Never Say Never

Did you ever promise yourself things in your childhood? By this I mean, did you ever swear to not do something? You know how little kids used to screech and complain about cooties, then you fast-forward to ten years, and people can’t get their hands off each other?

cooties

I digress.

When I was much younger, a bit more foolish, and still influenced by Eurocentric standards, I prayed that I would have hair like Rapunzel and promised that I would NEVER cut my hair. Never!

rapunzel-hair

Think about it: I was a short, scrawny, mildly cute Nigerian girl. My hair was short-ish and curly; I looked nothing like Rapunzel. Nevertheless, I was still determined (if you follow along my posts, you’ll soon learn that I am a stubborn person).

For 18 years of my life (or ever since I became a conscious human being), I never cut my hair. I flinched when hairdressers came near me with scissors. I inspected my hair after leaving the salon to ensure that they hadn’t stolen any of the new length that I had acquired. And I relaxed my hair often to make it seem smooth and longer.

Now fast-forward to the present. I am 18 years old and I have a TWA. For those who are unaware, TWA stands for Teeny Weeny Afro. Yes indeed! I cut my hair.

twa-hair

You see, ever since last year, I realized that my dreams of Rapunzel-like hair were both unrealistic and perhaps even detrimental to myself. I should have appreciated my beautiful, curly (some may say nappy) hair for what it was and what it represented. My heritage. My connection to my mother, my aunts, my female cousins and all the beautiful black women around me. In addition, although I was finally close to achieving long hair, my hair had become thin and lifeless, which I hated. I want my hair to be healthy and bursting with life, so I decided to start all over.

I transitioned for a year (transitioning refers to not relaxing/perming one’s hair to enable new natural hair to start growing from the scalp) and then abruptly decided a week ago to cut off the relaxed ends of my hair.

Chop! Then all my childhood dreams were scattered across the barber’s floor, helpless and abandoned. It took a few days for me to adjust to my new hair, and it didn’t help that all my family members, family friends and church acquaintances would exclaim, “Ah! You cut your hair? Why now?”

But I’ve become used to it. I am now enjoying the process of taking care of my hair, discovering what products work with it and figuring out how to style it.

So what does this all mean?

Even if you made decisions or promises at the very beginning of your journey, or even as a child, to make moves, understand that you should be flexible enough to allow these plans to change depending on your circumstances. Your business idea will no doubt evolve as time goes on. Your dreams will definitely become more nuanced as you begin to understand what exactly you want in life. So, be open to change and remember to “Never Say Never”.

Cheers!

–  M.

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