Processing…

This weekend has been a bit of a struggle, as far as blogging goes. I’m not really sure what to blog about. I know I’ve primarily been blogging recipes, which is supposed to be the primary content anyway, but I did say this was going to be a lifestyle blog. So I’ve been thinking recently about what else to share. I have a few recipes, but none of them are perfected at this point. I made a huge batch of Curried Lentils yesterday but failed to take any pictures. And I’m sorry, I’m not going to make it again anytime real soon because it made a lot and I’m not sure how I’m going to eat through it. But I feel like I need to mix up the content a bit more. So what else do I have?

To be really honest, I’ve had one thing on my mind recently. And while I was initially intending to wait to cover this topic until further down the road, I’m saying “to hell with it” and getting this whole thing out on ‘paper’. I’m hoping this will help me organize my thoughts and then process… maybe I’ll make up my mind by the end. And maybe this help free up some brain space for other thoughts and ideas.

1 word (2 words?): Dreadlocks.

I referenced this in my last post; a thought that was consuming me. It started around my birthday and has been all-consuming since then. Which, for me, is weird. It’s definitely thrown me off with how consuming it has been. I don’t usually get this way, so I have been warily contemplating and evaluating the general situation and trying to make sense of it. But the bottom line is, I want dreadlocks. It’s not something I’ve ever seriously thought about before. I’ve seen dreads before and thought they looked cool, but the thought never crossed my mind that I should get them. Yet here we are. And for some inexplicable reason, this goes beyond just a fancy, a whim of wanting to change up my hair style. It’s almost become a need.

I was raised in a Christian home and for a long time my faith was a huge, practicing part of my life. In the last few years, I have definitely turned away from traditional, organized religious practice. It’s a complicated story, perhaps for another time. But while I do still maintain a personal faith and belief, spirituality is not a centerfold part of my life. In my research on dreads, I’ve learned about some of the cultural ties to dreads and watched many an informational video saturated with spiritual influence and belief. Despite the teasing and stereotypical predictions thrown out by my fiance, I can honestly say I’m not aiming for that cliche image or lifestyle. I do believe to some extent that there are spiritual, supernatural influences on the world around us and I know what it is to be effected by the general aura of another person, but I don’t fully believe that my dreads are going to conduct spiritual energy or anything like that. I’m not going to stop shaving or bathing, I’m not going to wear all organic clothing, I’m not going to start smoking weed. I’m still going to be me…. just with a different hair style.

All that said, I do believe in trusting my gut and my intuition. I think that if you know yourself and build that trust with yourself, your gut can lead you in the right direction. So I think the reason that this is idea is so profound for me right now is that, as I said, this goes beyond just a whim or desire. I feel this deep, internal, almost gut feeling that this is what I need to do.

Now I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, Geez! It’s just hair. And you are so right! It is just hair! So why the hell am I so preoccupied with changing my hair style? And why is it just a big, existential crisis for me?

I don’t usually make rash decisions. I think we can all admit to a few rash decisions in our lives, but while some people tend to live on the edge, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and YOLO, I’m not usually one of those people. I play things pretty safe, only take very calculated risks, if I take them at all, and usually chicken out of crazy ideas before I do them.

I think the biggest obstacle in my mind is that I’m, you know, getting married in 8 months? And any cosmetic risks I take now can irrevocably effect, for better or worse, one of the most important days of my life, that will be documented via a professional photographer to be remembered in intricate detail for the rest of my life. In other words, I don’t want to hate myself for making a terrible mistake that ruins my hopes and visions of that day. I mean, who wants to have a bad hair day on that day? No one.

So naturally this has been the biggest comment, or piece of advice, from those closest to me as I’ve shared with them this thought and talked through this process. They have all said do what you want… AFTER the wedding. And it makes sense, obviously, for so many reasons.

  • What if I hate my dreads and regret the decision later? Those pictures live forever.
  • Dreads take about a year to fully mature and go through many stages during that first year. What do I do if the wedding rolls around and my hair happens to be in an awkward, ugly stage?
  • I’ve never done this before and it is a totally new look for me. Is that really something I want to do going into my wedding?
  • Do dreads and the hairstyles I can accomplish with them really match the overall aesthetic of the day I am planning? Will they look good with my dress?
  • My fiance thinks it’s an awful idea, though he also has said I should do whatever makes me happy. Do I really want to present myself to him on this monumental day looking like less that what he pictured or hoped for? Okay, so he isn’t that sentimental or shallow. But still. It’s going to be the best day of my life and even though he has done this before (sort of), I don’t want to diminish it for either of us.

So here are my counter-thoughts to most of those:

  • I have 4 dreads already. And even though I’ve had them for all of 3 days, I’m in love. It has also increased my desire to do the rest of my head. Something tells me I’m not going to hate this. And I already have some awesome up-do ideas.
  • The way I have started and will start my dreads gives me a bit of a head start in the maturing process. I know how to take care of them and will be meticulous and dedicated in caring for and facilitating the process. I can get professional maintenance a week or 2 before the wedding, which will clean things up and then give my dreads just enough time to relax back out to the right look for the wedding. I just have to plan and take care of them.
  • The truth is that 10, 20, 30 years from now, I am going to look back at my wedding and have some sort of critique. I mean, let’s look at wedding photos from the 80’s shall we? First of all, those dresses. Height of fashion then, totally crazy to us now. Trends change, and personal taste changes. And hey, you only live once. I gave up regrets a long time ago.
  • Aesthetic. This is probably one of the biggest concerns for me. I have seen too many weddings where the bride went with whatever she liked most in the moment without thinking of the overall aesthetic of the day and in the end things looked disjointed. I have thought about this before the dreads idea, and want to make sure I am mindful of this concept. However, just because I have dreads doesn’t mean I have to wear a hippie/fairy/gypsy style dress. I can put my hair into a pretty up-do, not entirely unlike what I already had in mind, and tie it all in with the venue, the dress, the overall vibe. And it’s not like my hair will be the only out-there thing. I have, after all, agreed to let the hubby wear a kilt. Lord help us all.
  • And speaking of the groom… I really don’t think it will be a big deal to him, in the end. He just isn’t that sort of person. I mean, he himself has rocked a Hitler mustache and a long Mohawk slicked back like a thug. He grows his beard out and then inevitably comes up with the most hideous shave job and wears it for a day before shaving clean. So something tells me my hair isn’t really a make-it or break-it topic for us.

The only other thing I really have to take into consideration is budget. I decided early on that I wanted a professional to create my dreads initially. This costs money… by the hour… and dreads take some time. They take more time if you are adding extensions, which I plan to do. You have to dread your hair, then you have to dread the extensions, and then you have to dread them together. The 4 I have took much less time than expected to accomplish, so I am hopeful that the initial expectation of 10-14 hours for my whole head is a bit exaggerated. My plan, I think, will be to schedule a few hours each week. I can go after work and get 4-8 done at a time. This spreads out the time and money being spent. And luckily, initial creation is the most expensive part. The rest is easy and product requirement is minimal.

After all of that, I’m going to be honest. It’s probable that I will have a full head of dreads before my wedding. But if I do choose to do this, it will be purely my own decision, which means I will own it. I will have done it for myself. And if the 4 I already have are any indication, I will love it. Maybe I won’t have them forever, but it will be a season of my life. And it will be awesome.

Cheers!

Whitney

Currently listening to: Chinese Man (Spotify)

Currently drinking: Water, because hydration is a whole body challenge right now.

 

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