.  Despite all the wonderful things I'd heard about henna since the beginning of my healthy natural hair journey, I didn't think I would ever try it.   I was concerned that it would loosen my curl pattern too much, and that was a huge drawback for me.  Certain parts of my hair already lack curl definition so I was definitely not going to subject my hair to anything that would increase that effect.  Secondly, I didn't really want to change my hair color up too much.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that I had way more damaged ends than I thought!  I was doing a search and destroy, and much to my dismay, I found all kinds of craziness going on at the ends of my hair.  That's always discouraging, right?  Between that and post partum shedding, I was feeling like my hair was falling out.  Drama.  So, how did I handle this mini-panic attack?  I did a thorough search and destroy (probably should have gotten a professional trim, but decided to wait until spring for that) and I started considering some options for strengthening my hair and decreasing shedding.  Of course, henna was at the top of my list of options.

Raising Mommy

Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:00 AM




While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt
 I spent most of my twenties in a constant state of survival. Paying cut off notices on the day they were due, juggling a full time gig and graduate school, breaking up and making up, partying like a rock star, and bumping my head up against the same walls over and over and going to bed at night saying Lord, when will all of this make sense?! Can I really do this? When will I see the light?

I've come a long way since then, but every now and then I look at my kids and think about all that faces them in this life and I just hope that I'm learning the lessons I need in order to pass wisdom down to them that will sustain them through life's tests.

In every way, our family is growing up together and that's just how it is. I was 23 and Daddy was 21 when we had our first child and we've spent the last nine years trying to be the best we can be for our kids. Of course you want to be the best you can be for yourself first, but having kids is a sure way to light a fire under your ass!

The most important gift we can give our kids is the gift of happy parents. I'm not going to beat myself up for not being the perfect mom or for not having perfect kids. I don't want to raise them with the false idea that adults don't make mistakes or that mistakes are bad in any way. We'll embrace each other for who we are and where we are and keep loving each other and growing. I've learned so much from them and I look forward to the day when they'll understand what I mean when I thank them for raising me.

The Alienation of Affection

Friday, January 21, 2011 5:09 PM





You see I loved hard once, but the love wasn't returned
I found out the man I'd die for, he wasn't even concerned
In time it turned,
He tried to burn me like a perm
Though my eyes saw the deception, My heart wouldn't let me learn
From um, some, dumb woman, was I,
And everytime he'd lie, he would cry and inside I'd die.
My heart must have died a thousand deaths
Compared myself to Toni Braxton thought I'd never catch my breath
Nothing left, he stole the heart beating from my chest
I tried to call the cops, that type of thief you can't arrest
Pain suppressed, will lead to cardiac arrest
Diamonds deserve diamonds, but he convinced me I was worth less
when my peoples would protest,
I told them mind their business, cause my s*** was complex
More than just the sex
I was blessed, but couldn't feel it like when I was caressed
I'd spend nights clutching my breasts overwhelmed by God's test
I was God's best contemplating death with a Gillette
But no man is ever worth the paradise MANIFEST

~ Lauryn Hill's verse from Manifest by The Fugees

 
*********************


When I was a freshman in college, I found out that my boyfriend was cheating on me with a PYT in the dorm next to him. All the while, I was sleeping across campus probably dreaming about our future wedding day, none the wiser. Eventually, I found out, confronted him, and he broke up with me to be with this girl. This was not only my first taste of betrayal, this was also the first time I looked at myself in comparison to another woman and felt less than. I wondered what she had that I didn't that led him to stray. Was she prettier? smarter? funnier? better in bed? I became somewhat fixated with this girl and found myself comparing myself to her all the time.

This victimized line of thinking is a slippery, treacherous slope. Once you start, it's hard to stop. "If my skin was clearer, or my hair longer, or if I wasn't so shy...maybe he'd still be with me." I was only 18, and I didn't have a strong sense of self. I remember thinking that I could get him back by studying her and somehow mastering this innocent, clueless appeal that she seemed to have. Of course that didn't work. In my mind this was a competition, and I felt that she'd won. This was the first man I'd opened myself up to, in every way, and so easily she'd come along and lured him away. By being myself and giving of myself, I'd lost. By her being herself, she'd won. This is what I thought. I couldn't stop this comparison/competition nonsense. I couldn't remember what was so special about me anymore and my confidence went out the window.

