Those who know me well know this story well already (or at least parts of it). I was so blessed to share and I feel so empowered by sharing.Have you ever fallen in love with one of your curls? I remember staring in the mirror at my loose curly hair and touching the back of my head to pull a few strands out -- just saying hello to my curls. The moment they popped back into place I knew I was in love. My curls are a part of me and I love them.He didn't love my curls. We were on our way to an event one night and he asked if I would put relaxer on my edges so they wouldn't look so unrefined. Unsophisticated. Dirty. Poor. My response should have been "So what?" I was too weak and I wanted a place to belong. The look in his eyes said, I'll accept you once you do this. He said it would be weird if people saw my curly hair in pictures since my weave was so well styled. After I put the chemicals in my hair, he asked me to leave it on for a long time since my hair was too curly to straighten quickly. I thought my scalp was burning, but he told me that in order to be beautiful, I had to pay a price. When he called my hair unrefined, unsophisticated, dirty and poor, he was also referring to me as a whole. I needed to be tamed in order to be classy and accepted.I tamed my curls and my spirit. But my spirit could not be permanently contained.He had to go.I left.In leaving, I regained my spirit.In leaving, I realize that being unrefined, unsophisticated, dirty and poor is part of my humanity. My reality. It is part of who I am, and it is not all of me. In being unrefined, I appreciate the little things. I'm not above it all. In being unsophisticated, I appreciate everyone that surrounds me without regard for status. In being dirty, I have fun. I'm as kinky as I want to be. In being poor, I remain simple, want for nothing, and I see God.I fall in love with myself and my curls again. I discovered there are five different textures of curls on my head alone. I'm amazed by these coils and blessed that they live on this head--and I've made sure they'll never leave since I've loc'd them permanently on my head. I reach back into my history and the history of the women who had similar curls. I'm learning that I come from a line of leaders and victors. We don't want to be tame.He loves my curls. He calls them beautiful. Rich. And he says they smell like home. He touches my curls and wants to wash my hair. He shows off my curls. We hosted our first dinner and I was worried about my shrunken 'fro. I told him my 'fro needed to be stretched out just a little before our party so my hair wouldn't look so short. He smiled and said "When I look at your head, I see the sun. Your curls are rays of light." I did nothing to my hair that night, and I was perfectly happy.He affirms what I already believe, my curls are me and we can never be tame.
Special thanks to Adria, Amber, Ben, Kelly, Kyle, Lauren and Paul who came to support me in person -- I love all of you more than I'd ever say in person, but I hope you know. To those who supported this journey in spirit all the way from Arizona, Andrew, Aaron, Tim and Finnie, I can't wait to see you this week!
Oh by the way, I colored my locs :)
P.S. One thing I love about my family is that I never felt any pressure to do anything to my hair (or myself) other than let it be, and now, there's nothing but love for my locs (and me).