winter wonderland 2009

I am well aware that J is not wearing a hat. Thank you.


His last words to me...

"When I called and you didn't answer the phone, I was torn. I needed to see you. I didn't know if I were doing the right thing."

This would've been a touching moment on the Youn.g and the Rest.less had this...I dunno...not been him.

A couple of days before this incident, my girlfriend (a mutual friend of ours) called me. I remember the crack in her voice as if this conversation took place yesterday. I was bracing myself, thinking that she was about to tell me that someone in her family had died.


"I just called to tell you that...**deep breath**...Wacko proposed to his ex-girlfriend the other night."
"Really? Wacko???"
"The Wacko that I'M dating???"
**Sigh** "Yeah."

I couldn't say anything as I tried to process all of this. Where in da hell did this "ex" come from? We hadn't been dating that long so my feelings weren't so invested that I was heartbroken, but my ego had just experienced a blow similar to the ones that only Mike Ty.son could deliver back in his hayday. My girlfriend was so apologetic that it embarrassed me. I was confused, humiliated, and angry.

But I didn't call and cuss him out. I decided that I'd just disappear. I obviously didn't mean much to him so this should've been an easy feat.

That night when Wacko was so "torn", he called me about 3-4 times, but left no messages.

I was holding strong.

Then my mind started playing tricks on me...I started seeing things. I thought that I spotted his car in my neighborhood but I convinced myself that it couldn't have been him since he lived a good 35 minutes away. He had no reason to be on my side of town.

Not more than a day later, I caved from curiosity and answered the phone. He called me from the barbershop and talked to me as if nothing had happened. I held the receiver with pursed lips...waiting on his formal confession. He asked to come over. I was in more disbelief of his gall than his actual proposal. I decided to interrupt his nonsense and get straight to the point.

"So, at no point did you think it would be important to let me know that you were seriously dating your ex."
"I haven't been dating her."
"That's interesting b/c word on the street is that you proposed. Is that not true?"
"Well, she just came back into the picture."
"Is that right?"
"When I called and you didn't answer the phone, I was torn. I needed to see you. I didn't know if I were doing the right thing."
"I guess the translation for that is you were trying to see if you could screw me one last time. Have you been riding around my neighborhood?"
"I've been over there a few times."

I was shocked that he actually admitted it. And that's when I felt the hurt sneak up on me. So much so, that I had to end the call before the first tear drop. I broke out the black balloons and confetti and threw myself a pity party. Later on, my girlfriend found out that the "ex" was pregnant. I don't know if she thought that this was going to make me feel better or to help me make sense of it all. I didn't necessarily need to know that there could've been a week when he slept with me one night and then was in her bed the next.

Truth be told, if we didn't have a mutual friend I may not have been as strong as I was. I felt that although he treated me as if I were a fool, I had to prove (to my g/f and to myself) that I wasn't. I had to act as if I didn't care when it was tearing me up inside.

That was over 6 years ago.

While looking through my g/f's photo album on FB the other night, I was reunited with Wacko's face, cheek to cheek with his "ex"-turned-wife. They appeared to be so happy.

I can't say that any strong feelings (bad or otherwise) came back to me being that so much time has passed. I just wondered how fair is it for him to be happily married. I want to be "happily married". Not to I do recognize that I was spared. But how is it that something that seems so elusive for me is available to those less deserving of happiness, period?

And then I think, who am I to decide who deserves anything when I have certainly been the recipient of things that I didn't feel as if I deserved (both good and bad). If God were to grant me things based on when I deserved them, then maybe I wouldn't be sitting where I am now. I have to remind myself of this whenever I feel short-changed by God. It doesn't always make me feel better, but maybe one day, my feelings will catch up with my mind.

curly girl wonder diaries - it's a 6mo celebration

I made it! My 6-month nappiversary was Friday! This has been an interesting journey. Great all day, everyday? HELL NAW!!! I've owned up to my struggles on blog and have even lingered by the aisles in Sally's, stocking the infamous "creamy crack" and reminiscing on how Fabulaxer/Optimum sure did me right...even better than some men have in the past. But do I miss the chemical burns?

I remember when my scalp was burned so bad (after a trip to my hairdresser back home) that it started draining while my hair was in a wrap. Well...when it came time to comb my hair down, I couldn't. My hair was glued to my head and I had to wash it all over again. Both money and hair down the drain. Needless to say, my scalp was still a little raw but I chalked it up as a price that I'd have to pay for beauty.

Now? I'm contemplating making this a permanent decision. Although I was just in awe of someone's freshly 'laxed roots no less than 2 weeks ago, I think that it's best for me to not chance a mishap. Especially since I developed an allergy to the PPD in hair dye, pretty late in my "coloring" life.

Anyway, I cut off all of my relaxed ends on June 11, 2009...2 days before my 31st birthday. People want to do/have/or be about something new before they enter another year. This was no exception. I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

Out of all the phases, I have to say that this fade-up is my favorite style. It was an automatic confidence boost. Who knew that the person who thought that her cheeks were too big, would actually be fond of them being exposed.

