“Mindset” (Day 19)

Holy Moly 11 days left!!!! Woo-hoo!!!

I mean… Yay 19 days in!!!! Woo-hoo!!!

To celebrate 19 days of pure vegan eating, I treated myself to a hair cut. In the bathroom. By myself.

For those of you who have ever had the misfortune of being in or around my life while I got a haircut know that that is the absolute worst thing that could happen to me. I was traumatized a few years ago when an innocent hair straightening exercise led to “Duffy, let me cut the dead ends off your hair” which led to MJB cutting close to 8 inches of my beloved locks.

I sobbed for 5 hours.

I love telling that story because it was such a turning point in my life. That week was pivotal in my life for several reasons. I had previously quit my job that week and was now free and broke and in New York City as a 21 year old, with absolutely no idea how to be responsible.

When she stole my hair, my identity from me I just did not know what to do. It was a horrible haircut to say the least. A straight across butchering that made my curls heavy and depressed. A few days later, after recovering from the shock of my loss I was at home, broke and unable to afford a hair cut to try and “fix” the moppy mess. So I grabbed a pair of scissors and just started chipping away.

What I was left with was the best haircut of my short hair life. It was bouncy and light, an afro of sorts that I loved and let loose for weeks. That was my brightly colored cardigan phase or as a friend called it “the couch sweater” or another friend “the grandma sweater.” What it was, was perfect with any color and my big, 60s style peace sign earrings I got from a jewelry table on a street corner in Harlem.

I was forced into a fashion and identity I couldn’t have – or wouldn’t have – developed on my own. At least not just then. With the quitting of my bar job (and only source of income) I couldn’t have made such a big leap to the short hair lifestyle as well.

It truly was a pivotal time in my life. Those cough cough 6 months of unemployment put me through some hard times, that really, as pointed out by a friend a few years later – was hardest for my brother who I was roommates with at the time.

He ended up having to work to support both of us while I stayed home days unable to leave the house or find a job because I literally just didn’t know what the hell I was doing and certainly didn’t believe in myself enough to do it.

I would like to say a haircut solved my problems, but it didn’t. It was however a part of my growing up process. It really, really started something. I found myself when I was in New York. Meaning, I came out of my shell and became a player in the game of life. Finally.

My New York City years were the ones where I established some pretty important foundations for my adult [female] life. For instance, I remember the first time I ever saw myself as sexy and attractive. A guest at the hostel I worked at taught me how to use bronzer as blush and showed me some make up tips. So we hit the bars with our black lined eyes, bronzed cheeks, red lips and black on black outfits… I had never felt so drop-dead gorgeous before. That was a game changer.

That was the job I got after my 6 months of unemployment as a matter of fact. Having interviewed at a few places but honestly not knowing what the hell kind of job I was actually qualified for having not gone to college and working shitty customer service jobs up until that point. I interviewed at a greeting card store and the girl interviewing me asked “if someone came in to buy their wife an anniversary card what would you do?” I remember saying something like ‘well, I’d show them where the anniversary cards were.” And she was appalled and asked “what else would you sell? WHAT ELSE would you SELL?” and I remember thinking, this is a card store, I’d sell cards.

I didn’t get the job.

I did get the job working front desk at a hostel in Chelsea. That was, obviously, the biggest change when my life became centered around travelers and travelling.  I learned so much over the next few years. I really bloomed.

It’s amazing that I keep blooming perennially. Often times taking my own self by surprise. Someone once wondered if a caterpillar knows it’s about to turn into a butterfly when it starts its cocoon. Oh to be in the mind of a caterpillar. Imagine the surprise “I’m gonna snuggle in here for a bit, whoa I’m melting, oh look, wing…. I’M BEAUTIFUL”

And that’s how I feel now. Like my wings are finished and my pupa has hatched and the sun is catching the colors and I don’t even know I can fly yet, but that’s not important yet. I’m still admiring the beauty I’ve become.

See... beauty!
See… beauty!

I would like to point out the glittery parts of my luscious newly self-trimmed locks are in fact, MULTIPLE grey hairs. Acceptance is sexy.

I was talking to my CPBFF tonight about body image and was able to remember something I realized the other night. Which is I didn’t grow up thinking I was fat, or not good enough. That had to have been learned somewhere. I remember my dad saying things like I’ve shared with you before – “you’re going to grow up and hate me.” What I didn’t realize a few days ago when I wrote that blog was that he didn’t mean I was going to hate him for letting me have 4 twinkies in one day, I was going to hate him because he couldn’t protect me from the worst thing out there: society pressure.

He never said I was fat, ugly, not good enough, unworthy or anything negative, but he was SO FUCKING SCARED of society saying that to me, as it had done to him. He was overweight too and would randomly get made fun of while grocery shopping or out doing something. It was horrible. It feels shameful when you get shunned and made fun of by people for something so innocuous as being overweight or just different in general.

I think we should start loving ourselves, our bodies and celebrating each other’s too. I think you should take a selfie today. Then either stare at it and see the beauty in yourself, or post in on a social media outlet to allow others to see the beauty in it.

Let’s start a movement called “The courage to be beautiful”

And from this point on we will relentlessly live courageously and beautifully. Not putting ourselves down for our looks, size, short comings, full comings, differences or sames. We will not let the idea of perfect tease us any longer. Time to be happy as is.

I dare you – no, CHALLENGE you – to post a selfie on facebook captioned “The courage to be beautiful… happy as is!”




Cheers! x

One thought on ““Mindset” (Day 19)

  1. This is truly a beautiful story. It seems we all have our awkward painful “finding myself” story. I know I sure do. Props for 19 days of vegan-eating! I don’t think I could do it. Anyways, love the post. Very inspiring. 🙂

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