Daily Harmony ~ Expression and Meaning

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 5:09 PM

source

Direct your life with purposeful choices, not with speed and desperation. 
Think of your journey as an instrument that you are passionately trying to master.
The best musician is one who plays with expression and meaning, not the one who finishes first.
~ quote from Linus Mundy, remixed by GG

Strands and Speculation

Friday, January 14, 2011 2:15 PM

First for the strands:


Sorry for the picture quality.  I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone in the bathroom today!  I always feel like a weirdo for doing that but whatever.  This week I've been doing dry braid outs using this moisturizing spray that I got from who else but the lovely Moptop Maven.  I've been sealing with Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade.   It's been a nice break from  wearing my hair up and I've been totally amazed and overjoyed with how soft and moisturized it feels.  I've been putting a roller at the bottom to stretch the ends and keep knots at bay. 


Time is On Your Side

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 5:30 PM

I really needed this reminder today.  There's been some frustration brewing within me lately.  I want to spend all of my time working on my personal projects, but alas, I have to work!  I have a family and we need the steady paycheck, so for now I need to keep that balance.  When we have goals and aspirations, we get IMPATIENT, right?  I do!

The excerpt below really comforted me today.  Whether we're talking career, finances, hair, relationships or whatever, we must remind ourselves to ride the waves and trust that we're on the right track.  

In setting goals, we sometimes box ourselves into time limits. Limits are fine when we have everything we need within our control. No matter who we are and what we want , we must always surrender the element of time to the divine timekeeper. When we are not conscious of this element, we may throw our hands up in despair  and walk away a moment before the breakthrough. Our ideas and goals are the children of  our minds. We nurture them with our thoughts and actions. Like a fetus in the womb, they develop in just the right way, at the right time. Eventually, labor will start. It is painful and sometimes long, but eventually the child comes into life.

Speaking of fetuses, my youngest baby girl is six and a half months old now!  As a mother, I know what it means to patiently wait for that amazing gift to finally arrive.  And once it does, you realize that the journey is really only beginning.  Such is life and such is every dream, idea or goal that we have.  We don't need to rush, but simply be present in every moment and absorb all that the experience has to offer before it's time to move on to the next.  


Closure: Letter to the Me that Got Away

Thursday, January 6, 2011 6:21 PM

   
    
Dear Imaginary False Artificial Me,

I'm sure you think that I don't think about you, but I do. Everytime I meet someone who reminds me of you, I catch myself wondering what would have been if I'd continued chasing you. I even run into people who mistake me for you, and sometimes I pretend to be you just to avoid their embarrassment. But that's all over now. Now I know that the only way to truly be who I really am, is to let you go.  All the way.

I made you up in my mind as a way to escape my reality. I thought that if I could make you real, if I could become you; then I would be whole. And when I ultimately let you get away, I blamed myself so harshly for deviating so far from the life I thought you would have. When I became a mother before I became a wife, I lost you. When my poor decisions resulted in financial turmoil for myself and my family, I lost you. My rebellious behavior, my disregard for responsibility, and my refusal to acknowledge the root of my recklessness all led me to eventually have no other choice but to take off the mask of you and take a hard look at the real me.

And that's just it, you see. You were never real. You were a character that I created based on what I thought people wanted me to be. I even convinced myself that I wanted to be you. Why? Because the alternative was to really get to know myself and that was much more risky. I mean, what if I was really a bad person? What if all these impulses and behaviors that I couldn't seem to repress ended up ruining me? No, I thought I'd better strive to be what everyone thinks I am - wholesome and stable. No blemishes. To this day, I smile to myself when people notice that I'm not really you and they look at me differently. It's a relief. No more trying to be perfect or some elusive idea of normal. I was never the girl who wanted to live in the box, even though I told myself that I did. Perhaps because the circumstances of my childhood seemed so dysfunctional to me, I craved this idea of normalcy and I idolized it. You were the embodiment of that.

It's taken awhile, but through my ups and downs, I've learned to judge no man for the lessons that they have been put on this earth to learn. By all means necessary, I wish for everyone to live out their story truthfully and on their own terms.

Now you see that it's not a sad thing that I let you get away. It's a celebration. I'm here to stay and you are free to go. I've lost nothing and I've gained everything. Good riddance.

Love,
The Most Realest Truest Magical Me :)

My friends,
Be different. Make mistakes. Be a student of life and owe nothing to the world for doing so. :)