Saturday, February 10, 2007

the journey begins (a re-post from August 2006)

Like all of the major changes in my life, this one happened with almost no effort on my part. Sure there was months of talking, thinking, imagining, retreating, dismissing and reading. That's always my Phase One. Phase Two typically involves creating a timeline, determining the financial implications of my endeavor and executing my thoroughly thought through plan. Phase Three - completion.

I don't think I've ever gotten to Phase Two. Typically I go straight from Phase One to Phase Three and friends marvel at how I got to be so lucky as to skip the hard part.

Without me realizing it, this journey began on April 1st, 2006. I had survived winter coat + wool scarf. I had recovered from too tight at the edges. I was coping with stress + digging (no, not scratching...digging...with whatever was pen, metal letter opener...whatever). The morning of April 1st, however, I found out that I was NOT coping well with winter coat + wool scarf Part Deux.

I pulled out all of my trusty coping tools. I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I reminded myself that it would grow back and it would be healthier. I promised myself that next winter I would take more preventative measures. I tried not to cry.

And then I saw one of my dearest girlfriends.

Oh my gosh, you cut your hair!!

And the dam broke. Don't worry, I didn't start crying openly in the bar. But I was weeping, wailing and moaning on the inside.

A conversation followed, during which my girl asked me why I didn't just go natural...locs even. I couldn't handle it. I snapped - conversation over. Is she f-ing kidding me? Hello, say it with me, people: "Corporate America".

But the seed had been planted. And it wasn't a bad idea. Upon further review (and execution of Phase One) I determined that it was actually a pretty good idea.

In theory.

Like I said, the universe has a way of taking care of my business for me when I'm too stuck on scared to do it myself. When I sat in the chair Saturday July 29th eagerly awaiting the harsh, smelly chemical that would instantly transform me from African Cheetah to Business Barbie, I had no idea that my scalp had other plans for me. That magically transforming process was over before it had a chance to start. I'm certain that she lit a match to my scalp, the burning was that instantaneous and intense.

Scalp is burning, scalp is burning,
look out, look out,
pour on water, pour on water

And just like that, Phase Three began. The African Cheetah was born again. My journey began with no steps (unless you count the swift and deliberate steps I took to the shampoo bowl, demanding that that relaxer be rinsed out immediately).

For twelve days I have tried to hide the TWA that has taken up residence under my hairstyle; I have cursed the stupid, dumb, itchy, nap....kinky African Cheetah hair; I have apologized to my tresses and begged their forgiveness and long term cooperation; I have obsessed over the possibilities; I have handed this journey over to my inner goddess.

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