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By PeacewithDreads, 2012-03-11
I put this here, and not in response to Nicholas Janousek's posting because I always fear getting too long-winded in my replys. I didn't reply to this when it first was posted, but I thought about it often. I did not feel compelled to respond until after I had this pretty remarkable week.
As is my habit, I wrap my baby dreads in a scarf and they kind of poke round the top and spike up a bit. Because I am 69 days into my journey, my dreads are still what I call "wannabes". When I use the www.dreadlockshampoo.com locking gel when my hair is wet, it leaves the separation stiff, so when I wrap my head in a scarf they look good, and I feel very confident in it.
Anyway, that being said, last Sunday as my daughter and I left church I heard this raised voice from behind me in the parking lot say, "excuse me?" I turned around and looked at this attractive older women i would imagine to be in her 60's. She touches me on the arm and says, "I just wanted to tell you that you are simply beautiful!" I was touched, moved, and shocked. (pleasantly). My husband has always told me I was beautiful, but I have NEVER had anyone, let along a complete stranger, seek me out to tell me I was beautiful.
I know and give credit for this to the dreads. HOWEVER, I want to qualify that this is not because I have changed, but that the dreads cause change. I believe perceptions of dreads can be positive, and move people in a positive way. Dreadlocks have a two way impact, and it is not enough to speak to my own self-esteem. I believe people, seeing my dreads see the hope and change. The freedom I take to express myself in such a radical way (for this rural area) allows others to explore the possibility of change in their own life.
I knew it wasn't just me who moved her, but the dreads and what they represented to her. It is not self modesty, I know I have my good qualities, but lets face it, I am an over the age of 40 white woman with a middle age paunch.I know my dreads had a big part of her focus, especially since my family have been attending that church for 4 years and she had not approached me. I am convinced they think my husband is having an affair, or dating a new woman. I had rarely received any regard,but they seek me out, they greet me, and go out of their way to comment to me where they never did before. In fact, on Wednesday, one of the other parishoners in our church thought my husband had divorced me, and was dating a new women...me! She boldly (i thought) asked my husband if "this woman with you is of any significance' (I wanted to say "I am standing right here!") and he was like..."Sarah, you remember my wife, don't you?" (because I am a full-time student I am usually studying on Wednesday evenings, but because of Spring break I was able to attend with my husband this last week).
Even the pastor knows what pew we sit in each week. My husband jokingly said that he wanted to remind the pastor that I was his wife because he kept looking at me while he preached. I laughed because I had no cluesince I had forgotten my glasses...(remember...middle age..paunch..and short-sightedness--amazing howeasy direct eye contact is when a face is a blur)...and on Wednesday when my husband introduced me he said, "Well of course we have met!" to which I pointed out that we had never been formally introduced, but he had probably seen me, certainly...to which he said, "well it feels like I know you". In fact, today he felt comfortable enough to joke with me and say, "i saw you straggle in late this morning" (okay, just so you know..it was 3 minutes late - my husband and I drove separate cars, and he got ALL the green lights!..daylight savings is the curse of Spring).
The point is, who I am at the core is still the same, but for some reason their perception of me has changed and it has to be the dreads. Why? Is it because of the fact that I feel comfortable in my own skin now. I have this freedom to express myself as I believe God intended, and because of such I present a more open appearance?
The remarkable part of all of this is that my family has been impacted only in a positive way from this change. They realize now that our world did not fall apart because I "grew dreads" and in fact, they unanimously agree that I need to keep the dreads. My husband loves the positive attention, and loves seeing me as being more confident. I agree with Nicholas about the growth in self-esteem. A positive self esteem is a positive impact all around, and it has had a tremendous growing impact on our family and those I interact with.
So, for day 69, the journey has been positive, and I hope to cherish these feelings and continue to have a positive impact on people, which is kind of my goal as a peace activist.....thanks for reading...until we meet again....peace.
By PeacewithDreads, 2012-02-03
Wow! I looked back at all my notes and posts and realized that I started this journey only 30 days ago, yet strangely enough it feels like forever. I say this only because this journey started out from a state of "knot" knowing anything, and yet wanting this so badly.
I have a long way to go, and in the last 30 days, I haven't friended anyone, not because I do not want to, but because I feel like I have been this needy baby dready taking a tremendous risk and believing I was ready for it, but realizing I had not anticipated the reality of it. In reality I am transforming as my dreads form. The insecurity I felt initially, the fear of screwing it up with what little hair I had, has made me realize the reality of this spiritual journey.
