Most of you have traveled with me on, or at some point heard about my journey to and through the worlds of wigs, long hair, disappearing hair, short hair and wigs again. I first wrote about it a couple of Facebook blog posts called When Life Gives You Lemons Wear a Wig and God Tested My Pretty and Gave Me His Cheat Sheet.
To make a long story short I spent about five years growing my hair through the protection of tree braids (Google it). It grew. It looked great. I was excited and couldn’t wait to enjoy the rewards of my patience and the blessings of the gift God gave my stylist Toya Long. For a few months I flipped and shook my hair, opting for super-straight on some days and flowing curls on the other. Then in March of 2011 I underwent surgery to have lymph nodes removed. There was no cancer thankfully, but the anesthesia did a doozy on my hair! It was falling out and shedding like a sheep in the hands of a happy shepherd with scissors. To add to the matter, a month later I developed Lymphedema in my right arm (I’m right-handed) which made it difficult to nearly impossible on some days to literally comb my hair.
So in span of less than one year I went from this (Yes, that’s all my hair compliments of the FABULOUS Toya Long):
To a lot of wonderful wig looks in between and finally this on yesterday, October 1:
I will be the first to admit that fear had a lot to do with me waiting so long to at least have my hair professionally blown out and cut. I was afraid of “what lies beneath”. I was afraid that styling my hair would hurt the healing I’d worked so hard to have in my arm. I was afraid that my hair wouldn’t be as cute as I wanted it to be or as cute as it used to be. (I know I’m not the only one who falls into the occasional concern of things in life not being as good as they used to be). I was afraid of it frizzing up and fluffing out to embarrassing heights reminiscent of my 7th grade year in Physical Education at Homewood Middle School when my mama wouldn’t let me get a perm or a Jheri Curl. I was afraid of a lot of different things regarding my hair, but I decided to take the leap. My stylists, Toya, was so comforting as she began to unravel and discover what the last three years left. She was so assuring in her words, and so set on creating the perfect color (affectionately known as Sassy Copper) for my new reveal. I’m grateful for her.
(Side Note… God has a sense of humor! Sometimes I think He has to just be sure I’m “down for the cause” in case things STILL don’t turn out the way I want to. Today I woke up excited to take down my pin curls only to find that my curly do was a bit frizzy because of the way I pinned it AND the curly-curls were tickling the back of my neck. With my lymphedema, one lingering side effect is not liking to have anything heavy or tickling on my neck where the fluid sometimes still backs up. SO…I pinned that hair to the top of my head in a hurried tribute to Audrey Hepburn, with a natural girl, new millennium twist… and am still grateful.)
Now, will I retire my hair accessories (wigs) forever? Absolutely not. Is my hair back yet to where it was before all I endured? Absolutely not. Does that concern me? Absolutely not. Am I grateful for the journey, regardless of the unexpected route it took my tresses and me? Absolutely, I am. Do I still know that it’s not about the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts? Absolutely, I do. Am I, like my hair, growing more and more each day compliments of this lesson in life? Absolutely, I am.
The moral of this story: We are who we are… long hair, short hair, no hair, or new hair, and that’s the best person we can be. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of where God has us and what He gives us, but never underestimating His ability to restore in His own precious time and in His own sweet way.