I have to say that it’s great to greet the New Year without kicking myself for being overweight and wondering how the heck I was going to get rid of said weight. Instead, I am one hundred pounds lighter than I was on New Year’s Day 2009. Yesterday I found myself dancing around my living room to N’Sync and Beyonce! I wore a denim skirt, black tights, a black turtleneck, and my cute green shoes. It felt good!
A parallel transformation is my hair. Starting at age twelve or thirteen, it’s been an adventure in straightened, very short, medium length, cornrows, braids, and so on and so on. Now my hair is about 95% natural, just a little relaxed portion left to grow out. I wore it scraped back in an “Afro-puff” top-of-the-head ponytail yesterday and got a compliment from someone who never compliments me! I can wear it parted in the middle in a low ponytail, in a French braid (or two), or loose (after washing).
How come it took my so long to like my hair? I might as well ask myself how come it took me so long to like myself. I am forty and I spent most of my life – including when I was skinny, when I was Miss Belize, when I could have conquered the world – downplaying my gifts and my physical attributes. Why? I have tried to get answers to this question through therapy, my writing, lots of brooding. I don’t have much in the way of an answer, except that I had a deep-seated ambivalence about being attractive and smart. I felt undeserving and ill equipped emotionally to handle the responsibility. That old saying about to whom much is given, much is expected comes to mind.
I can’t say I have totally come to terms with all of this, or maybe I have? I simply don’t care as much about what’s expected. And who is doing all of this expecting?
Oh well… At some point, we just have to get on with life.
Happy New Year!