Over the past little while, a recurring theme has been playing itself out in my life in various ways. From major incidents to seemingly insignificant ones, I finally realized what the intended message was. Last night as I tossed and turned, wide awake with insomnia, I got it. I pulled out my phone, opened my Evernote app, and wrote:
I used to put more trust in others than I did myself. From now on, I'm trusting myself much more.
Funnily enough, once I typed that message, my insomnia lifted and I knocked out.
In many of my recent interactions, I've found myself doing things that have me putting Bee in the backseat. From deferring to so-called "experts", sacrificing my wants and needs so that others would be more comfortable, and biting my tongue when I don't want to rock the boat, I've been unknowingly allowing others to steer my ship. Internally, I'd acquiesce and tell myself that it's OK - other people may know better, other people may do better, and things may just be better if I hold my tongue or wait my turn. However, with last night's aha-moment, I realized just how much of a disservice I'm doing to myself.
One big kick-in-the-pants teachable moment was something superficial, but something that taught me a lot about myself. I *drumroll please* actually installed my very first set of Marley twists, all on my own! This was a major feat for an uncoordinated chick with 2 left hands whose fingers manage to get confused with even the simplest YouTube tutorial. Just last week, I paid a stylist to put in the thick, kinky Marley twists I desired, and instead got a head full of heavy Senegalese twists. I had seen pictures and blog posts from other naturalistas who had installed their own Marley twists, but instantly dismissed any possibility that I could do the same. I preferred to pay my money and trust someone who I thought would know better and do better than I - and even though she did an amazing job, it wasn't what I wanted.
After about 3 days, I ended up taking down the twists. I finally resolved to try to do the Marley twists myself, so I headed to the beauty sto', picked up the tools I needed, and studied YouTube videos until I felt ready to tackle the job. I'll just say this - I can do some mean twist-outs, Bantu knots, braid-outs, etc. - but I can't cornrow, I do tragic flat twists, and consider any style using extensions as one that requires a professional. However, here I was, surrounded by hair extensions, butterfly clips, conditioner and gel, doing the twists - and doing them pretty damn well for a 1st timer, too. When I was through, I was amazed with the final product - I kept looking at my reflection saying, "Did I really do this?"
EDIT: Click here for my Marley Twist tutorial post!
That moment illuminated something for me. In literal and figurative ways, it showed me that I have been putting WAY too much trust in others, and I haven't been trusting in one of the most capable people I know - myself. Downplaying my abilities hasn't really benefited me in any way - I've lost money, missed opportunities, and second-guessed myself when my instincts were right. I think it's high time to get off this ride and hitch a new one - one that has me trusting in my ability to do things well, to speak my mind, to go with my gut, and to put myself first a little bit more. A wise man in IKEA said to me once, "Don't be so afraid to make a mistake that you don't do ANYTHING." That being said, a sista is about to do a whole lot - and trust myself that it'll go better than I thought, or I'll at the very least learn something along the way.
Do you trust yourself? It may not be a question you ask often, but take this chance to reflect and think about your response. And don't worry - a Marley twist post is coming soon!