It’s Blogalicious Weekend 2012, and I have to say I’m so happy to be here. Six months ago if someone had asked what I was looking forward to by the end of the year, I would have said ” A JOB and Good Health (Mind, Body & Soul), that’s all I ask for right now” and I’d end it with a hopeful smile. Now that I’m here at Blogalicious Weekend 2012, I can say there’s a completely different answer, a more positive upbeat response; and starting my blog had a good bit to do with it. After 8 months of unemployment I’m now an intern with a federal agency within my degree field (Human Services/Criminal Justice), I’m actively addressing issues with my health and looking to become an advocate for Veterans and proper care for our unique issues, and I’ve begun to truly integrate myself into a community that shares my passions…Writing, Information Sharing, and SOCIALIZING!
I was introduced to the BeBlogalicious community by Maisie Dunbar. Real quick, let me just say that Ms. Maisie has been my springboard into so much the last few months and I truly appreciate her; she’s a friend, mentor, and all-around Fierce Professional! Ms. Maisie was working an event and had asked if I’d like to tag-along for exposure since I had recently decided to start a BLOG. I didn’t even ask what the event was, mainly because if Maisie was encouraging me to go, I was in. A day or so before the event I did finally ask for a little more information, I didn’t want to look like I was in La La Land while interacting with others. Ms.Maisie sent me the flyer to look at. I was pretty impressed and intrigued at the same time by this event, called “Unleash Your Social Media Butterfly” sponsored by BeBlogalicious and Vision Quest Retreats. To myself I thought ” Blogalicious…what in the world, is that a real word?” When I arrived with Ms. Maisie and Miss Nancy, one of the young ladies on staff for Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge; I was welcomed into a home and a community of women so DIVERSE and POSITIVE, it made me radiate with excitement. The stories were all so unique, the missions so powerful, and the free flow of information was so amazing! I now understood what the word Blogalicious meant, I had interacted and become aquatinted with some great women, and I couldn’t wait to be apart of this community. By the time we were wrapping everything up, everyone was asking if I would be going to the conference in September, my response at that time was ” Noo, I don’t think so, I just started a new job and I’m not sure I can get the time off”. A few weeks later, as I was having a mentoring session with Ms. Maisie, we discussed Blogalicious, what I thought of it and the fact that I really did want to go…plus it was in Vegas…uh HELLLLOOOOOO.
So now I’m here in Las Vegas ready to take it all in like a sponge.
I’ve come to realize that in order to really get some good content on paper for school one of two things must happen: I must have a glass of wine, or I must go into the kitchen and create. If I start in the kitchen it usually means its a Sunday and too early for that glass of wine…lol. Here’s what I made today in order to get my creative juices flowing:
I’ve had many people ask me what I do to my hair and what was the reason I decided to go natural. Well here’s my big chop story :
Before my last deployment to Iraq in 2008, I had decided to put micro-braids in to “protect” my relaxed hair (I know my fellow naturals are laughing pretty hard at that comment), but about a month into the deployment I just couldn’t take all the sand and dirt that came with the environment in the middle east, so I took my braids out. Now those of you who sport any type of braids know that you have to let your hair “rest” before you put a relaxer in, well I was in the “waiting” stage and a supervisor felt the need to tell me my hair looked awful and I needed to do something with it, now mind you I had been out on the airfield in sitting in a vehicle for most of my 12 hour shift. I was hot as fish grease, how could someone who had sat in the office all day tell me what I needed to do with my hair? Aside from that, how could someone who does not have my same ethnic background tell me what I needed to do with my hair? These questions along with some not so pleasant responses ran through my head, but I proudly had my “stay out of trouble” filter on. I decided to take a moment and compose myself before I got into some serious trouble, needless to say a young lady ( Sgt.W) who worked in the office next to me came out and asked me if I was ok, I’m known to have a cheery disposition, but everyone can tell and feel if there’s a serious storm on the front as well. I proceeded to tell her what the other lady had said to me and by the end of the story I was in tears. I didn’t have time to put a relaxer in that night, nor was it a good idea after just taking my micro’s out. At the end of my rant told her maybe I’ll just cut it all off and start over, then “so and so” won’t have anything to say because nothing will be there. We laughed about it, but then I realized I really did want to cut my hair…right down to the new growth. So I asked Sgt.W, who by the way had been natural for over 2 years, if she would help me. At first she was very apprehensive, ” T, if it doesn’t come out the way you want I don’t want you mad at me”. I told her we were going for it, it was just hair and besides that, I was in the desert who cares about a short cut out here. So instead of going to the BX to pick up a relaxer, Sgt.W brought over some scissors to my room that night and we had a ball. It didn’t take long and I was in tears afterwards, but they were liberating tears for sure. The next day when I walked into work, mouths dropped. No one could believe I had taken that step, and I had received NOTHING BUT COMPLIMENTS on how the new cut was a good fit for me. I was smiling from ear to ear all day, or at least until the supervisor who had said something the day before felt a need to chime in. “SSgt. Heyward, I didn’t mean for you to do something so drastic to your hair, it looks nice, but you didn’t have to cut it”. My response to her in the most polite voice as possible was this ” Honestly, the comment you made did upset me, but I cut my hair for me.”, I asked if she needed anything else and then went out for my exciting shift on the airfield. I can tell you that my Big Chop was only the beginning of what I now see as my true change and a major step in life, plus I haven’t really looked back since. There is more to tell about this journey but for today, I’ll leave you with some pictures.