Why I dreaded.
Until a few years ago, most of my life was spent in a semi-constant state of fear, depression, and apathy. I was a victim of very cruel and sometimes very violent bullying. I once had a group of kids chase me down when I was in 5th grade, and one of them jumped me and broke my collarbone. No one helped me up, I picked myself up off the ground after all the other kids had gone back into the building and made my way back into the school. I was very alone. I didn't have any friends, I was a social outcast and I hated myself. I know this is all grim as hell, please bare with me, it does get better.
Would you believe that one of those kids in that group that jumped me is one of my best friends today? It's funny how stuff changes, how people change. Looking back at those difficult times, I can see i perpetuated a lot of my trouble. I was convinced that I was a lower life form and not worthy of anything nice, or happy, or any kind of joy what-so-ever. If someone complemented me, I honestly thought they were being sarcastic. I didn't bother to take care of myappearance or try to develop my own sense of style, I felt like I wasn't worthy of that. So these kids would pick up on that, and I'd perpetuate it, by hating myself.
Fast forward 20 years or so, and here I am today, a week into my dreadlocks, 20 years into my spiritual journey You might be asking, "What the heck does all this have to do with getting dreadlocks? That was 20 years ago.." Well, let me explain that a little bit. For most of these last 20 years, I wouldn't dream of admitting to myself how badly those early years hurt, how deeply they wounded me, and how profoundly they effected my thinking, my life. While I did develop some friendships, I had a really really hard time expressing myself. I didn't want to be vulnerable, and I most certainly didn't want to draw attention to myself. For me attention had always been a negative thing.
People looking at me meant people judging me, people hating me, even if that wasn't true. So I was pretty reserved, shy, and a bit awkward around people. I'm not sure exactly when this started to change, it was a gradual thing. I guess you could say it started with a tattoo. Tattoos were something I had always admired, but feared. After a lot of thought, I finally decided to get a phoenix on my left shoulder, something that could be covered with a t-shirt. It was a personal tattoo for me. I needed the energy of the phoenix, I needed to be reborn as the phoenix is reborn.
As you tattoo enthusiasts out there know, one tattoo usually leads to many, many more tattoos, and I was hooked before I was even finished with the first one. This eventually lead to me becoming a tattoo artist myself. I had some friends and family see my art, and suggest that I go into tattooing. I laughed at them at first. Me? I couldn't ever be a tattoo artist. I'm so not that kinda person, blah blah blah. Well I did become a tattoo artist after all. That broke me of a lot of my anxiety with people. You have to get used to people when you're working on such an intimate level with them. I eventually got used to having people look at me strangely, but I still had a lot of blocks to deal with.
I had always had an interest in the spiritual and metaphysical side of life but I really started diving in and discovering if I wanted to move forward, I needed to take care of that little girl inside who was still hurting, though I didn't want to admit it. I had to give her love, and show her she was worthy of everything she could desire. It turns out she really, really wanted dreads. The block I had with dreads has a lot to do with the social stigma that can go with them. A lot of the taunts and such Ireceivedas a child were with regard to my often unkemptappearance To me, dreads would bring that kind of negative attention I was trying so hard, for so long to avoid. After a while though, I finally got past that block. Don't get me wrong, I still have bad days, but I'm learning to work through the issues, probe them, question them, and know myself. My inner child has come a long way and she deserves the world.
Since my sad days as a youth I'veconqueredmany fears, realized many dreams, and realized how much I have to offer, how fucking worth it I am and that's awesome! I have realized that most of my fears are just that, fear. (False Evidence Appearing Real) This has inspired me to start really coming out of myself and helping to be a positive change in the world.
For me, the dreadlocks are a coming of anti-age, a celebration of my love for myself, and a gift to my inner child. I HATED brushing my hair as a kid. It hurt. My hair tangled like nobody's business. I've always loved how dreadlocks look, the freedom and wildness they represent. It's something that has called to me silently for many years. I'm no longer as concerned about other people's opinions of me. If someone wants to spend that much energy on judging me, well I'm living rent free in their head. I feel confident in myself, and I'm pretty darn happy! I'm stoked about my dreads, and so is my inner child!
If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read my little story, have a wonderful day, and namaste!