I admit to impatience, I saw all the lovely photos and thought I could be one of those people who had beautiful locks after 2 weeks, but this was not reality and i realized that the dreading was happening but not as i anticipated. Today at day 30, I have probably 3 or 4 honest dreads forming. My hair loves the baking soda wash, and the ACV. In fact, I have started using it on my 16-year old daughter (Thank you so much Soaring Eagle) who has bi-racial hair and her scalp was flaky and we tried for more than a year to make it go away, but nothing worked. The BS rinse and ACV rinse was a miracle! And best of all, it brought the curls out of her hair more than the high priced product we bought at the mall boutique. It was also a bonding experience for us with me doing her hair.
My husband has become much more relaxed with my journey and seems to be embracing it more. I would say he has been lovingly indulgent of the experience. He has seen that I do not allow myself to just let myself be wild. He sees me mix up the rinses, and tend my baby locks (which are virtually invisible) and realizes that this has been a joyful experience.
I will admit, at the beginning of the week I was going to quit the journey. My hair was lying about the face and I had only scraggle rock. Yet when I got home from school that afternoon I looked in the mirror and I took the scraggle and I gently twisted it back from my face, straight back. I took those little itty bitty clips and I clipped it and let the rest scraggle away....and guess what, I liked it. It allowed me a compromise. Now I see the dreads forming and I realize it will be one here and another there for awhile, but I will not look to the destination but enjoy the journey.
I have done the sea salt spray, and that helps with my hairs natural tendancy to smooth out. It seems like after my wash day it feels like the dreads have disappeared, but by the next day, they pop out again. Eventually I figure they won't feel like they have washed out.
I am glad to see so many people who started at the new year like me, and will read of others whose journey is similar to mine. I will not lose heart...at least not today.
By PeacewithDreads, 2012-01-17
So I made it almost two weeks with my "dread"ed journey. I finally got the blessing of my husband in that he understands that dreads are something I have wanted for a very long time and that it is something spiritual for me. So he relaxed his position and even started teasing me....telling me that i could no longer talk to him unless I spoke in "pirate".
I understand that this is a long progress, and honestly, I have seen some of the baby photos posted here and some are absolutely amazing....and others, yes, a little unnerving. It makes me wonder how mine will look after 18 months, and could I make it that far. The answer......no....at least...
not yet! You see, I was handling it all pretty well, but I got this control issue. I want to let them go, but I also want to prune...so-to-speak. I want to guide them, and raise them in how they should go....hahaha...but i pretty much resisted and enjoyed washing and going....no muss no fuss...but then...
i returned to the spring semester, and got the "...ewww.yo..ohhh...are you trying to trying to grow dreads? I knew i was looking rather scruffy, but I hid it well but by the end of the day it progressively deteriorated. When I got home I was already feeling a little scuzzy, but I was determined to persevere. However, as I walked to my 16 year old daughter's room (see picture post) to talk to her she said, Mom! Did you go to school like that? No offense, I know you want dreads, but honestly, it looks really bad. Your hair is too thin to grow dreads. You look like you haven't had a shower in days."I went to my bathroom and took a shower, washed my hair, took out the blowdryer and styled my hair. Perhaps that makes me the ultimate in vain, but I decided to postpone my journey for summer when I have a nearly three month break from school...with modification...
I am still going to live the "dread"ed lifestyle. I still take a shower and I kept my hair bling. A friend of mine does the the hair wrap with string and charms and so I have added a couple of those to my hair, and I will sneak in anew one from time to time. My daughter had one afew months ago and had it in for like 8 weeks or soand when we took her to the salon for an up do for prom, we had to remove it, but when we took it out, we noticed that her hair dreaded from the point at the top of the wrap to her scalp. I was so jealous, it looked so cool. Anyway, I am going to see if the same thing will happen to me.
Additionally, one habit has remained. I am still not using the comb, (I may blow my hair dry if it is really cold outside), but then I just let it be the way it is and it is surprising how much healthier my hair feels. It seems to have a natural wave to it, and if by not combing a dread forms here and there, so be it.
In the grand scheme of things, it may not be the worst thing for me to coordinate my "dread"ed journey to take in bits and pieces and then work at it during the summer and see myself through the first awkward months. Maybe by that time I will have a few friends added to mhy profile and it won't be quite so lonely on the road to "dread"ed bliss.