Part 2 of my interview with Arthur Ashe’s protégé, the only tennis player with dreadlocks who ever won a grand slam. He doesn’t only talk about his new CD and how Obama inspired him but also why he started locs, what his hair, his family and tennis mean to him and where gets his spirituality comes from.
Well, my hair journey started way back when I was very young. My first experience with chemicals was a "blow-out." LOL
Of course that was also the first the time my hair fell out too.
Next was the Jheri curl. I guess I was about age 11 or so. Between curls, perms, and texturizers, I've actually been chemically challenged for most of my life.
Well, I'd been free from the concept of beauty only coming with long hair ever since I had my last bad experience. See, I keep my hair short now because I found that it's most complimentary to me. Perming hadn't been an issue for me in such a long time, because it didn't really matter about overlapping. It didn't really matter because I knew I'd be cutting it again soon anyway. But one day I looked up and my hair had grown kinda long by accident. I decided I wanted to keep it for a while, which meant I needed to have it professionally relaxed to keep me from damaging it.
Boy did I make a mistake. I went to this girl who had been highly praised by some girls I knew. I looked her up and made an appointment. Her name was Angel. Whew!
Well, she applied the "supa" and sat down in the chair in front of me. I was like, what's really going on? Well, my scalp is very sensitive and I started to burn really fast. I asked her how long she was going to let the perm stay on my hair. And she said, "Oh, you ready? I was waiting for you to tell me when you were ready."
Huh? What? Now who gave her a license to do hair, right?
Needless to say, after she shampooed my hair, I could tell something was wrong. When I ran my fingers through my wet hair, it didn't feel smooth. It just felt different and my fingers were sticking to the hair and getting caught. Anyway, although it looked okay, I knew It wasn't going to be okay. When it soon started breaking, I just cut it off. And I loved it. I've been wearing it like that ever since. But I still wasn't completely natural. I would still perm, mousse, and scrunch it so it would be wavy.
So next is the issue of when I decided to go natural. Well, I started thinking about it after learning about going-natural.com. I thought how I'd love to be in this competition and free myself from chemicals once and for all. However, I knew that I would have to cut my hair, so I didn't really give it much thought. I just thought about how cool it was that all these women from all walks of life were sharing this special bond. Just figured I would appreciate from afar.
But then I had a real scare of my own. I'd found a lump behind my left nipple. I'd gone on vacation. The morning after getting back I had a complete physical and told my doctor about the lump. The next week I had appointments for a mammogram and with the cancer clinic. During that first visit to the cancer clinic, I saw an old friend of mine. I hadn't seen her in over 10 years. She was just as beautiful and lively as ever, but she wore that tell-tale scarf, signaling that she'd lost all of the beautiful, long, thick, black hair that I remembered her having. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that that could be me soon. I felt empathy for her, yet felt selfish that I was praying for a better outcome. It was so humbling. It was so scary.
Well, it turned out that I didn't have cancer.
(Watch the video) [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyIwO96ynSg 100×100]
One day after all the confusion had settled, I was looking at the going-natural site and said to myself, you know what? I just may do it! Why not? I was lucky enough to have gone from saying, "That could be me" to "That could've been me." What an eye opener!
I thought about the contest some more and decided that the possibilities and opportunities far out-weighed the vanity of it all. And if I would let something as small as hair keep me from pursuing something this big, then I didn't deserve to win anyway.
So here I am.
When did I go natural? Well let's see. What time is it? Oh, about 19 hours ago. I went to the barber shop yesterday evening and had them to cut it all off. Every inch and guess what? I absolutely love it! I feel so free! I feel so alive.
I guess the most difficult part about it was getting the courage to actually go to the barber shop. Sitting down in that chair was the point of no return. No looking back.
And the happiest time, I have to say, was when the cut was finished and I looked in the mirror and absolutely loved what I saw.[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9fkNWItQGE 100×100]
I really want to be the winner of the first Miss Nappturality Contest, but I know that if I’m not I will never regret this journey at all. All of the women here are so beautiful.
I know. I’ve checked them all out. And we’re all so different. I can actually see every one of us being the new face of Eden Body Works. But I’m trying really hard not to picture the others as the winner, since it’s me I need to be envisioning with the crown. LOL
So I’ve decided that the easiest way to stand out in this sea of beauty is to just be me. No one does that better than me. Just be real and honest — long-winded and all. You see, writing is now my passion. I thought I was a nurse, but now I know that was just the vehicle to get me to where I am now, not to mention the lessons learnt. But my passion has always been all things “arty.” I love art, poetry/spoken word, music, singing/song writing, theatre, stage craft, film – anything dealing with art and creativity. So how did I end up in the nursing profession? Don’t know. It was safe I guess…and there was a time when I couldn’t put down health and medical books. I loved reading about different diseases and conditions. I actually wanted to be a doctor at one time. So glad I didn’t pursue that. Can’t imagine trying to change careers after dedicating so much time to one profession. Which is exactly what I’m doing right now.
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