Rapture of my Own

The world didn’t end today, but something else way more exciting happened! Today, my hair turned three!

I know that may sound weird to some (any more weird than the world ending at 6 pm?), but three years ago today, May 21, I decided to start my locs. It was a decision I had been contemplating for a very long time. I was struggling to figure out my life, forgive myself for some pretty hefty mistakes and begin my life anew. I decided that my hair and I would grow together. I could use my hair as an outward symbol of the internal process of nurturing myself back to life and good health. These last few years, my hair has been amazingly prophetic and insightful. Today is the anniversary of that decision.

Life has been tough lately. I was so preoccupied this morning, that I didn’t even remember the significance of the date. I did, however, put washing my locs at the top of my to do list. An unconscious reminder and proclamation.

And when I finally got around to washing it, it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. I had a breakdown right there with my head hanging over the side of the tub, my locs heavy and soaked. And I cried for a long time as my mom patted me on the back and watched as I tried to get myself together. It was as if the process of dipping my hair into that tub of cold, cold water was enough to start another cleansing process.

Three years ago I made a promise to myself. That I would start to take care of myself like I took care of other people. That I would nurture and love me. Looking in the mirror at my hair lately has been a visible indication that I have forgotten that promise. Today, I rolled and separated and tightened my locs as a way of renewing my vows to myself. I will take care of you, Elle. I promise, and we will get better.

And so today, my hair turns three, and we begin again.

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