Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anticipation

It's a miracle there aren't more car wrecks.  So many of the decisions we make on the road are based on anticipating the behaviour of other drivers based on experience (for some of us, years and years of experience) but very little real-time data.  I almost plowed into the back of a car this morning because it stopped about 10 feet short of where I anticipated it would.  The data I was missing was the drivers desire to switch lanes behind a car that would have been right next to him had he stopped where I thought he would.  When you turn on your blinker you anticipate that someone in the next lane will slow down and make room for you to change lanes. (This is generally true, unless you drive in Manhattan, Atlanta, Mumbai or on I-70 past the St. Louis airport during evening rush hour.  In these cases experience has taught you that your blinkers are flashy ornamentation and essentially useless.)

So because I am me, I decided to see how far I could stretch this little lesson.  Where else in my life do I see wrecks?  Make-up application.  I have, more than once, anticipated that a color or a product would look fabulous on me...and I was wrong.  Fashion.  See make-up explanation above.  Relationships.  Yes, relationships....

In relationships, we do an awful lot of anticipating.  If we're not communicating often and effectively with our loved ones, we anticipate without real-time data.  If the loved one does what we anticipated, we nod and smile smugly and forget to say thank you.  Our loved one feels unappreciated and taken for granted.  If the loved one doesn't do what we anticipated, we feel thrown for a loop, and possibly even deceived.  Anticipation is more likely between loved ones with a lot of history...we base so much on our experience of that other person, without allowing for the normal changes and growth that happen to us all over time.

Bottomline: Keep the lines of communication open so you don't wreck your relationships.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Twist-out Evolution

1st day, 2nd day, 3rd day hair.  Some people like doing their hair everyday.  I'm not one of those people.  I like to do a style and have it last a day or two.  The thing with natural hair is that it changes from day to day...sometimes from hour to hour.  I've had a wash 'n go look one way in the morning and completely different by lunch and then different again by the time I get home in the evening.  Since the cold set in, I've been doing up-do's, buns, braid-outs and twist-outs and I try to make them last.  Here's the evolution of my last twist-out:

1st day hair:
 
This was the result of a 3-strand twist out that was supposed to result in ringlets.  I didn't get ringlets and I'm not sure if it was my product choice, application or twisting technique, but I still loved the results.  I pineappled* my hair that night and got this the next morning:
 
2nd day hair:

Look at that stretch!  It's starting to loose definition now, but I was happy.  I pineappled again this night and the next and got this:

4th day hair:


 
 
More stretch, but very little definition left.  It's fuller and softer than the 1st day look though.  It'll be re-twisted tonight, but there's no telling what it'll look like tomorrow.
 
 
 
*Pineappleing: Pulling all the hair gently to the top of the head and securing with a scarf, scuncii or hair tie before going to bed for the night.  This stretches the hair and somewhat preserves curl/definition.


 
 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Confession: I've been a bad, bad girl...

I've been careless with my delicate hair. I kept going from style to style without washing or conditioning for about a week and a half. I started with a wash 'n go, then I went to a twist out, then some up-dos.  When I finally sat down to detangle it was bad...really bad.

I was in the last week of a 30-day finger detangling challenge (no combs allowed).  I soaked my hair with water and used a ton of conditioner, but I still lost a lot of hair.  My ends were so raggedy and rough I ended up trimming a full 1/2 inch off the ends. *shakes head* I basically lost a month's worth of growth. 

As sad as that makes me, I also gained some styling experience. I'm still trying to decide whether or not it was worth it, but I'm determined to view every learning experience on this journey as a positive.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Procrastination and Perfection

I let my first anniversary with natural hair pass by without a blog post.  It was July 23rd.  I had this whole Natural Hair Journey slide show I was gonna do...but I kept putting it off.  Then the day was upon me and it wasn't done...or rather...it wasn't done perfectly.

If you know me, then you know these two themes dominate my life.  So much doesn't get done because I put things off until they can be done perfectly, and if I can't do it perfectly I won't do it at all.  One of the lessons I've learned this past year is that "perfect" is a limiting qualification.  It doesn't allow for error, creativity or collaboration.  Sometimes something imperfect is still right.  And sometimes submitting a rough draft gives you the opportunity to get ideas from others.  Obviously I've learned this lesson somewhat imperfectly, but I'm a person in progress....still learning, still growing.

So here's my imperfect hair journey documentation...no slide show...no music...just me!

Big Chop July 23, 2012 (TWA)
 
 
October 2012 (Afro)


December 2012 (Fro-hawk)
 
March 2013 (Braid-out)
 
July 2013 (Wash 'n go)
 
Today (Braid-out)
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My first flexirod set on natural hair

I finally convinced myself that my hair was long enough for a roller set so I did flexirods.

There wasn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to the way I put them in.  I only have 24 flexirods and I was just trying to use all of them, but still not make any section too large so that I'd have to separate it a lot.  I very gently misted each section with water with a little coconut oil in it and my Curls Unleashed Curl Creme.  I detangled with a detangling comb, then a fine tooth comb, wrapped the end with curling paper and rolled on the flexirod.
This morning I took out the flexirods and papers and carefully rolled each section back up.

Some of them were a little damp still, but I soldiered on.  I covered my hands in coconut oil and started separating the curls, twirling each separated section into a little drop curl.  The first curls I rolled right in front were kind of fuzzy (I didn't put enough product on them or smooth them well before rolling) so I pinned those areas back.
Here's the final look:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

6 Months Natural

When I started this Natural Hair journey, I decided not to use heat or color for the first year.  I'm halfway there and I already have ideas of what I'm going to do, but in the meantime I thought I'd celebrate this milestone with a few poems I've written. Enjoy!




A Natural Acrostic Poem

Never imagined how much
A simple haircut would change
The way I see myself
Unique and strong and beautiful
Real hair meets real life
All eyes on me and I'm
Loving it!






Natural Haiku

Springy coils and curls
Smiling boys and flirting girls
Rain or sun we shine

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Every Marriage is Work

I have a few single friends that are ready for marriage.  In speaking to them, one thing that either doesn't occur to them or it scares them, is that marriage is work.  This is a truth that is inescapable, but it isn't a truth that should be dreaded.

The worst marriages are like a demolition job, tons of energy going into tearing down each other and everything you've built together. Without proper care, people will get hurt and when you're done there's nothing left but rubble.

Some marriages aren't as tragic...they're more like clearing the brush from an abandoned piece of property. It takes a lot of energy, there's a possibility of getting hurt and sometimes it's best to bring in professionals before too much harm is done. When you're done you're left with a bare piece of land. You might be able to build something on it, if you've still got the energy and/or desire.

The best marriages are like tending a garden. The work is done lovingly and with pride, working with nature instead of against it. The resulting paradise is worth every drop of sweat.