Posted in Life, Natural Hair

A Thing of the Past

Have you ever had a moment where something just clicks in your mind? You’re just sitting there and BAM, it all just makes sense?

Well, for me, that moment came a couple days after speaking with my mother about my neighbor in Jamaica.

I remember that on Sundays, after my grandmother washed and detangled my hair, I would walk to my neighbor’s so that she could style my hair. I was not about to go to school with my granny plaits.

I remember that up until a certain point, said neighbor would “put my hair in one,” my child-talk for a pony tail, when I so requested.

That was during my infant school years.

However, at some point, she stared saying that she couldn’t do it. My hair was too thick, yadda yadda. So, instead, my hair would be styled in braids, twists, cornrows, you name it. I didn’t appreciate that.

Yes, as a child, I liked the simplicity of just throwing my hair into a ponytail and being done.

Over time, as I entered 2nd-5th grade, I started seeing a pattern. The girls with “pretty hair,” or the Indian/Asian kids, or the girls with perms, would have their hair “in one.” So naturally, I started thinking that it was because I didn’t have that “pretty hair.”

So, I resented my hair. I wanted a perm. I wanted to put my hair “in one.”

Fast forward like ten years, and guess what? I can put my hair “in one.” I still love ponytails, buns, pin-ups, everything of that sort. I’ve also grown to appreciate the styles that I’ve worn as a kid.

You want to know the most tragic part of this story? Well, during my conversation with my mother, I found out that my neighbor has had rheumatoid arthritis for many years.

Obviously, as a child I didn’t quite understand what this was. But, such a misunderstanding shaped my relationship with myself, my hair, and my self-esteem.

At that point, everything just made sense. The need for her to rest while doing my hair. Her complaints of pain. How long it took her to sit and stand. I feel horrible for not understanding her pain.

But I was just a child who didn’t understand. Has anyone else had such an experience?

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The puff and I (a year ago) 

 

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Posted in Life, Ramblings

Back to School: A Great Must-Have

So many of the kiddies (and young adults, heck even adult adults) are either going back to school this week, or have already gone back to school. Since I’ve graduated, I don’t have to worry about that, but in a couple of years, probably.

I assume that you all have your pens, pencils, calculators, laptops, and syllabi ready? You’ve made sure that your outfits are killer? Hair on fleek or whatever?

But, do you have your self esteem in check?

Something strange happened to me today, and it caused me to slip for one second and question my self worth. That one second came thiiis close to ruining my day. I’m still mad about it, but I won’t get into details. I’ll probably write about it when I’m ready.

Sometimes, I think, why do I get upset over these things? People say stupid things. People don’t matter. People can be ignorant.

Well, I was a sensitive kid. You could have looked at me the wrong way and my eyes would start welling up, my throat would constrict, and my cheeks would burn. I guess that trait carried over somewhat into this part of my life.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but when I was growing up, my self esteem was shot. It was even worse when I moved to the US as a hormonal, prepubescent little girl. I was skinny, dark, had an accent, and I was shy.

Naturally, with all of this, kids found something to pick on me about. My accent coupled with my shyness caused me to never speak up. I didn’t even want to order food in a restaurant.

Luckily for me, I had a family that got 100% behind me. Sure, there was a bit of tough love and I might have hated them for it at the time, but they supported my education, made me join clubs, forced me to do the best that I could. Hell, now I realize that I could have done even better. But now, I’m educated, I have a pretty good job, and I have unlimited prospects for the future that will be further opened up when I go to graduate school.

I’ve been able to travel to different parts of the world, learn about different cultures and languages, study with people of different ages and of different backgrounds, hike at 5 in the morning with new friends. It’s an amazing life, but I still get boggled down at times by the words of others.

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It me

So imagine the people who are unlucky enough to not have such a support system. How do you think they feel when people question their whole purpose or existence with no support systems behind them?

Be kind.

Critiquing someone isn’t the same as insulting them. Especially for the younger ones and their caretakers, teach them to be kind. Their words may have an everlasting impact on someone that is vulnerable.

With that being said, take care and enjoy the school year. I’m definitely missing the uni/college lifestyle.

Posted in Life

Adultin’

Mix one serving of angst, three servings of bubble and cheer, one tablespoon of adult, a pinch of old woman, and a dash of child and….that’s me!

Obviously I’m not the only one that’s making the leap from “childhood” to adulthood, but it’s still something new for the majority of us!

Moving, living on our own, buying cars, starting new jobs, making new friends… they’re all things that we might have been prepped well for, or not at all.

I’ve come into this new phase of life knowledgeable about some things, still clueless about others. I’ve had successes, and I know that there are failures awaiting me. There are new responsibilities facing me and new ways that I’m being seen.

Hell, my niece told me that I’m old and I should have a car… Well, I do now hun!

There are people who are my age that are getting married and having kids, something that apparently comes in rounds. Those who marry now, those who marry after grad school, and those who do it when they’re a bit older. I see myself as the third. Maybe I’ll have my first child at 37, you know, travel the world first, enjoy time with my spouse, experience many things.

There definitely are great points about being an adult. I mean, you get to get drunk at dinners while it’s storming outside PLUS you can still bitch about crappy writing in a certain manga…

I guess the reason that I’m writing this is that it feels a bit surreal, being seen as an adult. For the younger ones, I’m not that old, I might be 4 or 5 years older than you. It comes quickly, so enjoy those moments of not having responsibilities. Enjoy high school and college. Travel, try things, make it worth your while; because it all ends way too fast.

 

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

On Navigating Awkwardness

So, it’s no secret that I’m very very awkward. I mean, like my whole life is just…yikes!

I’m that person who, when I don’t know if I should say hi to someone, will go to the ends of the Earth to avoid making eye contact with or talking to that person. I don’t know why, it’s just my instinctual reaction!

So to help you awkward folks (and myself) out, here are some tips to get you out of your comfort zone and right into the action zone/frying pan/the cruel cruel real world. And they totally work! Yep 100% not a chance of failure!*

Say hi to those people. yes, the people you see but avoid even breathing the same air. They might be wondering why you’re so standoffish, and then that confusion might turn into resentment and they might just think of you as a dick…So break the ice and wave hello. If they don’t wave back, just whip and nae nae outta that room.

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Go on that date. Be it through Tinder, Grindr, or (gasp!!!) in real life, there could be that special person just waiting for you! You might click with that person, or that date might be a complete dud. But this is your chance to test out your flirting skills! Maybe get a free meal or try something new. The world is your oyster! It’s not like they’re going to stalk you on LinkedIn or anything…

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Leave that phone at home. Because we all know you’re not doing anything important with it! It’ll be easier to make friends, especially with that enchanting gentleman who decides to enlighten you about his broken thumb. Cheers to new friends!

Be yourself! Being awkward sucks sometimes. There will be days that you just sit there and think about the one (or many) embarrassing moments that make your stomach curl into itself and where you just want to hide from the world. It’s alright though, Chipotle and a comfy bed never lets you down.**

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*They do not.

**Except for E.coli or whatever.