This morning after dropping my girls at school I decided to grab a coffee, a newspaper and go sit by our local water source (the weir) to ponder some ‘things’.
I took my Bella and Sophie to school with my new ‘do’ and was interested by the response. One woman who normally tries to talk my ear off said a simple ‘good morning’ then nothing more. I did get a lot of sideward glances. I am not entirely sure if she was planning to say something about my hair or if she was afraid. She knew I was a bit quirky but maybe the hair was like the ‘next level’ for her and she couldn’t cope. Other’s kind of stared.
Others glanced once, twice, three times and then gawked……
I enjoyed it to be honest. The reactions of people to something as mundane as hair. My thoughts had not changed. My personality had not changed.
But their personal opinions HAD changed.
Or maybe they REALLY liked my hair….probably not.
Maybe they’ll get over it. Maybe they won’t. And really I don’t mind either way. I’ll still carry my head high. Still smile and say hello.
I’ll still be me……..
even if others don’t think so.
So I took my coffee, my newspaper, my bare feet and dreadlocks and sat by the water listening to cockatoos, the chocolate-brown water lapping the muddy shoreline.
I thought ‘has my hair changed me?’
“What does it SAY about me?….WHO am I?”
I closed my eyes a moment. Took a breath or two (most likely more, as it is an ongoing thing….) I thought ‘who am I?’…….Do I consider myself my toe?…No I am not my toe. Am I my wiggling fingers?… No, I am not my fingers. My arm? Nope. I’m not my hair.
I am me.
I am the thoughts I am thinking right now. I am the anger that clenches my jaw. I am the constriction I feel deep in my chest at the thought of my beautiful children. I am the tears that dwell when I am overwhelmed with happiness. I am the butterflies in my belly when I’m nervous. I am the hollow heart when I am sad.
I am the everything inside me.
I am not my hair. I am not my nose.
I am the determined soul inside this vehicle I use to ‘portray’ me.
I’ve been given this body to use. It is not me. It is separate of who I am. I can decide what I do with it, if I use it for good or bad. If I decorate it with make-up, clothes, fancy shoes, dreadlocks, tattoos, piercings or not. None of these things will ever change who I am on the inside or what I am capable of.
I’ve decided that I am helpful, kind, caring and passionate. I am a good mother, partner and person. That is a choice. I don’t have to be. I could be lazy, over eat/drink/party, I could be mean and be dishonest. I am allowed to choose whatever I want to be, just as you can. I’ll use my mind to decide it and my body to do it.
I found it insightful to have mixed reactions purely over my hair. As I’m sure people have experienced within their own lives. This doesn’t only apply to dreadlocks, but many things. People become awkward around someone who has cancer and lost all their hair. Someone who has been in an accident and lost a limb. Someone who has decided to wear a purple 3 piece suit down the street or bright blue eye shadow or be gothic, or emo, or anything that is not ‘mainstream.’ I was told prior to dreadlocks that I should be prepared for people to see my hair before they see me.
To be judged.
I knew it to be true. I’ve always been instantly drawn to those with dreadlocks or interesting piercings or tattoos, anyone who ‘stands out’ people who would be considered ‘different’ and they sometimes are shocked that someone can just ‘accept’ them. They are people after all. I always mention how beautiful I think their hair or whatever it may be is. I get told that not everyone is the same. Mostly people just ignore them or turn away, avoid eye contact like they’re thugs and move on. I don’t understand it personally just because I’ve always found those who are different interesting and worth meeting.
So worth it.
Not worth fearing in the slightest. I assume it is ‘fear’ or lack of understanding or ‘open mindedness’ I can only assume because for some reason I was made without these reactions, and have no personal experience with these feelings.
I guess it could be similar to racism. That too thankfully I do not have within me.
It is going to be interesting to be the person who people walk away from. Be the one they think is ‘strange/odd/weird’ funny thing is I’ve always been me.
I’m looking forward to getting out more!
I’m looking forward to meeting MORE people with dreads. (So if you have some contact me!)
In my pondering I wondered if I’d signed my own neon ‘outcast’ sign which apparently comes with the territory. I wondered if I’d mind. I wondered if those who know me so well would think they knew me very little now. I wondered if I really cared?
I came to the conclusion that I just don’t. Not in a non-caring mean kind of way, in just a peaceful acceptance kind of way that yes, some will view me differently over a silly thing like hair. Some will think I’ve made the wrong decision, some will dislike what I have done, some will judge me for my personal choices.
It wouldn’t matter what I ever did in my life there will always be people like this. I can never have every single person in my life 100% happy with me and my choices no matter what. So I figure for me to be happy 100% with myself then I should probably disregard every other single person in my choices.
For those sticking around, this will probably NOT be the last of my more eccentric personal ‘choices.’
I’d like to set a non-judgemental example for my children. I’d like to encourage them to be and do what they think is necessary to be who they are. I’d like them to be confident individuals who can look past trying to please everyone and simply please themselves.
I’d like them to just be happy.
I am not 100% sure who I am, but I know what I am.
I am the reverberating strength I feel up my spine when standing up for what I believe in and the passion that warms me up inside when I be me.
So…..why not close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and decide who you are? And how your going to use your ‘vehicle’ to become it?