By Cathy Givans, 2011-11-26
I spent week two of my dreadlock journey in the hospital with my son and have been playing catch up with my work ever since, but I really need to do an update. It will be short, but still and update.
I am amazed with the speed of my natural dreads. I remember seeing this site before I did tnr. I remember thinking that natural dreading wasn't for me - it would take too long. Now, here I am, newly started dreads and almost a whole month in. I have five, yes, FIVE, baby dreads already. Four are very well formed and another is just starting. I am also starting to notice a really interesting trend with my hair; it gets really crazy frizzy just before it starts to lock.
I look at my daughter's hair, which is just like mine and I think of how beautiful it would be locked, but I am one of those moms that refuses to make big decisions like that for my children. I wanted to pierce her ears when she was little, but I didn't because I know that piercings are a personal choice (I have two body piercings myself, besides my ears) and now I think about dreading her hair. She is now three and I am confident that if she ever wants to start her own journey, she will let me know.
Dreading for me is a personal and intimate journey. I don't share it with others openly; partly to avoid judgment, but mostly to allow myself to enjoy my journey. I want my journey to be significant. I want to see the growth and change in more than just my dreads - I want to see the growth and change in myself.
Our family is really starting to work at making the real decisions about a life on the road full time. I grew up in a fifth wheel. I didn't live in a sticks and bricks house until I was almost 13, so nomadic living is already ingrained in me. I want to share the joy, that freedom, that absence of conventional life with my children and my husband.
Today we looked at travel trailers, discussed a date, showed our children photos of the mountains and national parks that we would like to visit. Every step is aimed to make our footprint smaller. I want to live a life that leaves little trace of our physical existence. I want to give our children the insight and knowledge that my parents didn't have - that every choice we make is a choice to nurture or destroy our planet - our source of life.
Other things aren't coming together quite so easily. Work, for one, is a struggle. Seeing through the mounds of things that need to be done to make our journey a reality is hard as well. Most of all, I have had to admit defeat when it comes to recycling - for now. Our small town only has one option - a small kiosk that is so often full. The cans have piled up to an unmanageable level and we had to stop for now. Of course, the use of cans will soon be far behind us, but I had hoped that we could at least reduce the damage that they do to the planet while we are using them.
Baby steps though, baby steps. We have to do a little at a time. Walking away from a wasteful and consumeristic lifestyle that doesn't pay mind to how what we do impacts everyone and everything around us is a process. It takes time. This I understand and I respect. I try to be gentle with myself during the process. For now, I focus on our plans for the near future and I focus on trying to spend more time with my children and being a better, more patient, more purposeful mother and person.
By Cathy Givans, 2011-11-12
I am almost two full weeks into my dread journey and I am so in love with my natural dreads. I have found freedom through this method of dreading instead of the confinement of the constant maintenance I felt I needed to do on my tnr dreads. I love watching the new daily habits of my hair and even though the back looks like a great big fuzz ball, I am definitely noticing some sections. I do have a lot of little sections that I worry won't be big enough but I am surrendering control to nature. There are some bigger sections and even some definite knotting going on. I have experimented with beads a bit, but am afraid to put too many in because I don't want to disrupt nature's course by creating sections that might not have been created had I left my hair alone.
The biggest and most exciting news is the arrival of my organic dread bars. I ordered two - the Nag Champa and the Dragon's Blood. I must admit, the Nag Champa definitely appeals to me more, but they both are great. I was so excited when I got the package that I sniffed only about two seconds and then commenced with ripping into the box. Luckily, I was due for a wash, so I promptly headed to the shower and enjoyed the wonderful smell and feel. I did notice that before I did my ACV that there was a residue feel and I started to worry, (I have had tons of issues with residue because I have such hard water and obstinate hair) but as soon as I did my ACV, all residue was gone. I noticed that the shampoo bar did something very different and amazing to my hair. In just one wash, it looks healthier than it has been in forever and its natural curl is back. The feel of my hair is definitely softer but it also seems that I can feel the knotting better as well.
Overall, I am so glad to be on this journey. It is a journey that I never would have imagined for myself and outside of the community here, I haven't disclosed it to anyone. It is private. It is reflective. It is soulful. It is mine and by not sharing my journey with the world, it has already been more personal and more significant in the bigger journey of my life.