I Am Who I Am

I obviously have a hereditary condition that runs in my family because I’ve seen it amongst other female relatives. It prevents the hair around my side edges from fully growing in. I've struggled with it my entire life. My edges are very thin and fragile so the least amount of stress will cause the hairs to fall out. To avoid embarrassment and criticism, I’ve always worn hairstyles, or used methods, to cover my edges. One trick I’ve used over the years is mascara. I learned that from my grandma. I remember when I was growing up, she would use mascara to cover the grays along the front edges of her hairline. For me, it helps to make the edges look full when I want to wear my hair up. You might have noticed in some of my photos that I’d wear a scarf tied around my head when I’m wearing certain hairstyles. That was another method of covering my edges.

My husband helped to pick out the headpiece I wore on our wedding day. He wanted his Queen to wear a beautiful crown. Per my request, my hairstylist and I contemplated on a style that would cover my edges yet still look good with the crown. When I asked my husband’s opinion, he suggested a bun. I told him that’s the style I wanted but that I was skeptical to wear a bun because of my edges. He asked me, “What does it mean?” For him, that’s another way of saying “that’s nonsense”. After a bit of encouragement from my husband, I decided to go with the bun. But still feeling a bit self-conscience, I bought two floral hairpieces to wear on each side of the bun. Then, on my wedding day, we couldn’t find the hairpiece that was meant for Kenya’s hair, so I decided to give her one of my own. I figured I could just use mascara to cover it up. But I was already fully dressed. I thought about my husband’s words. Then, something told me to leave it alone and not take the risk of using the mascara and messing up my dress. So, I decided I’d just “Be Me”. Besides, it was my day. It was time for the world to see the “Me” it had been waiting for.

My Bible tells me that Christ came that I might have life and have it more abundantly. I believe that with everything within me. I guess I had a choice. Abundant edges or abundant life. On any given day, I’ll choose the latter of the two. Therefore, on my wedding day, I danced down the aisle happy and free with thinning edges on fleek. I had the best time of my life. And guess what? My thinning edges were visible, yet they did not take away from the joy I shared with my new husband, our family, and our friends. My thinning edges were captured in photos and videos, but they do not take away from the cherished memories that were created on that day. Do you know what that means? It means that the things we see in ourselves as flaws, they hold no weight. They do not define who we are. And they should not define how we love ourselves or how we choose to live. We be stressing ourselves about our imperfections because we’re worried about what the world thinks, but oftentimes, the world doesn’t even notice those imperfections until we point them out. To the world, those little imperfections are simply a part of our identity, not our destiny. And for those who attempt to use your imperfections to judge you, don’t mind them. They have some self-love issues they need to work out within themselves. Because when you love yourself, you respect the love that others have for themselves.

Oh, you wanna know what else? My husband, being the awesome man that he is, understanding how I feel about self-love, and always wanting me to feel good about myself, regularly tells me I’m beautiful just the way I am. He encourages me to wear my hair up and to not wear scarfs to cover my edges. A couple of weeks ago, he told me since I’m still talking about growing my edges, he mixed up some hemp oils for me to use on my scalp. I kept forgetting to use it. Now, every morning and every night, he personally massages the oils onto my scalp just to be sure I don’t forget. He said “WE” will try and grow your edges if that’s what you really want. Now, we’re going to see if this oil works. If so, maybe we should market it. I’ll call it “Stevie’s Wonder” and the commercial theme song will be a remix of Grand Master Flash song, “The Message”. But, I’ll change the lyrics to say, “Don’t push me cause I got not EDGE, I’m trying not to go bald head…hahahahaha”!!

But anyway, as I was saying...even if the oil doesn’t work, it’s ok. I’m always grateful for my husband’s continuous efforts to keep me happy. But understand this…he might encourage my happiness, but my happiness comes through my will. I’m happy with me because I choose to be. And with each new sunrise, I’m learning more about the person I call “Me” and loving every part of her.

What parts of yourself did you once hate but have grown to love? And what parts of yourself are you still learning to love? Share your thoughts?

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