I Done Messed Around and Got Loc'd Up!!!
My senior year of high school was the most enlightening year of my adolescent life. I left my small hometown in Virginia to move to the big ole city of Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh brought so many truths and realities that I had never known or even seen before. Growing up in a place where everything was so black and white did not prepare me for all of the different colors in culture, people, education and religion. With the melting pot of people whom reside in the Triangle area, cultural differences began to strongly influence my life.
Growing up in Smithfield, Virginia was an experience that I will always cherish. It was definitely a small-town feel, without much variety. All of the little girls and women who looked like me sported the same processed hairstyles. You only saw natural hair on little girls. Therefore, when I came to Raleigh, I was amazed that the city was a huge melting pot with lots of diverse hairstyles that women like me sported. Although the natural movement was nowhere close to where it is now in status, there were women walking around with beautiful locs. How is it that I can drive three hours south and see an array of things that I have never seen before, as if I had driven to the world’s biggest melting pot of New York.
Although I only moved a state away, it seemed like there were many worlds between the two. Experiencing all of the natural beauty of the beautiful black women encouraged me to want to be a little more confident in my natural beauty. One day after school, I expressed to a close friend that I was interested in locking my hair. Now in 1997 it was not hot or fashionable to be natural, none-the-less locking your hair was not the thing to do. Because it was not the thing to do, my friend told me that I was “too polished” to wear my hair in that style. At that time, I accepted the response as my friend having a high opinion of my image, and that she meant no attack on the loc’d hairstyle or the natural image. It is just at that time a more natural journey was not easily embraced. I will admit that her response made me feel that it was not the right thing for me to do at the time. As a teenager image is everything, and I felt as though choosing that particular hairstyle would make me less attractive in the eyes of others. Who would know that the idea will follow me into the future.
Let’s fast forward 18 years. Now times have surely changed…it is 2015 and the natural movement is halfway in full swing. Four years prior, after one prior failed attempt, I decided to join the natural hair care journey/community. I spent four years embracing my natural curls and trying different styles with my newly found confidence and texture. After so many years of being confident within my own skin, all awhile walking along side society standards, it wasn’t until I could see myself raw (no make-up, no chemically processed hair) that I truly started a journey with myself. I saw myself in my natural nakedness and I loved it. To take it a step further, in 2015 I began a new experience within my natural journey. So long after the initial interest, I finally took the step and started my loc journey. Though the beginning of my journey was trying, I managed to push through to a place where I fully embraced my natural self to the point where I messed around and got loc’d up!!!
What do I mean by I messed around and got loc’d up? Well, I pretty much have now become a prisoner of my own self-esteem, self-confidence and natural beauty. After many years of a lack of self confidence in my natural self, I’ve finally grown into myself. I’ve become so comfortable with my locs and all of its natural ability that I have become just a little too comfortable. The fear in the beginning of the “awkward stage” quickly turned into the “comfortable state”.
Presently awkwardness of the beginning stages of my loc journey is a faint memory. As much as it was an issue when I began the journey, it now seems to have been a second in a minute of time. I am so secure with the state of my locs, and I am free as a bird with my hair. Every night before bed I put all of my locs into a top knot and tie my hair down. I’ve gotten so loc’d up that I will walk out of the house with my top knot in place. It could be shifted a little to the left or the right, and it makes no difference. The disheveled knots seem to be a bohemian style in my eyes. It could have gone six weeks since my last re-twist, and I will be happy and content. Life is fine and fierce even in my frizzy and fuzziness. I am in touch with the comfortability of my natural hair. My hair makes me happy…I am my happiness!!! The experience I had with a friend in 1997 could have stuck with me long enough that I would have never moved into my natural journey, none-the-less my loc journey. It could have potentially stifled my inner growth, as well as my spiritual journey to discover who I truly am. It was self-reflection, self-awareness, confident role models and a strong movement that has kept me on the road to being especially secure in my natural self. For those whom have had the same struggle, please know that there are others that share some of your experiences. It is my hope that this has been some encouragement for you to embrace your natural self, and search your soul through this journey to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Love your natural self! Happy Holidays!!!