I’ve always wanted locs. However, as a self-proclaimed “hair chameleon” I could never bring myself to commit to locking my hair because I couldn’t take the idea of committing to this long term. 

On May 12, 2020, I started my loc journey with 2 strand twists. I was hella nervous but also very excited because I finally felt ready to embark on this journey that I’ve wanted to do for so long. Fast forward to over a month later and I still have my soon to be locs in my head. I even did my first retwist and was pleasantly surprised to see some growth. 

It hasn’t been very long but I already feel so attached to my locs. I always thought I’d have locs when I was older and ready to “settle down”. I didn’t even know what being settled looked like for me so I find it comical that I was going to use my hair as an indicator for when it was time to do so. Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more settled in my life than I do now. The irony of it all.  In a time where there is so much unrest, I feel the most peaceful I’ve ever felt. 

I think it’s because for the first time I’m not aspiring to be anything. I’m not chasing a lifestyle, a person, a dream, or what someone else wants for me. I’m doing what I want to do. I moved during a global pandemic. I left my “home” of two years to move back home because something in my spirit told me to leave where I was for good. For many reasons, I am thankful that I listened to my gut. I was so worried that things would fall apart for me once I moved because I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I’m making it though! I told myself when I got home that from this point on it was going to be me and God and I stuck with that. I haven’t been disappointed yet. 

So how does this relate to my hair? Well, the woman who left Texas isn’t the same woman who returned to Maryland. Everything that I felt defined me and my former version of success was stripped away from me. I don’t have my own place anymore, I was never rolling in dough but…uh yea (lol), no corporate job, none of that! All those things were versions of success that I thought I was supposed to have and aspire to. All the former ideas and projects I did and was a part of were a part of an idea of who I thought I was supposed to be and I always felt like if I could just get it just right then everything would fall into place. 

If the piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit then the picture will never look right. No matter how well you can jam it in there, there will always be some distortion, something just a little off about it. It may be hard to see with the naked eye but you will always know that the piece doesn’t fit. That’s how I felt for most of my life. Like the pieces just never fit. Everything I did was because someone told me to do it. I never had alternative plans because I didn’t even know there was an alternate route to take. When I came home I was coming off of pure misery and confusion. I was also fed up and exhausted with my life and myself. I was becoming so afraid of the idea that I had already peaked. That the moments before now were all the moments that would ever be. I had everything that the world said I was supposed to have and I don’t think I’ve ever been so depressed since my dad died. All I could pray for was to just not be miserable anymore. 

As I said before when I got home, I was stripped of everything. All I had was what could fit into my old bedroom. Just about everything I worked for was gone…and I couldn’t be happier. I’m happier at home with my family. I’m happier now that I’ve discovered a passion that I didn’t even know I had, I’m happier now that for the first time I’m not chasing after a dream that isn’t mine. I don’t want what most people have and that’s not a diss it’s just a fact. I don’t want it. I never did. 

Of course, I don’t plan on sleeping in my old bedroom forever, but I’m also fine where I am RIGHT NOW. I’m just forever thankful to God that it was placed on my heart to move in October and I was home by March. Obedience is one of the easiest ways to connect with God. That moment proved to me that I wasn’t forgotten. That everything I experienced wasn’t in vain. I wasn’t so jaded anymore. My faith is restored and now I can see and hear better than I could before. God got me. 

So back to my hair right? I always felt that I had to change my hair in order to be myself. My hair was a direct reflection of who I believed I was supposed to be to the people around me. Big hair, to match a big personality. A personality that is not at all phony, but is at times more of a burden than a mantle because I felt that if I wasn’t happy, boisterous Bri then I wouldn’t be well received. I felt that I always had to be ready to be on in all areas of my life. My locs, growing slow and steady, moving the way they want to move, forming at their own pace in their own way is a direct reflection of where I am in my life right now. Every day I’m growing and trying to be better than I was yesterday. I’m finally comfortable enough to be my authentic self and go in the direction that I want to go. It took me a while and I’m still not 100% on everything but I’m getting there in my own way and at my own pace. These beautiful, unruly strands of hair on my head, coiling together to support one another to become the beautiful locs they are meant to be represents my life. Constantly building and working to become who I am supposed to be. It’s not always easy to manage, things don’t always look good in the beginning, sometimes I’m not sure what’s happening or if things are going right, but I know, I know that if I just sit back, keep my hands out of it and only assist when needed. If I simply let things naturally unfold then maybe, just maybe in the end everything will come together as it should. 

In all their pretty, ugly, messy, learning, growing, and figuring it all out glory— my locs represent me.

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