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8 month old dreadlocks

Monday, May 28, 2012

I never get on my computer anymore. It sits folded up neatly on the entertainment center shelf underneath the tv most days- and if its not there, then its probably resting on the ottoman opposite of the couch, waiting patiently for me for met to come over, open it up, and show it some love. I've just gotten so used to a life without the internet- social networking isn't really my thing, and maybe it never has been? Or maybe it was, but for the wrong reasons. But you know what? Now that I rarely do it, I'm not missing a thing. I could probably write a whole post on this in itself, but I'll save that for another day...

I got an email recently, asking about my dreadlocks. A friendly reader had remembered the article I wrote back in October, where I spilled my hearts feelings about "my beautiful", and posted a few pictures of what would someday turn into dreadlocks. This reader wanted to know if I had stuck with it- and if I had, how were things going- or had I given up?

Well some days, mostly in the beginning, I certainly felt like giving up. "What am I doing?!" I wondered, as I slowly transitioned from the normal color/cut/style routine, into my new "I wash my hair once a week and will never brush it again" routine. I felt like every time I left the house, people were staring at me. There were months, where I couldn't bare to leave the house without some sort of wrap or headscarf covering them, and they were almost always tied into a knot of some sort.

And then one day, I just, went for it. No wrap. No pony holders. Just my hair, in all of its tangly messy cave woman existence, resting down near my shoulders. ...and thats how I went to the store with my family.

I didn't think much about it, at first, because when you're walking around with 3 kids and a shopping list longer than The Bible, the top priority is usually to keep the baby from throwing cans of organic corn at strangers, and not to forget the toilet paper (because the commissary isn't open on Mondays, and we're out of paper towels too). It wasn't until somewhere around the bulk rice that I felt eyes on me, and in that moment, even though I felt noticed... I felt okay. And we made it through the trip, and we got home safely, and in the end, I had survived my first trip out of the house with my naked dreads.

My dreads aren't perfect. They weren't professionally done. My friend Alexis and I did them over the course of a few days at each others houses, while watching Labrynth and Dirty Dancing, with a backcomb and a whole lotta knotting. Her arms must have been killing her. I know my butt was from sitting on the floor that whole time. As time went on, hairs pulled out of place, dreads came undone, hair from this dread fused to that dread... things got messy. And at first I hated it. I wanted them all to look uniform, nice and tidy. But the more lumps and bumps they got, the more character each one took on, and the more I relaxed.

And now, here I am, 8 months later. I love my dreads. I love their quirks. I love their personality. I love that I never have to brush my hair. I love that I can throw my hair up into a knot on the top of my head and leave it there for days. I love that if I put my hair in pigtails I look like I belong in a rave circa 1997 (I never do that, the one time I did I felt ridiculous).

But most of all: I love that I've learned how to get comfortable with myself.

I'm not in many pictures- I'm usually the one taking them, but- on my 28th birthday a few weeks ago, Christopher snapped a picture of me sharing my birthday breakfast cake with the littlest one, and for the first time, I saw what I looked like from a totally different perspective. At first I was taken back, "who is that hippie in the photo?". And I must have stared at it for several minutes, maybe even hours. I don't know about you guys, but- I just don't look at myself that often. I almost never wear makeup, we don't even have a full length mirror in the house... I just never see myself. So in a way, when seeing this photo, I was seeing myself for the first time.

So maybe its not the most flattering picture (Christopher has no idea about my angle preferences, but really, whos husband does?), but-its real. Me on a Saturday morning at the park, feeding my baby a bit of homemade gluten free chocolate birthday cake, rockin' my dreads.

I've come a long ways.

And while I've got you here, want to see a picture of the eclipse from a few weeks ago?

Pretty neat, right? We gathered with a group of people behind the base library where they had a telescope and projection screen set up, and one of the librarians let me borrow his zoom lens (I strictly use my 28mm wide angle). It temporarily burned my eyes until I switched it to the LCD screen, so I was seeing spots for awhile, but I managed to get a pretty good shot.

Alright, so not many pictures this time around (not compared to my usual posts, at least), I just don't feel up to sharing my entire life the way that I used to, but- we've got some really exciting things going on right now, and maybe I'll come around and share some of those soon? Thanks for sticking with me, reader friends. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoy stopping by for a good type :)