For the past year and a half I've developed a lovely set of dreadlocks. Finally, after all this time, they began growing, rounding out, smoothing up. The color was just right and I could wear them all sorts of different ways.
In the beginning my hair was a huge mess. Some might argue that in the end it was just as bad (lol) but I think that my dreads were wildly beautiful!
When I began my dread journey, I was 75 lbs heavier than I am today. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease only weeks before dreading up. Through a holistic medication, lots of exercise and a change in my dealings with/interpretation of/ uses of food... I have become healthy in both size and spirit. Though I'm by no means skinny... I am perfectly contently sitting at the top of my weight range.
Often times when you are seriously overweight, you'll go to great lengths not to be noticed... for fear of being judged by our fat-hating culture. So why, at the highest weight of my life, would I ever do something that would bring so much attention to myself?
I believe that I had a lesson to learn. And I believe that my dreads worked as a vessel to teach me this lesson. My dreads were so much more than a hair style. They were on my head for many reasons, the least being that I liked the way they looked. In honesty, for the first 10 months of this adventure... I DID NOT like the way they looked. But I patiently waited, watched them slowly transform and smooth out and sit closer and closer to my head as the months went slowly by. And as my dreads were developing and maturing... I was becoming healthier. I was also becoming ACCEPTING of myself. I was developing a deep and new relationship with my body. I was learning to love it... chicken arms and baby belly included. I was learning that when you are unhealthy in mind and spirit... your body will become unhealthy as well.
I've always been the sort of person who cared far too much what other people thought of me. It's a problem that has inflicted deep wounds in my self-worth. My dreads taught me how to dismiss judgements about who I am based on how I look. It taught me that being myself, shining and using my personality and character is far different than allowing myself to slip into a cliche or subculture based on my appearance. In order for many people to like and accept me, they had to see past my hair and the preconceived ideas they had about dreadlocks and the people who wore them.
In short, my dreads worked as a catalyst to create a self love that I did not have previously.
Finally, my dreads began weakening and breaking in spots. Also, because I was spending my summer in florida and was in a body of water, swimming, every day... my dreads were heavy and wet all the time. My neck began to hurt and I was plagued by terrible headaches at the end of every day. I decided that it was time to cut my dreads. I didn't want to comb them out. I wanted to start over.
I have taken everything that I could take from the dreads on my head, and I felt that it was important for me to start a new chapter with new hair. This choice was very symbolic... to a nearly emotional degree. I did not want to undread them. Something about it seemed wrong to me. Maybe there was so much emotion and change invested that I felt I was doing a disservice to my growth by combing out all of those little knots. Idunno.
So, here I am. I love my new short hair. I feel liberated. I love my life. I love myself.
And, though I loved my dreads... I do not miss them.