Yeah, I know it's been a while, but give me a break. I started a new job that deemed much different than I have experienced before. While "teaching is teaching", the environment, people and class-loads are a wee challenging. The biggest difference? It's all positive!
Aside from the job, my dreads seem to fit the category of change as well. Again, all positive. I won't lie and say that my dreadlock journey has been perfect. It's anything but, however the process has constantly addressed new insights and outlooks about myself and others around me. Tucked away in my daily tam, my dreads rarely stay the same. Now at 5 months, it has become tighter and rebellious-like. I've had my days of "this looks like a pile of caca" to days of "this is fun to play with"!
Besides the hair knotting slowly and naturally, what has it done to personify who I am? To my surprise, most people have garnished support and I have become a noted member at my place of employment. Dare I say I have contributed to the desire of diversity (not in the sense of ethnicity but in style) amongst the small town school. While I never intended to strut my growing dreads to students, I have shown 3 of my classes of the process unfolding as I humbled myself to student's pleads to see them.
I began to realize that as I am now in my student's lives, why not show them my crazy deed? If anything, I have their respect in that I can show them that life isn't meant to be "box-perfect" and they can be who they are if they so desire it. And on that note, how odd that I am a person that likes some privacy in life yet when I stand before my peers I literally stand out (reminds me of Sesame Street's "one of these don't belong to the other"song). I suppose I like the attention of a rebellious nature. Big surprise to those that know me well (not).
So, the question remains as to the point of this piece; What do my baby/teen dreads look like now? While I am in need to post a current picture, I cannot do so at the moment but I will describe it as best I can here (pictures WILL follow soon...just gotta wash em first).
AT 5 MONTHS NOW:
When I began the dreading process, I had 30 dreads. Since then, 4 sets of dreads have congo-ed (two dreads each set coming together). It's gonna be two big fatties! While I COULD rip them apart, I opted to leave them be. Who am I trying to impress....really? So I guess the count now is about 26 dreads. Typical manufactured dreads are around 40 or more. What does this mean for me? I will have a head of thick dreads. Looks damn good in a tam (dread hat).
While I have some thick ones (diameter of a thick permanent marker), I have some thin ones that grew on their own. Hair is a fickle thing. Unless you use wax or other crap in your hair to make dreads (which I advice is a big no no) it will do whatever the hell it wants when left alone. I have bouts of loose hair here and there and I am confidence it will either form on its own or find a home with a neighboring dread.
The first few months, my hair was "big". Since then. it has shrunk down and looks more flat (I guess I should post a "then and now" photo for ya). While most of my hair unraveled the back-combing method my friends did, it eventually knotted together quickly. At first glance, it may be hard to tell I have dreads as they lay close together like hair naturally does. But when I give a good shake, the dreads become obvious. They are still forming so it doesn't have that "mature" look yet. Mind you, dreads (natural dreads) take a long time. Usually by about 2 years they become noted dreadlocks. It's only been 5 months.
I am pleased with the overall process and look forward to the anniversary in late July to mark my 1 year dreading adventure. Keep your eyes peeled for pictures. They are coming. Trust me.