Saturday, May 15, 2010

they want me to miss them.

my locs.
"they were so beautiful, and long.
you just threw away your hair."

i appreciated having locs. i thought they were beautiful too. i had them for two years. that was enough for me. they'll probably come back. for now, they're gone. and i only ever really got them because my mom got tired of me walking around with my 'fro. that's where it all started, though I am so glad that I tried it, with me wanting her to stop telling me i looked like a five year old. that my hair was just sitting up on top of my head. reminding me how adamant i used to be abt making sure my hair was straight (when it was permed). but i wanted something new. i originally went natural so i could feel my roots (from the scalp, that is). and i like knowing what it felt like to run my fingers through my hair the way it is when i let it be. i wanted to grow me a big ol' afro. epic even. and i stopped.

well now, i want it short. i like smoothing my fingers on the sides so close to my scalp.
and if i have to grind like nobody's business so that i can have that simple pleasure, i shall. if i have to pave my own way for myself so i can express myself it just looks like that's what i need to do. 'cause to me, having to be what everyone else wants from me to get by each day is a form of dying and i want to live. i want to write. i want to wear colors, and experiment with style. i want to wear my grandma's and whatever else jewelry makes my day easier. wear my hair how i want. share what i want to share of myself without any unnecessary constraints.

i can't stay the same. staying the same makes it hard for me to breathe.

and i've found myself... never knew how to call it until someone said it after listening to me talk... found myself disappointed in myself for not being who i was in high school anymore. because i don't breathe school in the same way, because i don't seem as ... "driven" is not the right word, i don't seem as directed. and Lawd knows the only direction i had then was to college, because that's what you do after high school.

but i haven't been fair to myself, and i've been told this before and i know better deep somewhere... that is finally rising to the surface. some things you don't get back. some things you aren't meant to get back. i have the me i am now to hold onto and i've always prayed for growth, have always made that one of the number one things i need. growth just uh, hurts.

growth hurts. being interesting hurts. i remember just wanting to be interesting.  to be memorable when i was younger, shoot probably a couple days ago just in a different iteration and on a different level. because i wasn't inside of it. had no idea of how to you have to fight. you pay the price for it. if i see something and i want it and i go for it, it's not always gonna be supported, be understood be acceptable. cool.

i just know, the haze is clearing up. and what's left is who i am, in clear view. and those who matter will still love me. and i know my family will still be there, even if they said some wack shit when i got in the house this afternoon.

on homecoming.

pt. 1, the adults.

1.  oh, so i see you cut all your hair off.
2. oh, so you did it, huh?
3. apparently now, i've become deviant.
4. what type of job do i think i'm gonna get with this haircut?
5. you had all that beautiful hair and you just cut it, to wear it like that.
6. you've gone from "A class" to "C class"
7. damn. just because I cut off my locs?
8. i had never realized that there were tiers in how far from the norm you can go with having natural hair. i guess my locs were my way of being natural but still acceptable.
9. now you just got a poof, hair sitting in the middle of your head.
10. maybe we can grease it and curl it. you should straighten it. maybe i can twist it.
11. it doesn't look like anything.
12. you know, you've been coastin' up there at college and i haven't said anything but you better figure it out. you go to that prestigious school and you need to know what you're gonna do.
13. with the rest of my life, the day i move out from my dorm in my junior year?
14. you know, people ask me what you're studying, what you wanna do and i don't have an answer. at one point you were talkin about premed... this was the first month of freshman year.
15. oh, you wanna be a writer? you never told me that. i just heard you mention this "poetry."
16. (my favorite before this last "duh" realization) you're about to go into the corporate world. excuse me?
17. you look like you going through something. it looks like you just cut your hair because you going through something.
18. i am. but i am also not the same girl i was in high school. that would actually kind of be a problem if i still was at this point. i need room to come home with my locs cut off and not be told that i "played down my looks" and have now become "C class."
19. oh, you're still beautiful. it's just, you just cut it all off. you had beautiful locs. it just doesn't look nice. it looks dry. was so and so licensed? we coulda took you to a place here. we'll take you to fix it.
20. what look were you going for? just explain to me, because i don't understand.
21. no, not at all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

i feel new, like i knew that i would. (dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nun)

As I cut my hair, I realize I want to build a new relationship with myself. Put the work and care into myself in order to become who I want to be. To learn discipline and hard work in a new way. And learn how to put these things into practice in relationship to people, to myself. To learn how to take risks, make decisions and deal with the consequences and know that it’s not going to spell the end of the world every time I take a wrong or uncertain turn. To have hope. To make mistakes and pick myself back up from them without hating myself for making them.

