I'm sitting here, staring at this screen. Unsure of where to start. Where this journey started. I am not certain of the point when I started to release attachment to my dreads but more importantly to my hair. I've adopted the mantra, "It's just hair" for some time now and I think that was a way to fool myself. It's not just hair. It's an adornment of this journey we are on and whether we choose to have long hair, short hair, dreads, a buzzed head, or to shave our heads completely bald, there is power in that. When I chose to dread my hair it was a time when I was in a moment of needing to hold on. Hold on to whatever I could. And whether that meant to tangle everything up in my hair for a few months, that is what I would do.
But let us go back to when I was in elementary school. I got lice. Heavy duty, hardcore, lice. Every time we got rid of it, it would just come back full force. The little buggers love shag carpet, surprise surprise. Well through that I formed a crazy relationship with my hair. At one point my father took us to get it all cut off even though I did not want that. I hated it. I hated that haircut and was so self conscious about it. The hair battles did not end there. At one point he even used paint thinner on my head, in desperation, to try to kill the lice. This gave me a weird tingly sensation down my neck for weeks and my entire scalp basically peeled within that time period as well. It wasn't until he had the epiphany to take out all the carpet in the house, bag up all the stuffed animals for weeks and wash every item of clothing in the house, it seemed, that we finally got rid of the lice.
I never realized that through that, I formed a relationship with my hair that was, I don't know, ill.
I just let it grow for years, then when I moved to Louisiana I went through many phases of hair. But, I would never just cut it all off. It was a blanket. A security blanket.
Letting my hair dread was an unexpected path I took. I was going back and forth on just cutting my hair into a pixie cut or dreading it. Dreading it won because that would mean I would still get to keep my hair. It was the right path for me at the time. Moments I loved them. Moments I hated them. I got bad dandruff. Sores, even. I couldn't get rid of them and almost went to get some conventional dandruff shampoo. They pulled. I struggled getting comfortable at night with them.
Through the nine months I had them many trusts were broken. Many hurtful words were said to me. Many transgressions got tangled up within my dreads. They were there for me to work through. For me to learn to stand up for myself and my family. Bad associations were made with my dreads when I would look at them in the mirror. Not only mentally but there were physical markers of the hurt I went through, on them, in them. Markers of my mistake of letting people back in once I had already let go. A mistake that would affect my daughters lives. Not only mine. And while I needed those reminders daily, to learn to not make those choices again, it was hard. There was a negative feeling always around. Always.
So when I got sick and was elbow deep in a trashcan, I was cursing my dreads. When you don't eat for a couple days and nurse a baby all day they are boulders on your shoulders. They were heavy. Weighing me down. I was hot and miserable. And just ask Joey, when I am hot and can't cool down, mama ain't friendly. It was the catalyst for this change. I am actually grateful for the time I was sick. It brought to light many things. Things I was ready for. Ready to accept and ready to release. Shaving my head was a way to disconnect from the things that were silently haunting me each morning when I would wake. The next morning I woke up 100% better and haven't had any signs of illness since. Not by coincidence.
Time to lay to rest this strained relationship I have with my hair and let it serve me. Serve the greater purpose and this journey I am on. On the night of the winter solstice this year, I plan on fully releasing my dreads, into the fire.
Maybe none of this makes sense. Maybe I seem crazy. But with this crazy it brings joy. A joy that only those that have experienced it can understand.
I am naked and bare. I choose to be raw and vulnerable.
I can finally see me.
And dude. I forgot how much I love head scratches.
The entire 30 minute process of letting go. All under 4 1/2 minutes.
Peace and Love.
Peace and Love.