Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lockin her up.

Dreadlocking, anyway.  ;-)

So here's my little story...

I fell in love with dreadlocks probably the first time I saw them.  I don't really know exactly when it started but as far back as my teenage years I remember loving them.  I'd only seen them on a couple of black women and at the time so began my love of "black girl hair".  I wanted it.  I wanted locks.

A few years later I started noticing locks on white people.  Usually hippies.  That was cool, especially since I consider myself as part of that group o' folk.  But I didn't look into getting them.  Because regardless of what lifestyle I did live, I certainly didn't want people judging me in all sorts of ways based upon my hair.  Which is funny because I was always doing wild new things to my hair.  My BFF Tori and I were dying our hair at age 12.  We did all sorts of fun and wild things with our hairs.  I had black hair, green hair, multicolored hair, bleached hair, orange hair, and so the story goes.

Something about being judged as a pot-smoking, reggae-loving, dirty hippie just wasn't sitting well with me though.

Fast forward to February of last year:  I found my first blog.  Then my second blog.  Then my third blog.  I became a blog reader.  It just so happened to be that 2 of my first 3 blog subscriptions belonged to women with dreadlocks.  As time continued on, I found a couple other bloggers who had dreadlocks.  They all happened to be Moms.  Not only moms, but Moms who are incredible Moms, who inspire me, who teach me, who help me see my failures and help me acknowledge my potential.

It was this past year that I realized there are at least 4 Moms out there who are great and wonderful and not pot-smoking, reggae-loving, dirty hippies AND they have dreadlocks.

So I started considering it.  My interest wavered as I took it more seriously.  After all, I LOVE my hair.  Do I really want to not have it anymore?  Do I want to give up its soft, silky, straight smoothness?  For real?

 Big questions to answer.  I also asked Jon what he thought.  After all, he's the only hot guy I'm spending Sexperiment month with for the rest of my live-long-life.  He was honest with me and let me know it's not his favorite hair style and he is madly in love with my actual hair.  BUT, that he'd rather I do it and chance not loving it than not do it and always wonder.  He really is the greatest and I aim to not forget that.  Ever.

Finally a couple of months ago I decided for sure that I would do it.  It just so happened that blog number 2 writer moved a couple of hours from me.  I emailed her to see if she'd do mine and we exchanged a quick blip about it.  But neither of us followed up.  And as time went on I realized I wasn't actually into driving 2 hours, sitting for 4-8 hours of hair-doing, then driving another 2 hours home.  So, I let go of that idea.

I also decided they would be a reward for a weight loss goal I'd set.

I didn't hit the goal.  At all.  Now I've come to realize the reason for that was mainly lack of sleep and survival mode.  Regardless, I couldn't do them when I was supposed to because I hadn't accomplished what I was supposed to.

Then I went to Orlando.  And Christine RUBBED her hot-A dreadlocks all over my head . Okay, okay... it wasn't that elaborate...  But, they touched me.  And I haven't let go of their wonderfulness yet.

So last night after being impatient and looking up lots of information, I just started doing them myself.  I thought I was going to follow up with a friend to finish off parts of the back.  But after a couple locks were done I got all selfish with my bad self and decided this was between me, my head, and my commitment.  I've worked on them every spare moment I've had since last night and I'm almost done!  I only have a handful more to do and depending on how heavy my eyelids get I may get them done tonight.

One of the things I didn't know about locks until last night was that they don't appear right away.  :-/  It takes some time for them to tighten and "lock" up.  I thought I'd be pretty embarrassed out in public, after all I've never seen someone in the baby stage of dreads before.  I thought about making a sign or pin that would say "What's up with this? (arrow pointing up) Dreadlocks in the making."  But today we went out to eat with the in-laws (there needs to be a better word for that in our situation, cause it sounds so... courthouse-ish) and I was proud.  I kept thinking "yeah, see that natty mess??  AWESOME, HUH???"

