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Monday, November 28, 2011

Did She Go There Already?!

Shock! Panic! Horror!

At 37 years old, I've just been through the amazing process of rediscovering my natural hair. You can't imagine what I felt tonight when my nine year old daughter tells me that she would like to try wearing her hair straight.

Before I went through this process, there were times I contemplated getting her hair texturized -- which is to say "slightly relaxed" -- a "kiddy perm" to make it easier to manage. I remember what it was like to be her age and to dread combing through my hair after having it washed. I've tried to make the experience easier for her. At the same time, she's my child and I want to protect her.

My rational mind knows this is a minor issue. It's only hair. It's normal for her to want to try something new; especially having seen me for years with relaxed straightened hair.

The idea seems a little less horrifying now that she's asleep and I've had some time to think about it. We could try straightening her hair for a special occasion. She's due for a trim soon.

She did make an important distinction: she would like to try straightening her hair -- not relaxing it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nothing and No One is Perfect

My natural hair journey has provided many lessons. I've learned to accept what I can't anticipate and control. I've learned that no one paid as much attention to my hair as I did.

Still I have days like today, where I have to remind myself that nothing and no one is perfect. I was well-prepared for my flight to North Dakota today. My company hires a charter to take employees and contractors up every Monday and back on Thursdays. I left the house about an hour and a half before my flight's departure. Typically, it only takes 20 - 30 minutes to get to the airport.

Today there was a accident on the way, and I missed my flight. It was particularly difficult/embarrassing because there was someone on the flight who was relying me to be there. We're leading training together this week. She needed me to drive because she didn't have the training our company requires.

Initially, I worried that I couldn't get a flight to my destination. Even after I managed to rebook my travel, I still kept thinking really negatively about myself. "Why didn't I leave earlier? My boss is going to be so angry with me. I've let everyone down. There's no way I can recover from this."

I don't recognize myself when I start thinking this way. After taking a deep breath, I made my way to my new terminal and started making phone calls and emails to make sure my travel companion would be met by someone from our office who could get her to her destination.

I did it, and everything will be OK. I'm losing productive time sitting in the airport that I'll have to make up this week.

Why is it so hard to remember: That nothing and no one is perfect?

One of my favorite children songs is "I'm Not Perfect," by the Laurie Berkner Band.

I'm not perfect, no I'm not
I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got
I do my very best, I do my very best
I do my very best each day
But I'm not perfect
And I hope you like me that way

When our children were younger, we heard this song almost everyday. I recognized it was an important message for the children to hear and take to heart, but clearly I didn't take it to heart. Sometimes plans don't work out. Sometime people let us down. Sometimes we're the ones who let others down. There's forgiveness even for us all, and hopefully time to re-book.