Every year, my goal is to do a self-reflection piece about what I’ve learned. Here goes.
The hair salon has always been a place I really had no desire to be.
Stylists are hardly ever on time. They overbook. People bring their bad kids who run and play and talk too much. The stylist talks to much. On the phone. 🗣 WHEN SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE DOING YOUR HAIR. Sometimes the music sucks. And sometimes I don’t want to smell the fish and chicken plates that people sell to the salon customers.
But, I like for my hair be slayed. So a hair salon is indeed a place I need to be.
Like some of you, I’ve been going to the hair salon since I was at least 11 years old — maybe even before that, but I have selective memory so I can’t say for sure. What I have enjoyed about my visits is the opportunity to observe people, easedrop on conversations and self reflect.
The thing is, I learn a lot about myself by observing and listening to others, so the salon is usually a good place for me to grow. There I go again — always finding a positive in a negative. Some of you should try it, but I digress.
My latest trip to the salon — where my hair was LITERALLY slayed for the Gawds — allowed me to think back on the past year, what I’ve learned and what I’ll take with me into my 28th year of life and onward.
Here is what 27 taught me.
1. Get inspired.
Over the past year, I’ve followed several entrepreneurs in several industries who have inspired my entrepreneurial spirit. I followed Genene Barksdale on Instagram for a year before I decided to finally schedule my hair appointment. Her dedication to her craft — and of course — her ability to capture and share her work via social media were a major influence in my decision to book her hair styling services. She, along with so many more, have been somewhat like a north star for me, guiding me towards my #girlboss moment. This year, I received a few opportunities to do freelance work, and coincidentally, those few opportunities were all that I needed to jump-start my own business. Although it is still in the developing stage, I can honestly say that finding the right people — whether you know them or not — to inspire you is important for progression. This also serves as a good reminder for me to always strive to publicly be my best self as I may never know who I’m inspiring.
2. F.ck Boys will be F.ck Boys (& F.ck Girls will be F.ck Girls, but I’m not talking about them right now).
It’s not uncommon to talk about dating and marriage when you’re in a salon, so instinctively, my and Genene’s conversation drifted in this direction. What I realized is that F.ck Boys will be F.ck Boys. I don’t think it’s an age thing, nor do I think it’s a phase. I think it is something that inherently exists in the mental makeup of some
men — I mean boys — and that it will never go away. I know, it’s not fair to make the assessment that people can’t change. But, I think if you have the ability to change, you’re not actually a f.ck boy. Instead, you just have those tendencies and we all know tendencies can be broken. But, when you get to be 50 years old, and you’re still out here seducing women knowing damn well you have no intention for marriage or a commitment and she’s EXPRESSED to you that it’s something she wants, the talk is no longer about tendencies my dude. You A f.ck boy. And really, you’re the worst kind of a f.ck boy — the one that is but doesn’t think he is.
3. Do what makes you happy.
This year, I made a copious number of decisions because they’re what made me happy. As Genene and I talked, I thought about how easy it is to get caught up in contemplating decisions because of someone else’s feelings, but the truth is, you have to make the decisions that will make you happy at the end of the day. Be reasonable about them, of course. For instance, I’ve made a few decisions this year that only resulted in short-lived or temporary happiness, and while I don’t regret them, I know that I value long-term happiness more. All I’m saying is that it’s okay to do things because you want to do them. Everyone’s feedback or opinion on what you want to do doesn’t have to always weigh so heavily. Make decisions for you and I guarantee you’ll quickly learn to make the best decisions in the long-run!
4. Big risks earn big rewards.
I love hearing stories about someone taking a big risk on themselves and their aspirations and subsequently earning success (Key Example: Issa Rae). The story never changes — it’s proven that big risks earn big rewards. I’m leaving year 27 behind with the intention that if any big risk opportunities that align with my goals in life happen to become a real opportunity for me, I am going to take it. I will not think about the “what ifs.” I will ignore the “what coulds.” Year 28 is about being great and I that’s what I plan to be — with my new hair of course 🙂
5. Self care is the best care.
I’m pretty sure Pastor Battle said something about people thinking self care only involves eating healthy and doing things to be physically healthy the other day at church. If he didn’t, somebody did. Anyway, I know that those things are important but I’ve learned that self care is much more than that. It’s about protecting your mental, protecting your heart and protecting your sanity just as much. Whether it was taking a hiatus from social media or strictly enforcing my ‘do not disturb’ mode on my phone, I was very intentional about keeping out bad energy and limiting distractions. With so much going on in the world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and depressed about things that may not even be directly impacting what you have going on. Some may say that it’s insensitive, and others may even say it’s selfish. I say I don’t care. I learned how to care about others and several issues without digging my own grave (or letting my gorgeous hair fallout due to worry).
6. My sleeves got heart for days.
You know that saying, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve? Well, eff that. I’ve learned to value vulnerability and honest disclosures. I don’t think it makes you weak; I think it makes you human. In year 27, I expressed my feelings ABOUT EVERYTHING. Because why not? The worst that could have happened is that someone would not have understood. And, to be honest, I decided that whether someone understands or not cannot be my focus. My focus is to rid myself of a buildup of emotions that leave me drained and defeated. I decided to tell everything this past year. I was less stressed and there were no surprises for the other parties when I made a decision based on feelings and emotions that I had already shared with them. If people could learn to be open and communicate the way we often do in a hair salon setting, the world would most definitely be a better place.
7. You get one day to be distraught.
You get one day to be distraught. If things go left. If you don’t get the job you want. If you fail a test — or whatever — you get one day to be distraught. The next day, you have to let it go. I can’t harp enough on how not harping on failure and upsets is so necessary for genuine happiness. I had a few disappointments in year 27 — some of which didn’t even require a full day to mope and be sad — but with those that did, I gave myself one day to be sad or angry or defeated. The next day, I was back to my normal self, making future plans, focusing on my present and ignoring the past — because life goes on.
Year 28, you’re up!