One year strong!

Anniversary meme - logo
birthday-cake-152008_1280 copyToday marks the one year anniversary of The Natural Hair Advocate! Woot woot! And it’s been an amazing 12 months!

A BIG thanks goes out to all of you for following, reading, and commenting on my posts over the past year- I really appreciate your support and engagement! Through this blog, I have met some really amazing people; learned a lot of new things, not only about hair, but also about myself; I’ve ventured far outside of my comfort zone; challenged myself in many ways; and, most importantly, I have revisited two of my passions: natural hair and writing.

Having said all that, the truth is, I really did not think that I would get here…

 

At first I was afraid, I was petrified!

Up until January of last year, if someone would have said to me that today I would be a “blogger”, I would’ve laughed in their face.  Sure, as a litigator, I was constantly writing for my job at the time; I have written numerous papers for various reasons throughout my years of schooling; I’ve had a couple of opportunities to have my opinion published in the past; I’ve even written for a blog as member of volunteer organization; and, believe it or not, before blogging became a “thing”, I had even started one for my Watson fellowship (the key word is “started”, because I only posted about 9 times)! Nevertheless, I did not think I could launch a blog that people would actually want to read; I also didn’t believe that I had the drive to maintain one.  I mean, I like to share my thoughts (just ask my husband or my siblings, lol), but I didn’t think that I could be consistent (or persistent) enough to keep a blog going.

 

The paralysis of analysis

Back in 2014, during what was a not-so-great-but-oh-so-necessary season in my life, I decided to go back to a writing project about natural hair that I had abandoned for a few years because I was too busy pursuing my legal career.  It was then that I remembered how much joy I found in championing natural hair, research, and writing.  Observing my rekindled excitement, the people around me-namely, my husband, siblings, and close friends- started encouraging me to start a blog.  For some reason, they thought I could do it. I, on the other hand, was not so convinced:

Me, start a blog? Nah! Why would anyone care about what I have to say?

Okay, if I start one, who’s going to read it? There are so many natural hair bloggers already!

Hmm…maybe I should start one; but I’m probably gonna write like 2 posts, and then get tired of it. So, really, what’s the point?

I went back and forth for a good 6 months before I finally decided to take the leap.  The first few months was me questioning whether I should, and also doubting my ability to, blog; and then when I did resign myself to do it, the next few months was me spending (wasting?) a lot of time researching how to start a blog/what makes a blog successful/how bloggers get followers/why blogs are popular/what time and what day you should blog/what separates good blogs from bad blogs/the history of blogging- you name it, I read it! But it was ALL a distraction from actually doing it!

A few days before I launched this blog, I had a long phone conversation with a good friend and fellow blogger, Simone Samuels (check out her blogs, if you haven’t already: Simone Samuels, Life After Oxtail), and she told me that I needed to overcome “the paralysis of analysis”– that I needed to stop stalling, under the guise of getting prepared, and just do it!  And, so, I did it!

 

Do it afraid!

When I published my first post, I was nervous and scared as heck, but I did it! And today, a year later, I’m still doing it! So, my encouragement to all of you is to do it afraid– whatever IT is for you!  If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a business, heading across the world on a missions trip, going back to school, or even starting a blog, please do not let fear hold you back! It’s better to do it afraid than to never attempt to do it, at all!

 

Coming stronger in Year Two

After a year of blogging, I realize now that a lot, if not most, of things that I was concerned about before I started have not even been issues! Mind you, there are other things that I’ve identified as issues that I will be working on improving.  This year, I plan to post more and to cover a broader scope of topics.  I’m also working on some exciting natural hair projects to be announced soon, so please do keep visiting for more information.  And, as always, please don’t hesitate to give me any feedback or suggestions you have about my posts or topics in the comments section!

Thanks for a great year, everyone! This is only the beginning!

 

 

“He loves me from my hair follicles to my toenails…”

What are you going to do with your hair on your wedding day?

When I was teenager, one of my guy friends would always ask me: “what are you going to do with your hair on your wedding day? You’re not going to wear it natural, are you? You’re going to have to perm it!”

