***Originally written for janethangproductions.com
We are in the days of Cardi B hitting number one on the Billboard Top 100 for her hit single, “Bodak Yellow” and regular, smegular girls now know they can be winners too! All of my quirky girls shall stand tall, with their heads held high. Know that you are not wrong. You are dope. Say: Growth be damned. I am here. I am confident. I am grown and I am owning mine.
“She said she gon’ do what to who?” – Cardi B
Last year, I took a break.
I took a break from blogging. I took a break from photography. I took a break from collaborating with other creators. I was done. I was drained. I was discouraged. I was directionless and over it all. It was bad. What best personified my entire state at the time, was my hair. I had suffered heat damage the summer before and my hair was limp and wavy instead of tightly coiled. It was just a dry, frail-textured mess. I was in desperate need of some self-care.
I spent chapter 27 of my life’s story, getting myself together.
The funny thing about my process of self-care was it no longer included me getting my nails done every 2-4 weeks or even getting routine massages. These were things I did to both make me feel good and keep up appearances among mixed company. They were also unnecessary expenses. I was wearing make-up more and my face was breaking out. I was helping everybody else be great, trying to provide services to earn extra cash and was no longer working in my purpose. I was trying to pour into other people’s work while my cup was leaking. Thinking I was being selfless. Instead I was hazardous. All of this had to end.
Uninspired energy only inspires people to escape from you.
Have you ever found yourself trying to hold on to something or someone who isn’t really for you? It looked good on paper? It was supposed to be the “perfect” fit, theoretically? I’ve been there. Let it go! If it’s literally running from your chest and yes I am saying, if you feel a physical throbbing in your chest, like a ball of energy trying to pull away from your body, release it. Sometimes you have to set your pride to the side, embarrass yourself, take the insults and move on. I had once took pride in saying yes and overextending myself for other people. That is the trait that needed some adjustment. I had to learn that just showing up was not enough. I either had to show up on my A-game or know when to say No.
The word “No” has always been my favorite word but at some point I stopped using it as much. I started to saying yes to things that were beneath me. When I finally decided to clock back in and take control of my life, No, became my best-friend again. “Will you work for free?” No. “Can you edit this?” No. “Can I vent to you?” No. “Can I waste your time?” No. “Can you come over?” No. “Can I borrow some money?” No. ——–These are just a few.
Once I rejected the toxic, I refilled my cup.
I stopped attending every hot event going on in the city. I started to go straight home after work, just to read a new book. I read autobiographies and novels. I read books that made me cry, laugh, and dream. Books healed me from heart-break and inspired me enough to believe even after feeling like nothing is going my way, I can bounce back, just like the authors of those amazing books did. My love for stories and storytelling swelled and it felt like an old friend came back to see me. I was dreaming in color again.
I took scissors to my hair.
People hate hearing about me trimming my own hair. lol Especially, hair stylists. Some of my co-worker friends were like, “What? I can’t cut my own hair! Nah!” One of the main reasons I went natural was to have the freedom to make decisions about my own hair. I love running my fingers through my kinks to wash, condition, moisturize and style. I love rubbing down the strands and to the roots as I nurse my hair back to heath. I had kinky coily new growth growing in with straight damaged hair on the ends that just kept hurting my feelings after washing it and trying to rock an afro. No! I could no longer stand the look of it. So I took control. I cut those straight ends off, like I gradually did 5 or 6 years ago when I was transitioning the first time around. I had to use the same strength and therapeutic mind-frame I had when I first started my natural hair journey. I’m a person that strongly dislikes backtracking, but this time it was necessary to get to where I was going.
Something about turning 28.
Turning 28 was easier than I thought. A couple of months ago I was semi dreading the idea of getting so close to the age of 30. I was reviewing my bucket list, like where has the time gone? Now that I am officially 28, I feel like I have the world exactly where I want it.
Growth Speaks Volumes.
When people see me now, they say you have a nice glow. I say that’s my inner peace, that black soap I wash my face with; that self-love is beaming from my soul through my pores. I am proud to see my own growth. I am in love with me. I am nowhere near a finished product but I get better and better each day. The quality of my friendships are much better. I broke free from the users and abusers. I am no longer dancing with dream-killers. I am getting smarter. My hunger for knowledge is being fed abundantly. My confidence is high and I do not feel the need to settle. My curiosity on life in general is aroused and I am now ready to do as the late great Maya Angelou said she loved to see from young girls like me.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”- Maya Angelou
I’m ready to go kick some ass and be like Cardi B and makes some bloody moves! I am not mad at her at all. Be yourself! No one can tell you, you’e doing it wrong. Never allow anyone to stunt your growth. Protect your magic and beam baby! Shine on!
Always Remember to Stay Inspired! – @MsJaneThang