Proud.  Of my little nest of hair all over my head.  So excited.

For years when I see a head of locks something takes me over.  I am SO INTO THEM.

And now, I'm a brand-new owner of exactly what I want.

Talk about manifestation.  I'll apply that in many areas of life.

I own what I want.  I am what I like.  I have what I need.  I love who loves me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Fat Ooshy Gooshy Slobbery Snotty Smiling Crying Thank You

This post is for the beautiful, wonderful, generous, talented, amazing people who donated money to the Orlando Scholarship Fund.  Do you like how I put that all in caps like it was the official name of anything?  I made it up.  I'll give my acceptance speech for my super skills another time.

But, at this time, the spotlight is on givers.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I was a recipient of a scholarship and the trip was amazing.  The opportunity was amazing.  Your gift was amazing.  There are a lot of experiences that can't be put into words.  Conversations that are sealed in confidential community.  Pictures that should've been taken but weren't.

This is why I'm crazy grateful.  Those things that I can never fully express to you are the things that made this so life changing.  But I have this thing about gift cards...

When I'm given one I like to share with the giver what I got.  Not only to give them ideas about me so sometime in the future they know me more and are comfortable giving me something more personalized but also because sometimes a gift card IS personalized and I want to share with them what they bought me.

So since you gave me a "gift card", I'd like to take some time and tell you the things I did get that I CAN express without a dumbfounded "uh, uh, uh" followed by tears.

I got the chance to sleep.  A lot.  I didn't take that chance, though.  I was too busy spending HOURS with awesome women. Talking. Sharing. Smiling. Laughing. Encouraging. Complimenting.  But, I also got the chance to not be under pressure to stay calm during chaos, to not feed anyone other than myself and during communal meal preparation there were people in the kitchen WITH me not just asking for nibbles.  I got to relish in my exhaustion for what it was and why I had it.  I got to enjoy being tired. {GASP}

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to sit by a pool and meet cool people. I didn't get to hear half of them.  But the ones I did hear were touching.  Do you know how often *I* get to sit by a pool and anything??  Not often.  This was great.  Good fun.  Relaxing to the maxing.  Awesome.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to swim in the pool at 3am because I couldn't fall asleep.  I'll tell you what...  The best treatment for insomnia has nothing to do with pills, or even meditation which I'm actually a fan of.  No way, Jose!  The best treatment is a midnight swim in warm water, surrounded by warm air and the chirping of crickets.  I guess it's a crummy treatment, actually, because I didn't get to bed any sooner and still had a bit of trouble when I got to my bed, but I enjoyed my insomnia, immensely!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to babysit drunk women.  And they weren't the annoying kind, either.  They were the really cute and funny kind.  The kind of drunk people that were only drunk in the middle of the day because any other time in their lives they can't be.  They were all happy drunks.  No one got angry.  No one even got sappy.  Just plain old happy.  I'm a non-drinker myself and I can't tell you how many types of drunks there are.  But I enjoyed helping these happy drunk people get to other happy drunk people at a variety of houses.  And no one even peed on me.  And no one threw up.  It was goodness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to run a 5k.  I've not been a runner at any point in my life.  I've gained more weight over the past year than ever before in my life.  But when I heard about a 5k I got excited.  And I started running a little bit at a time.  Running my first 5k on such an incredible trip with insanely awesome women seemed like an empowering thing that I had one opportunity to have.  And I did it, dammit!  And it was HOT.  See, I've been running at home, but we're talking 20 degrees or lower.  Everyone told me it'd be easy down there because of the low altitude.  They're liars.  Bahahahaha!  But, really.  They were wrong.  The air was so heavy with moisture it took entirely too long to open my lungs to the bottom.  I struggled a lot with my breathing.  Once I finally got it I was okay, but again... too long.  And the heat...  Oh my the HEAT!  Even at 10am.  I have no idea what the actual temperature was, but it was hot.  My head pounded, my neck ached.  The heat.

