This post was written almost two years ago and for the time, it really meant a lot to me. I was in a huge transition period of my life and after that led a chain reaction of change after change. Hope you enjoy!
If you told me six years ago that the next time I would get a haircut would be in my kitchen by 20 different people, I wouldn’t have believed you. On July 5th, 2014, I sat in my kitchen with my closest friends and family as they all cut my hair, one dread at a time. I knew this moment was going to come with the release of my book, so I had months to emotionally prepare myself. People are scared of change, but not me; I welcomed it with open arms, embracing it as if it was my own. The beauty about change is that if you don’t like it, you can keep changing.
Earlier that week, I started prepping for the change. I bought myself a yoga mat, workout gloves, iPod headphones, a Beats by Dre wireless boom box, new clothes, hats, a weight gainer, a pre-workout, protein, and a Rosetta Stone. It’s been said that it takes a month to form a habit. I felt with the drastic change in my life of cutting my dreads, turning 25, and releasing “Socially Accepted,” I could become what I always wanted to be: the best version of myself possible.
In order to form these habits, I couldn’t expect it to happen overnight. So the week before, I stopped promoting, created a healthy sleep schedule, started using Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, ate healthy, played the piano, and worked out regularly. The biggest thing for me was quitting the nightlife, because then I could wake up earlier. Truth is, someone can give you all the advice in the world about being productive, but none of it compares to the gem I am going to give you now: The best way to be productive is to wake up early.
With this new change, I wanted to create meaning behind everything. So, I made a new vision board along with a bucket list. The vision board was very personal; but for the bucket list, I grabbed from a lot of the ideas from the internet. One of the things I found for my bucket list was to write a letter for myself in ten years. I saw that and did one better: I decided to record a video for myself in ten years. So I sat in my room alone, just a camera and me; the last video I would ever have of myself with dreads. I told the future me, who would be hopefully retired, married, and happy, how excited I was for this change. I talked about what was going on with my life, what projects I was looking forward too, the publishing of Socially Accepted, my family, my friends, my hopes, and even my dreams. That video by itself made the transition so much easier.
It came down to the moment of truth, as each cut of the scissors took a part of me away. I tried to lighten up the moment and had my friends guess how many dreads were on my head. The guesses ranged from 60 to 150. My friend Jenny got closest (besides me, of course) with a guess of 80. The correct guess was 82. She won the prize of keeping a dread. She didn’t take it. We started with cutting the dreads on the back of my head, so that I could look normal. Once we started cutting the ones on the sides and front, things got emotional. One of my friends started crying, which then started a chain reaction. The moment I had been waiting so long for had finally come. The first thing that came to mind when I saw myself hairless for the first time in the mirror was that I looked 12 years old.
I thanked everyone for coming, took a picture holding my dreads, posted it on social media with the hashtag #NewBeginnings, and got myself a real haircut. I remembered the ride home afterwards, holding my head out the window like a dog on a joy ride, feeling every piece of wind hitting my scalp for the first time in half a decade. It was calming. I arrived home to change and continue celebrating my birthday. I showed up a little later than usual, wearing an American flag scarf over my hat to replace my dreads, because I couldn’t get used to being hairless. I arrived to the table with everyone wishing me a happy birthday, but no one realized what I had done. A friend saw my media post and wanted to see my new haircut. The next thing that happened made the last six years all worth it. I removed the scarf and lifted up the hat. Screams and cheers exploded from the table, as everyone congratulated me on the book and told me how proud they were of me. It made me very excited for the future.
Without change, we’d all be at a standstill. Yes, sometimes bad things happen, but it’s through those dark times that we learn our most valuable lessons. Every experience in life helps us to become the people we are today. How is life without the dreads? Well now, I can take a quick shower first thing in the morning and before bed (as opposed to my hour-long showers), drive with my windows down, jump off a boat into the water with no hesitation, and go to the beach without the fear of sand getting into my hair. I don’t even have to worry about my hair getting in my partner’s face during ‘playtime.’ It feels as if I’ve been given a second chance, reborn again. I have my priorities aligned, along with my goals and dreams. My bucket list isn’t filled with things that would make me happy, but things that will excite me. My final message to you is that if you want something, choose excitement over happiness. If you fail to obtain happiness, you will end up with sorrow; but if you can’t find excitement, you will have an adventure in the process. Excitement is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the end-all, cure-all.