Updated: Oct 4, 2020
A perfect day to represent Kujichagulia. A year ago was a monumental day, as it marks one-year since I cut all of my hair off. Now of course, everyone knows that I like to change my hair often, but this was more than a hairstyle.
In my season of growth and reflection, I realized that there were quite a few things that I held onto and used to determine who I was, which hid the trueness of who I REALLY was. One primary physical characteristic was having LONG, THICK, “pretty” (whatever that is) hair. I came to terms that I struggled with my perception of my beauty, and holding onto to false idolized beauty standards contributed heavily to this. Basically, I thought I was ONLY “pretty” because I had long hair. That is all everyone pointed out. Something else I truly struggled with is how to do things that makes myself happy. I considered other’s opinion of my happiness to reign over my view of happiness, substantially to the point that I had no understanding or view of my personal happiness, which equates to no personal happiness. Yeah, I said it. Other’s people’s view of your happiness is not your happiness.
So, I decided I needed to make a change.
A change so drastic that it would shake everyone up, including myself, and let them know that I am taking myself back.
So, on December 27, 2017, in Sweethead Naturals Salon in St. Louis, I sat in the chair, and I said “please cut all of this off”.
Now note, I didn’t say hair, but with her license, that is all she knew how to cut. But, what she did cut was more than my luscious locks. As I saw the pieces falling to the ground, I saw my insecurities falling, my need for approval, my fear of not being enough, my urge of judgement – I saw the shell, the mask, lying right on the floor that I didn’t even know I had on. I then DARED to look up at myself, and I smiled and laughed, because I was meeting a new lady for the first time.
Since then, I have cut my hair three more times, so it wasn’t just a phase or season. It was a moment. A breaking. A beginning. I made a lot of people very upset, sad, confused, and frustrated over my hair. OVER MY HAIR. I quickly learned that I allowed these unnecessary burdens of others to cast a shadow over my life. These unfair labels. These unneeded standards. I learned that no matter how others feel about my decisions, I have to be the one who is truly happy with me. And man, was I!? I also share this to promote others, and myself, to not fixate on the feelings of others, but find a sense of happiness for self. I am not going to act like it was not hard losing my “golden attribute”. I assure myself constantly that I wasn’t pretty until I affirmed and awakened to a new standard of beauty – one that was more rooted in the Word of God and spirit in my soul. With that, created joy - something that no one could ever take from me. From this decision, and from this created confidence and joy, I was able to liberate from other toxic decisions, situations, relationships (whew), behaviors, and environments that I have allowed myself to succumb to and subside in. But it first started with something so prominent, yet so small – a haircut.
I had to let go of my “prestige”, my “beauty”, my “niche”, my “value”, by cutting off my hair. Well, at least in other’s eyes. Plot twist: all of those got even greater by letting those go. I became consistent with chasing my passions and my true identity over my accolades and my external, “approved” identity. But, the greatest thing of all is that I experienced a sense of freedom that I only fantasized about, but never thought I could reach. I achieved and believed substantially greater in other areas of my life because of the strength I experienced in this decision of my life. So, I say this to say, sometimes you have to do something outside of the box to break the ice and find your best you. To grow, to heal, to find peace and joy. Sometimes it is something that has nothing to do with your successes that has everything to do with your successes. I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I didn’t cut my hair, if I didn’t jump, if I didn’t let go, if I didn’t put aside the outside opinions to finally listen to my personal value. Would I have left toxic environments? Would I have broken off hurtful relationships? Would I have found healing? Would I strive for my passions of artistic expression and spiritual enrichment instead of my accolades?
Something that my therapist always told me, and it becomes truer every day is “trust yourself”. Trust that you know what makes you happy and fulfilled and go for it. Trust that your perspective of your life is more informed than others. Trust in your relationship with God (something I was afraid to do for sure). Trust in your worth and value and live as such. Trust that if you let something go, even greater will return to you, because you deserve it. Once you trust it, it will happen. Trust your instincts on what and who is good for you, and do not let anyone or anything question your intuition for their own personal agenda. Believe me, if they loved you, they would support you for chasing the best YOU. Most of all, trust that you are more than your degrees, your marital status, your weight, your abilities, your hair. Trust that you are beautiful JUST because, it’s you!
So today is not just a celebration of a new hairstyle. Today is a celebration of beginning my life on a new path of freedom, peace, joy, and love. The awakening towards a series of making active choices to live better and love better. To heal. To grow. To trust. To KNOW who I am. To free into a new dimension of me. The artist (took YEARS to say this). The coach. The advocate. Who knew that just cutting off my hair would change my entire life?