Funny thing is, I didn't realize just how short I had it cut until months later.

I went into my bday feeling dangerous! It was summertime and I was about the wash n' go.

And inevitably, it started to grow out and my wash n' gos were taking too much of my time in the mornings. (The above pic was 2 months in...I forget what happened to my eye, but no, I wasn't punched. I'm sure that I wrote about it.)

So, I became a fan of coils. I have mastered the coil-out. This is my protective style of choice b/c it has lasted me for up to 2 weeks and I could easily keep them moisturized with my coconut/rosemary/vitamin e/castor oil/water mixture. However, they do not keep me from playing in my hair b/c I've been busted at work for that on several occasions.

(I think that I did something else to my eye, but got the wise idea to just lift my glasses up, instead of taking them off altogether for this pic). Unfortunately, this year has not been without stress and this manifested itself in my skin and (what I considered) excessive hair shedding. I began to regret my decision b/c I had nothing to hide behind. I am still trying to repair the damage to my skin but my hair seems fine (or maybe it has always been).

The 3 pictures above were taken 4 months in. The coils kept my hair hidden so much that when I unleashed it, I was surprised that I retained as much length as I did. But what is that saying? A watched pot never boils? Similar to when I was relaxed, my hair seems to retain length more when I don't obsess over it and style it less often. Not to say that I didn't and don't take care of it...I'm just a fan of minimal manipulation.

I tried to go back to the wash n' gos but again, it was more like a "no-go". My personal preference are styles that can and will last for, at least, a week. I do not like having to do my hair on a weeknight and have settled into "spa Fridays" and "styling Saturdays".

And here comes Thanksgiving. I wanted to try something new, so I did the flat twists but STILL refused to stray from my coils (in the back). I got a lot of compliments on this style, but I need some more time to perfect my flat twists. And speaking of twists...

I decided to do a twist-out. My company's holiday party was last night and, again, I wanted to do something different. Admittedly, I haven't been feeling too cute lately and wasn't all that excited about going to the party. Yet, I wanted to show my face...and secretly hoped that the heavy h'or deurves (sp?) would include scallops wrapped in bacon. Well, they didn't.

At any rate, I pulled a dress out of my closet, got dolled up, and picked up my friend, Kat. After the guy drama surrounding my holiday party last year, I figured it best for me to go with a girl...and we had fun. And so did my twist-out. Will this be my next "go-to" style? Probably not. It took entirely too long for me to twist my hair b/c of the length. And taking them down was a bit more cumbersome than my trusty coils. I rocked it, but I may revisit the twists in a couple of months or so...or the next special occasion (whichever comes first).

Let's see...the natural haircare books that I've read so far:
Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Got Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner
Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey
Textured Tresses by Diane Da Costa
Thank God I'm Natural by Chris-Tia E. Donaldson (my fave)

My favorite natural haircare websites are all listed to the right.

As far as youtubers...yeah, I watch a lot of them...maybe 14 of them semi-regularly. If I had to settle for listing my Top 5, I would say kimmaytube, mahoganycurls, prettydimples01, curlychronicles, and sheacocoaluv. The ones that I'm most drawn to have great attitudes that make me smile just by watching them be happy. I don't necessarily covet anybody's curls b/c my hair is going to do what it wants to, no matter how many ways I try to make it do something unnatural. I'm mostly about getting my hair to a thicker, healthier state...with that comes length and overall satisfaction with 'self'.

Same ole, same ole. Wash and deep condition on Friday. Style on Saturday. I haven't done any ayurvedic treatments in a while. I hope to get off my arse and do this soon.
Conditoner (Co-Wash): Yes to Carrots
Leave-In: HE Hello Hydration
Oils: Vatika, Spritz (Coconut, Vitamin E, Castor, Rosemary, Water)
It's all working together for the good of my hair, so I'm not much of a product junkie.

Overall, I've received more hair compliments during these past 6 months than I have my whole relaxed life...which spanned about 18 years. And anyone that may have had a problem with it, originally, is over if they had a choice. Through the ups and downs, I am learning a lot about myself and am thankful for this journey. I'm looking forward to another 6 months...and beyond.

Still growing,
Curly Girl Wonder aka LB


And this, my friends, is Post #30. I started a day late, so I’m ending a day late. Never in my blog life have I posted 30 days in a row. Will I do it again? HELL NAW!!! If anything, I think that I’m going back to my 5-post-a-month average. I learned a few things about myself…I’m not a writer. I do not wake up in the morning, yearning to write. I enjoyed writing about my hair progress and my art projects the most but blogging felt like a chore at times. Can you believe that writing about my kid did not make the top 2? Maybe I should’ve lied, but I wonder why that is. Anyway, if I listed “writing a book” as one of my bucket list items, I may need to scratch that off. My life is not interesting enough for me to post daily and I don’t necessarily like detailing everything that I do, on down to every time I take a pi$$. As far as posting my opinions on certain matters, I try to limit that in general. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m coming from some soapbox standpoint. Much like my career, I’m a “Jane of all trades”, master of none. I only speak of things that have ACTUALLY benefitted me or that I’ve been successful at doing. Overall I am still trying to figure out life, much like everyone else, and I’m not always operating on level 10.

