Putting on fancy dresses. Wearing lemonade braids down my back. Both are great for social media likes. Without the confidence, I’ve learned on my self-awareness journey, I wouldn’t be able to post these pictures online.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Like most, it was an immediate struggle finding my own image. High profile elites and high-end brand commercials fill our society’s media outlets. They tell us that our beauty lies within the brands we wear. As I reflect on my past journey, I have become very thankful for 4 reasons in particular.
1. I am thankful for the naps that I had to struggle through
My kinky and tightly coiled strands have taught me patience. I can’t achieve a great style without time. There are some mornings when I want to throw my hair in a ponytail and race out of the house. But my hair does not permit me to do so. Also, there were times earlier on in my hair journey where I wanted my hair to reach past my ears. But of course, that didn’t happen overnight. Like anything else that you want to flourish and grow, it takes time. Thank you naps for granting me patience!
2. I am thankful for the bad hair days
Sometimes we rely on our appearance alone. Guess what? Appearances don’t hold as much value as attitudes do! On my worse hair day, my attitude has to make up for my appearance which in turns brings out the best in my personality. Some may say, I’m “overcompensating” for a flaw. I say it’s the width of my smile and blossom in my voice that makes my attitude shine brighter than anything else!
3. I am thankful for the decision I made to cut out relaxers
Though I only had a relaxer for about 4 years of my life. During those 4 years, I neglected the health of my hair. It was in those 4 years when I noticed I had fallen victim to a chemical addiction. An unhealthy addiction at that. Though relaxers, if applied by a professional, can be quite safe. The chemicals and fumes you inhale during the application can be horrid! After I decided to cut out the relaxers, my lifestyle choices changed as well. It was then that I was able to live a holistic healthier lifestyle. Or at least try!
4. I am thankful for the new friends and communities I have built on the road to happiness
During this natural journey, please trust me, it was not easy. From the harsh stares to the confused glares, it takes a toll on a person’s psyche and mental health. Thanks to CurlyNIkki forums and a few trips to New York City. I was able to build a network of women who also took pride in their natural hair. They were so supportive and to this day I know I can always call on them to talk about the highs and lows in life. Networks and communities are not about the exclusivity based upon your characteristics. They are places for individuals to feel included when the rest of the world tells them they are different.
Being thankful shows gratitude to, not only others, but to yourself as well. Please share your thoughts of Gratitude below! Or send me a tweet @nearlycia.