This is the fourth Chapter of the Chop Chronicles, a section of my website that I created so that you could go through the natural hair journey of the big chop with me. I shaved my hair in July of 2013, completely bald and I must admit I thought my life was over. Little did I know, my life was changing before my eyes.
Why January Was Difficult.
Christ, it’s February already. I can’t believe I’m 7 months into my natural hair journey. I’ve been slacking on the chop chronicles! Forgive me! It looks like I never cut it. Like I just dyed it a darker color. A color in which I love. This month of the natural hair journey was the hardest (By this month, I’m referring to January.). I lost a friend to my mohawk… Yeah, you read that right. She was one of my close friends, or at least I had thought so. She said hurtful, hateful things. A little backstory, is that she was a friend of mine, infamous for having people take a lot of her style…. At a point in time, she and I both had had mohawks, and it was okay. She knew that I wasn’t trying to steal her style, and that my mohawk made me happy with myself.
Not this time. Instead, she got angry. Vicious. Hurtful. At first, the realization that I had lost a friend to my hair hurt a lot. Probably more than anything. Then, I started to realize, my mohawk made me happy. It was my red, private place to be proud of myself for my devotion to individuality. It didn’t matter who else had it or who wore it better as long as when I looked in the mirror, I recognized myself. I realized that you can’t be happy with yourself if you’re always trying to make someone else happy. I knew I wasn’t stealing her thunder, and I would like to think that deep down somewhere, she knew it too. Learning that my haircut was worth our friendship to her started out as a tragedy and ended up being for the better. It’s really good as well as healthy to know who your real friends are. When it comes to this situation, I could only think of one phrase that described it.
Sometimes you must forget what you feel and remember what you deserve.
No one deserves to be called hateful names because of a haircut. Many, many people have the same haircut she and I both have and don’t seem to be bothered by my change. Often times, we focus on our hurt feelings instead of the big picture. The ultimate picture. Slowly, I began to accept that maybe we just weren’t meant to be friends anymore. No real friend would put you down for decisions you made not meant to hurt, change, or spite anyone.
This time, I wanted something different. I wanted a natural hair journey milestone as I call it. I ran to my friend, who was the biggest supporter of my decision to shave my hair back down. She and I spent a whole day in her bathroom dying my hair. We made a hangout of it; she, I, and Jason. We sat around and watched stand up, made jokes, and eventually dyed my hair this really bad ass shade of red. The perks of having a best friend who works at Sally’s. I immediately began feeling the difference in my confidence level. New haircut, new hair color, and a few weeks later, new hairstyle. I was so excited to put striped accents in my hair that it just couldn’t wait. Why should it need to?
I know that I kept saying that I wanted to grow this big “Erykah Badu” afro, but I love my mohawk. It fits me. It molds with me to create this persona that matches every concave of my inner being. Spontaneous, colorful, me, and I couldn’t be more happy.
Have you ever lost a friend because of a decision you made for yourself?
If you could take the decision back to make that friend happy would you? You shouldn’t. Don’t let anyone bully you or make you believe that what you want for yourself doesn’t matter because of the fact that they’re not okay with it. People are going to be unhappy with a lot of things you do. Get used to it. Especially if you’re trying to make something of yourself. You have to be bold, unafraid and you every day of the year, even when it’s something that no one agrees with.
The one thing I take away from my friendship with that old friend is that I never want to be mistaken for a replication. My name is “Jasemine”, and my parents spelled it that way on purpose because they wanted me to be different. I grew up wanting to be different. I grew up being comfortable therein. People fail to realize that you don’t want to be a celebrity, a model, your peers… You want that feeling, that confident look, that attention. You’ll never be that by becoming a carbon copy of someone else. You have to make your own way.
I never once looked at anyone and said “I want to be them.” I’ve told myself “I wanna be as awesome as P!NK, as free-spirited as Janis Joplin, as bold as Eminem and as strong-voiced as JC Chasez.” Yet never in my life had I looked at a person and said “That girl right there… I wanna be her.”
Do not compromise the beauty of yourself to gain an image like someone else’s.