By Neysa Ellery Taylor
I also had to learn to ask for help. The last piece that I wrote was about how I can do it all. I can wear the Superwoman cape, work a corporate job, and raise some kids. I was singing Chaka Khan – “I’m everywoman, it’s all in me” – at the top of my lungs. And I was exhausted doing it. When my personal deadline was menacingly staring me in the face, I realized one thing – either I ask for help or I miss the mark. I opened my mouth and asked for help. I didn’t just get help. I got love. I received so much help,concern,and time from my sister circle. They came and stayed all hours of the night to help me achieve a goal. I’ve known that my sistercircle was tight but I was amazed and so filled by the love they showed me. And I realize that these same sisters – and more – will have my back in future endeavors, just like I will always have theirs.
I realized that everything can’t go into the future with you. To move forward with a major change you have to cut off some dead ends. I had 7 years worth of hair on my head and my ends were raggedy. I had to cut off the dead ends. Obvious metaphor here, right? To move forward in life, I have to leave some dead things behind me. Everything can’t go with me into the next phase of life. I have to leave some baggage in the past and let it stay there.
Finally, I have to get to know the new me. Loc’d hair was resistant to rain and humidity. Free natural hair takes time and care. Little things like owning a shower cap or a wrap cap (sistas, you feel me right?) had been missing from my daily routine for years. I have to get to know the new me. I have to spend time with the new me. And I have to treat the new hairdo totally different than the old one. The new Neysa can’t act like the old Neysa. I can’t expect new things while doing the old stuff I used to do. I have to govern myself with a new set of rules, by a higher standard.
So those were my lessons learned from the seemingly simple act of taking down my locs. It’s funny, the old me would have thought I was just changing my hair style, but the new me knows that I am changing my life.