And there’s something that I like about looking in the mirror and largely only having my face to look at. It’s a certain recognition that I don’t think I’ve been making for a while now. The only time I really look in the mirror is to make sure a ponytail looks right or I’ve fluffed my locs up enough for them to look full. I haven’t really just looked at me in a while. And that’s probably why people see so many things written on my face and I don’t realize I’m making it so plain. I feel good. I’m sure there are days I’m gonna have a difficult time but I think it’s a start to something healing and constructive.

I never really thought so much about hair and its relationship to my life until I got natural hair—cut the perm out of my hair. It’s another part of myself to face, to reckon with and I appreciate that. But I also realize that it doesn’t make me. When everyone is all “but you had such pretty locs” I’ll still stand firm in my decision because quite simply, it’s my life, it’s my body, it’s my head, my well being, my choice and I have to live with it. I ain’t saying nothing new, but I’m saying it for me.

I’m excited to see what it’s gonna be like once I wash it. I’ll let you know. Over (the stress) and out (of my mind).

with my hands, i sometimes think/that i can do/ just like you/ with my hands, i can make mistakes

what wasn't fittin into the box.

i need to add some structure to my life. my structure, not school structure. and i use structure loosely. Ithinkitwouldinvolveanewhairregimenandwakingupearlytowriteinajournaleverydayanddiversifyingthatwritingandsunrisewatchingandandandmeetinganewpersonerrycouple of days and memorizing poems and compiling poems and editing poemsand finding somegrownupworkshopstogotoinPhillyandfindingdifferentpartsofPhillythissummerand doing thingsi’ve never done now that I’m 21 but alsonowthati’mtiredofonlyknowingwhatidoknowandwantingtolearnsomethingnew
so this means learning something that I’ve been saying I wanted to learn for a WHILE and learning it and carrying it with me and saddling it up tight with the rest of my tools to keep my sanity during the schoo year
structure means making my life my own.
Not what I think I should be doing, but what I actually want to do because it matters in some way, shape or form (love putting those three together, it always happens in conversation, hear so many people say it that way ANYWHO)
Structure means less daydreams that keep me from getting out of bed and more sunshine and morealternatives to the happinessthatsunshine breeds when it’s raining and more creating and more sharing and more believing that people WILL give a damn about what I’m creating and more boldness. Ooo I like my boldness. That’s that flavor. Uh huh. And ur ruh uhm. More ME. Like the one that I be keeping all bottled up and stuff cause I don’t that we’re all ready and willing to stay, feel me?
So structure means foundation to withstand the crazy.
And it means my shed-du-el. Mmhm. And it means knowing when to turn my bs off and do what I need to do and knowing when it ain’t bs but a real problem I need to get to the root to and then um, pull up the root? Iono. How you deal with the root of the problem?
ANYWHO. Structure means… I have a little bit more control about what I allow myself to give a damn… about having control over. And it means letting go… of fears about what won’t work out and what will and how far along I should be and ain’t and what I’m doing wrong that they have and I ain’t got. Feel me? Cause I got. Just gotta focus more on what I got and use it for the greater good, of my spirit.
Yes, yes y’all. Structure’s in for the summer.  oh and more tryin. infinite more tryin, the things i actually wanna try.. none of that destructive stuff. yeah, none of that. i wanna smile more. 
 and random thought about a conversation i had a little while ago... if i need to be miserable or lonely, somehow unhappy or lacking and empty perpetually in order to be a good writer... WELL, sorry folks, i choose happiness. i actually don't buy the theory that writers need to have this looming and insurmountable pain and emptiness to be artists. i actually think that's an excuse not to seek better. there will always be questions. there will always be things that hurt regardless of how good things may go. i'm not fittin to wallow in the hurt, in the past, in the familiar, in the what i know i can't change or in the complexity of knowing what i can and not. *shakes head no no no nononnonononnononno with great fervor*
love me a little too much for that.
ooh ooh. good ending. i <3 me. haha. and as much as it throws me off balance and peace of mind sometimes, i'm glad i'm not too simple, that i'm searching, that i'm a lil crazy (or admit that it's not all peaches and keen cream all the time) whatever you wanna call it. i'm glad to be me. and excited about the work i'll be doing on that me, however i see fit and knowing that everything is gonna be alright, knowing that deep in my chest like a secret written in a clenched fist. or in clearer and less random language, i can feel it in my heart.  yes.