Finding Me…Part 1


Its been a little over 8 months since I chopped my locs and began to fall in love with myself again.  Its kind of funny because it took me awhile to actually make “THE BIG CHOP.”  Ironically, I have talked about cutting my hair for way too long.  I debated even blogging about this because I didn’t want to seem like the cliché and then I thought “this is a place to share stories and if you can’t share another BIG CHOP story here, where can you share it?”   So it began when my grandmother was slowly transitioning out of this world.  Although, I knew she was close to passing away, I was not sure what I would do to honor the last of my grandparents passing away.  It came to me at Weeksville while chatting with two of my friends, enjoying the sun and waiting for one of my favoritest artist to come out, Meshell Ndegocello.  Unfortunately, I left the event early to go to a friend’s birthday party and on the way home, I got a call from my mother.  She mentioned that she was interested in cutting her locs too.  I told her how I had just talked with some friends about that and was on board.

The day came when I got the call that my grandmother passed away.  I waited for a funeral date and promptly purchased my ticket home.  When I arrived I did a number of different activities to support my mother and at about 11 pm I turned to her and said “Its Time.”  As she cut my locs, I thought “Oh $88&!”  I looked in the mirror and was a bit confused by what I saw.  It had only been since 1995 since I saw my hair in this form.  In some ways saw it “Free.”  I turned to my mother put the hair in a bag and got ready to cut her hair.  I cut the locs that she had for almost as long as my brother was alive and nothing but happiness was written all over her face.  We took a couple of pictures and headed home.

When I arrived I was not necessarily the happiest person in the world but content with the fact that I had finally overcome my own vanity and whatever else was laying dormant in my subconscious.  As I walked in the door to my parents house my sister was at a loss for words.  The next morning my brother came home and I begged him to shave it all off.  He began to take his time slowly cutting my short choppy afro into a bald fade.  As the last bit of hair came off, I looked into the mirror and a huge smile came over my face.  I felt so pretty.  Now I feel pretty sometimes just like the next person but the smile that came to me is the smile that you have when you feel beautiful.  So beautiful all you can do is smile.  So beautiful that your skin glows and everyone else around you catches the same smile that you have.  As I asked my brother what he thought he said something that for his limited capacity to share feelings was very profound “You gotta do you!! If you love it, I love it…Uhhh, it does look nice.  You are really happy aren’t you?!”  I replied with a smile and begin jumping like a kid in a candy store.  The second part of my process was complete.  My mother did the initial chop.  My brother (who I did not necessarily expect to be part of this) cut my hair and reinforced his care for me in a gentle methodic and almost unspoken way.  I went downstairs and everyone noticed the difference.  As only my cousins can do they looked and said “You know Ogonnaya, it actually looks good!”  This “compliment” was the best.  I loved it because you could tell that there was some real contemplation, surprise and acceptance in all of it.

Finally after the funeral, my mother, my father, my sister and myself went to the beach for the final part of the process…

…and that story is for my next post!!

 

Peace B. Still

ReFlectionary

 

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~ by travelling womanists on February 10, 2012.

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