A few months ago I took it into my head that I was tired of my style. I had been straightening my hair since I was thirteen years old. My hair was past my shoulders, but rather than feeling alive it was like having a dead animal around my neck. It was the hair society told me I as a black woman should have–long and dark, over processed into acceptability. I didn’t feel like being “acceptable” anymore.
So for the last few months I’d been wearing my hair in long, dark braids, but truth be told, nothing could hide the gray hair growing in. I am not ashamed to admit that on my last birthday I turned 53. That’s not the cringeworthy number it used to be. I am far from ancient. But, thanks to my dad, I have been going gray since high school. My hair is now downright white and refuses to take a dye anymore. So what’s a lovely (gasp!) middle-aged woman to do?
I chopped that shit OFF!
Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. I closed my eyes and let my Fairy Godmother do her work on me. When I opened my eyes again, a new me was revealed, one I wasn’t even sure I liked. It took a few minutes for me to reappraise myself in this new light. Who the hell was this new woman that had emerged from underneath all that hair?
Suddenly, I felt emotional, on the verge of tears, but I immediately understood what I was feeling–relief! I felt like Thidwick when he tossed all those freeloaders off his back (check your obscure Seuss references, y’all.) I felt like the butterfly without the confines of the cocoon. I felt free!
It’s funny, but so often we associate hair with potency. Think of Medusa with snakes for hair or Sampson who lost it all when his hair was shorn, but there is also power in shedding that which is no longer needed. I was holding onto an image of myself that no longer suited but was so ingrained in me that I didn’t realize it was NOT me.
You see, this is what I mean by a createthrough–abandoning the safe, the easy, the known, the usual to create a new solution for yourself. If nothing else, I want to lead by example. Cutting off my hair was really scary–but as they say, everything you want is on the other side of what you fear. I believe in walking the talk. So without further ado, here’s the big reveal–me with my new ‘do.
So I challenge you to ask yourself, what am I holding on to that I need to let go of? What is keeping me from moving forward that I could shed from my life, my belief system, my view of myself? Or maybe you’ve recently released something that was holding you back. Either way, tell me about it in the comments below. Maybe you, too, can inspire someone else on the need of a createthrough to start their own process.
And remember, dream big, dare greatly, create from the heart–