In Full Effect

I have a set of index cards on my coffee table that I have lovingly named…

The Flashcards of Destiny!

They contain the penciled in, erased and rewritten framework of the story I want to share at #Stargazing2013. There are about 30 cards. The first one says ‘gratitude’ and the last says ‘toast’.

The social media presence for The Firecracker Foundation is being built. Things are being signed, phone calls are being made and meetings are being held.

The Change. Rise. Crash. is in full, glorious effect.

I have been growing my hair out naturally. I have been on a pretty regular stretch of chemical relaxers since I was 12-years-old. Slowly and softly, my curls have emerged.

If my hair had a soundtrack in the first few weeks of new growth, it would have been Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy. I think now, my hair is singing, I Don’t Care. I Love It.

No, really. I love my curls so much it borders on vanity and preoccupation.

My life is growing out.

Did I ever tell you that when I was about 15-years-old and I was attempting my first round of counseling sessions, I had a dream of opening a home for girls who had been sexually abused like me?

I didn’t do it. Obviously. I let that dream slide. I studied music. I got married and had children. I ran a business and took a job in development.

I met those professional experiences, challenges and opportunities with great love and passion. I learned great lessons and then…

I resigned.

REFRAMING QUIT: It’s not so much quitting as… stopping, ceasing, retiring, putting it to rest, letting it fly, moving on, phasing out, bringing to a conclusion, taking a bow, changing course, clarifying, focusing, perfecting, shifting, trading up. ~ Danielle LaPorte, The Firestarter Sessions

I have opted for what comes natural to me. I choose my wild, curls that I have no intention of taming over hijacked and flat ironed into submission straight hair.

I stand in a vulnerable space. It’s the space between hopes of perfection and the knowledge that perfection will never exist for me (or anyone). I am floating between reality and unrealistic expectations.

Dream chasing can be self-deprecating. My faults are made clear – my inability to lose these last ten pounds, unwanted facial hair, that my best organizational skills still fall in the category of disorganized and on and on.

Deciding to go out on a limb for your dreams is a great way to clearly see in what ways you were unprepared to do so.

So what do you do?

Well, I don’t know but I can tell you what I did.

I climbed back to the hearty trunk of that tree and built a team, did some research and found some resources to carry in my deep pockets.

And when that runs out, I return and fill them again.

I know I am vagueblogging again. Trust me when I say, you’ll find out what the hell I have been up to very soon.

Nina Firecracker M-80 Lansing Derby Vixens Photo credit to McShane Photography.
Photo credit to McShane Photography.

I am learning to navigate this new and untamed landscape. I am grateful for all that has led me here and I am wickedly in love with what is being created.

I am choosing a different legacy than what was given to me.

I am powerful.





9 thoughts on “In Full Effect

  1. FC, I know I’m on team white girl, but I’ve been embracing my natural hair too. Being curly is awesome! Also, a big dream of mine is to open up a transitional housing program for young adults to help them break out of multigenerational poverty and help them learn life skills. Banking to cooking, cleaning, job searching, college, etc. I’d also like to help adults in poverty learn how to cook with limited resources and start a food program that also includes kitchen basics (pots, pans, safe cooking equipment like crockpots, etc.) So many things to do in this lifetime…

  2. This is so beautifully written.
    I love how you’re comparing your hair growing out to your life growing out.
    How you talk about the “vulnerable space” where you live (where we all live).
    Very inspiring.
    Cheers to your bravery and vulnerability in sharing your journey.

    1. I was hoping that you’d be able to pick up what I was laying down. My hair and my life are facing the same kind of evolution and I celebrate that here. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Sara. XOXO

  3. Well, I might as well add my two cents about my wild curly hair and dreams. I am quite surprised that I have managed about 2 months without a curling iron and I haven’t cried about the curls, instead I have learned to love them and feel great in them (most times at least). I too had a dream to have a home for unwanted youth. Being youth pastors in Brooklyn, we see it all, the real life stories that people think are only bound to fiction, but my life has gone in a few different directions. The dreams are not dead, but for now I can love, love like never before, encourage and help those unwanted ones. Anyways! This is your blog, not mine hahahaha!

    1. Sounds like you are well on your way. I would totally read your blog. Did you know that more than half of all homeless youth have experienced some form of child abuse? Of course you do. Our paths are crisscrossing and parallel. :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this powerful message of self-acceptance and breaking free of expectations to forge/find your own way. Love your hair. The right and best choice is the one whose beauty is natural. I think you are going to live a marvelous life, by definition :-)

  5. I feel the same way about my slow and gradual journey back to shaving my hair off. It’s been natural since ’97 when it finally dawned on me how ridiculous it was for a college student to be paying rent (in Brooklyn, NY, no less) plus $85 to maintain my “Halle Buhhr-ree” (yes, co-opting that southern trill from the song in her honor)! I chopped it off as an act of protest and liberation. Over the years it grew into a lush, wild and twisted out ‘fro. But I’m a simple gurl at heart and was ready for a change. I didn’t want the commitment of ‘Locs (I’ve palm-twisted enough of them to know they required plenty of maintenance), so just before my 33rd birthday I decided to get it pressed. I kept it pressed or flat-ironed throughout my pregnancy, and I caught the cutting-bug again! After my son was born…welp, you know with hormones and the demands of motherhood, I was through! I kept cutting it shorter and shorter until I could no longer use my flatiron. My second big chop was last Labor Day–as in, no more labor on this mane. (I’m not totally free because my son’s wild curls still require a comb.) I rocked a teeny-weeny afro until yesterday when I finally told my barber to shave it close. It’s a new level of freedom and release that I recognize is deeply connected to being on the cusp of my new year.

    Yours in solidarity on this path of grace, love, and unabashed dream-making!

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