So, when I came around the last bend in the road and I saw the finish line and I saw the UPHILL (Corey, I thought you loved us, but....) all the way there I knew I had two choices.  I could jog up that hill and feel the brute force of gravity working against me the whole way.  OR I could slam that sh*t!  And that's what I did, friends.  I sprinted up that hill and the ONLY thing that was going to stop me was the finish line tape that two totally hot girls held for me.  Right before the end all the emotion tied into "I can do this" and tons of other emotion that I can't even target came rushing up and I finished that 5k, having not taken one walking step, feeling INCREDIBLE!  It was every empowering, feminine, beautiful feeling I thought it would be.  Oh, and then some.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to go to the coolest restaurant I've ever seen in my life.  There was yelling and "Opa"ing and dancing and eating and drinking and photo taking and finally, crying.  I can't even begin to explain the restaurant without drowning out its awesomeness with descriptive words that leave experience behind, but I can tell you that my theme for the evening definitely became "When I grow up I'm going to be Greek".  And, yes, I understand I can't "be" Greek.  But, in my little world of wonderfulness around that night, I can.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaking of which... the crying.  There wasn't much for me.  You see, I'm still pretty guarded I guess.  But I didn't even figure that out until I came home.  Sunday morning I was thinking though and wondering if something was wrong with me.  After all, every blog post I'd read from the Original Nine said there would be lots of crying.  And I hadn't cried a tear.  But, at dinner.  I cried.  I was telling the same story I'd told several times through the weekend.  But I was telling it to someone different.  And I was telling it one-on-one, which I hadn't done before.  And the beautiful, wonderful goddess who I was telling it to had her heart open wide for me.  And mine finally opened up to feel the story and experience the story and tell the story.  And it was bliss.  Not because I cried.  But because I had found someone that I *could* cry to.  It didn't last long and there was no snot or hyperventilating (don't you tell me you don't know what kind of crying I'm talking about).  But it was monumental.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to get Christine's sexy dreads all over the side of my head.  Twice!  I have dread jealousy.  I had planned on getting them for a weight loss goal reward.  But the weight loss didn't happen.  But, now that they touched me.  Hmm.  They're damn inevitable.  

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to meet "famous" bloggers that I didn't even know were famous, because I only read about 3 blogs on a regular basis.  Now that I've fallen in love with so many people, my blog reading time will definitely go up while my Hulu watching time will go down.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to ride on some random dude's "motorcycle" (crotch rocket, cough, cough).  I guess it was the beginning of bike week and there was a house full of 'em.  And one morning while walking around lost and confused with 2 other awesome ladies we walked by the "motorcycle" (crotch rocket, cough, cough) house.  So, I walked up to them (there were a couple of them outside looking at their bikes or whatever they do when they stand around them) and I said, "Hi.  I'm on a Mom's retreat.  The boss lady said that the only rule is that you do what you want, when you want and right now I want a ride on a bike.   Would you be willing to help me out with that?"  He kindly obliged, my friends took mental note of their house address in case I went missing, and he took me on a very slow ride around a couple of blocks.  Of course, I was still lost and didn't know where my house was so he dropped me back off with my ladies and we carried on trying to find our yellow brick road.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to meet two women whose presences are full of so much grace I could hardly handle it.  I love them.  My only regret from the weekend is not spending more down time at our house talking with them.  They are more beautiful than your eyes can handle, so put on sunglasses and have someone else read you their names and you still might end up with retina burns.  Marty and Brenda.  Beautiful.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I'm on a roll and could keep going, but there must be an end or Corey might not ever link to this post so you can read my Thank You.  Speaking of Corey...  I GOT TO MEET COREY and she's more fabulous than anything you could've ever thought up.  People flock to her for a reason.  I'm madly in love with her now.  Because you donated money, I got to meet her awesomeness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.