I used to say to him: “if I met a guy who liked me enough to want to marry me, that would mean he would have had to have liked me, natural hair and all! So why on earth would I change my hair on the day when I would want to look my absolute best for him? I highly doubt that he would appreciate that kind of shock on his wedding day.”

My friend would laugh at me, and insist that I would perm or at least straighten my hair on my wedding day. He was also ready to put money on it because he couldn’t imagine the thought of a bride not having straight hair on her Big Day. What he was basically saying to me was that “you can’t look pretty with natural hair on your wedding day!”

May 31st: a day to celebrate love

Well, today is my 1st wedding anniversary, and it’s also, coincidentally, International Natural Hair Meetup Day– so, for me, it’s a day to celebrate love for my husband and love for myself, too!

A year ago, I married the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful, amazing man I know!

And on my Big Day, my hair was natural…

Wedding - Natural Hair #1

Photo credit: Matthew Kozovski Hair: Danika Battieste-Geddes Makeup: Soraya Prado

Wedding - Natural Hair #2

Photo credit: Matthew Kozovski Hair: Danika Battieste-Geddes Makeup: Soraya Prado

Wedding - Natural Hair #3

My Mom and Auntie – both naturalistas – tying me into that dress! Photo credit: Matthew Kozovski Hair: Danika Battieste-Geddes Makeup: Soraya Prado

 

Believe it or not, my now-hubby would not have wanted it any other way…

Back then…

When we were still dating, one day I decided to switch it up and flat-iron my hair. My-then-boyfriend was not happy- and I was shocked! Why? Because I was so accustomed to guys giving me a lot more positive attention when my hair was straightened.

I have a distinct memory from undergrad of the first time I went to Mass Appeal salon in Atlanta to get my hair “whipped”. When I left that salon, please believe, my hair was “laid”—and the reaction I got from my male friends was astounding! It was as if they had never seen me before—all of a sudden, I had been transformed into this “hot” girl…who they now wanted to talk to, lol! (To be honest, I enjoyed the attention, but what I didn’t enjoy was that my hair took the press too well: it took several weeks to wash it out of my hair, and some of the ends refused to turn back…so I had to cut them! Not cool!)

At the time, I didn’t realize that straightening my hair was such a big deal. I figured, I’m the same person, with the same face, just with a different hairdo; but clearly, straightening your hair was the “sexy” thing to do.

Needless to say, I was expecting my boyfriend to go crazy about my new ‘do. But his response was less than satisfactory:

 “Why did you do that to your hair?” he asked when I got into the car. “It’s so flat and weird now,” he said, as he ran his fingers through and rubbed my scalp.

 “Um, what’s that supposed to mean? You don’t think I look pretty?” (I can honestly say I was a little bit irked by his reception because it had taken me over an hour to straighten it by myself, and this was not the reaction I was expecting.)

 “Yeah, of course you look pretty; but it’s not the hairstyle that looks pretty: it’s your face!”

And that, my friends, was the day I fell in love with him! I’m just kidding! But knowing that he liked my hair—just the way it was—did make a world of difference to me! From then on, I didn’t have worry about whether he was just “accepting” my natural hair—I knew that he actually liked it. Which also meant that there was no pressure on my end to try to change it to “keep” him.

I count myself blessed and I am so grateful for his love.

My soul sista, Jill Scott, captures it so well:

You love me especially different every time

You keep me on my feet happily excited

By your cologne, your hands, your smile, your intelligence

You woo me, you court me, you tease me, you please me

You school me, give me some things to think about

Ignite me, you invite me, you co-write me, you love me, you like me

You incite me to chorus, ooh…

 You’re different and special

You’re different and special in every way imaginable

You love me from my hair follicles to my toenails

You got me feeling like the breeze, easy and free and lovely and new…

(Excerpt from “He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)” by Jill Scott and Keith Pelzer)

He loves me

He loves me… Photo credit: Matthew Kozovski Hair: Danika Battieste-Geddes Makeup: Soraya Prado

 

When you meet someone who loves you from your hair follicles to your toenails, and everywhere in-between, be sure to hold on to them!

Happy Anniversary to The Love of my Life!

And Happy International Natural Hair Meetup Day to all naturalistas around the world! Visit this link for events near you: http://nnhmd.com/about-the-event/

How are you spending your International Natural Hair Meetup Day?