I'm so glad you guys are still journeying with me! Also, I love that we call this "journeying" because that's exactly what it is. It is a road of winds, bends, and dips and hills. It has its challenges, but as long as we keep walking, you're moving. I’ve been a little quiet, but I’ve been walking.
Over the last few years, I've been particularly drawn to people that own their truths, and more importantly are willing to share their stories. I've been purposefully seeking out conversations that promote connection, healing, and as a byproduct have even reaffirmed purpose. I didn't have to look too far for this story I'm about to share with all of you. One of the characteristics I admire and love most about my mother, is her assuredness. She's always been a woman with an incredible grounding and sense of self. She's confident in who she is and what she wants, and is never easily swayed, if at all, by the opinions of others. As a child watching that sort of fortitude was aspirational. Though, as I've transitioned into adulthood and flowered into womanhood, I have come to see the underside of that strength. The side beyond commonplace application, bore from a process of succumbing to emotion, identifying fear, realigning and THEN persisting. It is that side of strength that as a child, I couldn't completely understand, but as an adult wholly resonates with me.
I was able to witness another extension of my mother’s strength recently, as she went through her own hair journey. If you have seen me, know me personally, or have read this post, then you are aware that I made a decision to cut my hair roughly two years ago. The process for me was transformative and liberating, but it was a choice that I came to on my own terms. My mother came to her decision leaning more on the side of necessity, at that experience looked quite different. She has shared that process in the following words…
Growing up I always had very thick hair and a lot of it. In many ways, I felt like my hair was me. Over the years, I pressed it, permed it, and had a Jerry Curl (now I’m telling my age!). As a teenager, I started getting nickel size patches in my hair. My mom took me to the doctor who gave her some salve to put on them. That was hard - being a teenager thinking I was going to lose my hair. Eventually, the hair grew back. My hair was long, so I was able to conceal the patches peach fuzz until it all filled back in.
In my 30’s the patches came back; this time half dollar size. [At this point I was really] concerned, so I went to the dermatologist. They did some testing for cancer and lupus, however they ultimately came back with alopecia which means “reasons unknown”. Cancer and Lupus are such aggressive diseases. I was blessed not to have either, but I am not insensitive to those who have had, and are currently struggling with them. However, losing my hair and not knowing the true cause, was difficult to accept. I wanted something that could be cured.
One day in my 50’s I reached a point where I could not wear up-do’s anymore or cover up the patches. At times we all fear the unknown, but instead of watching and agonizing over my hair as it continued to fall out, I made the conscious decision to cut it. I was somewhat concerned about the comments that would come after making a drastic change, but I said it doesn't matter what others think as long as I am happy.
Every individual should reach a point where they are comfortable with who they are, and not allow themselves to get caught up in what other people think. It took me a while to get here, but I love my new cut. I am grateful for the support of my daughter and my husband, who reaffirmed that he would love me with or without my hair because I am beautiful. I hope this is an encouragement to someone else to always be your own you.
Special Thanks to our barber, Kelan Bilal of Excalibur Barber