At any rate, I appreciated the challenge for all of what I learned about myself. I didn’t announce that I was going to do it, nor did I formally sign up to do it. If I’m supposed to get a cookie for doing it, then I’ll have oatmeal raisin, por favor. I didn’t want to complain about it every time I didn’t “feel” like doing it b/c, well, life is full of choices. If posting everyday was THAT much of a struggle, quitting is always an option. I am not being paid.

I would like to take the time out to thank the few lurkers that were moved to comment a time or 2. Don’t ever think that a blogger is doing you a favor by posting. You are doing them a favor by reading and they should either be appreciative or stick to writing in their own personal journals, period. And as for the regulars that have stopped by and shown me love, encouragement, and support… hopefully, you know that I am always grateful for you…even if we have never formally met.

And now that I’ve finished my Whitney-like award-acceptance speech, I feel moved to speak about something so I’m gonna go with it.

My cuz has been going through a tough time lately and I have been doing all that I can to keep her encouraged. Sometimes, you don’t want someone to preach to you or to put on the whole armor of God and sling Scriptures at you or to start off with, “Well, all you gotta do is…” or worse, sound aggravated that you have yet to solve your own problems. Not everything can be solved in 3 steps or less. A lot of things take time. Sometimes you just want someone to listen without judgment, to sympathize, to empathize, to simply understand. I am fortunate to have friends that are capable of doing this (maybe 2). Well, my cuz said something to me that was oddly familiar…b/c I’ve felt this way. She said:

“I just don’t know how I got here and why things are happening the way that they are. I have a mustard seed of faith and I am trying to hold on to my confession and not give up but when everything is going downhill, it’s hard to stay focused. I still know God has been good to me and he wouldn’t leave me out here all alone. It just bothers me because I know what it is like to struggle. I grew up that way my whole life and then I got to a point where I was fine and didn’t have to worry about anything. I always helped other people, and treated people right and now it feels like I am being punished or something. I know that sounds strange but sometimes I feel that way but I don’t know how I got to this part in my life...”

I had to pause and appreciate her transparency. Many times I have felt this way. I know a lot of people who are currently feeling this way and are deep in the holiday blues…so bluesy that it’s almost black. But sometimes, we like to paint the smiles on our faces and pretend as if everything’s copacetic. Maybe we’re embarrassed about our situations, but if you have never experienced a storm then you have never experienced life.

Let me tell you what I’m guilty of… I am guilty of wondering how someone who I KNOW is the daggone devil on earth can seem to have everything and never experience hardship. And when I wrote that, I was thinking of one person, in particular, who just complained SO daggone much but, IMO, he had it better than most. But then I think, we base a lot of things on money and financial stability and all of the things that we can actually SEE. And if you’re like me, you may even have friends on FB with photo albums of them at “Mar.tha’s Vine.yard” one weekend and then down in Mi.ami the next, cheesing so hard that their face might just crack. Every opportunity is a photo op b/c they want everyone to see just how great their life is. And if it is great, hey, I’m happy too. But all that glitters isn't gold. We have no clue of what a person is dealing with on the inside.

One thing that I have is peace of mind…and THAT is invaluable. Even when I was unemployed, I knew that if things were to get REALLY bad, I still wouldn’t be living on the streets. Worst case scenario, I would be living in New Orle.ans (which wasn’t a bad deal), with my dad (which would have been tolerable), but steadily getting back on my feet. Sure, it would’ve sucked to lose everything that I worked hard for, but I have too many loved ones that were not going to leave me to struggle alone. Well, my cuz has the same in me. I told her to be encouraged that whatever she may be going through is temporary. I remember when I first moved here and was hating life and VA, this very same cuz said, “it’s ok to cry and be upset, but you have to keep moving forward (even when you feel as if you’ve regressed).” Which seems to be the same advice that one of my fave bloggers, Leezie, has said to me time and time again. Only hers is more condensed…I believe that those nuggets of wisdom went like this:

Walk the path.

It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago, I had the clothes on my back and that’s about it. I had loved ones like my cuz that supported and helped me get through one of the deeper struggles of my life. And now, I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I’m a whole lot better off than I was. What I can also say is that NOW, I’m in a position to offer the same support to my cuz, without question. I feel honored to be her shoulder. I have no clue what this is all about, but I DO know that this isn’t for nothing. She WILL come away with something…maybe even more than she bargained for.

I hope that helps someone else and if that someone is only me, then that’s cool too. Now, I’m off to take a blog breather, for maybe a week or 2.

In the meantime, be encouraged.