I have been sporting a locked hairstyle for several years now. My locs are mature and in no danger of unraveling. Many long for this stage, and they think they’ve arrived. But that’s not true, the journey continues. We change, and with that change our vision also changes. I kept my hair neatly manicured for years; later I decided to go for a couple of months between retwists; now I’m semi-freeforming – each its own journey. What’s the point? Having embarked on these various journeys in my hair life, I realize that each has its advantages and disadvantages, and that my choices were influenced by my vision at the time and my motivations. This is no different from life. If we are honest with ourselves, the phrase “it’s how I’ve always done it” doesn’t apply to many areas of our lives, and if it does we are in trouble. As we mature, our perspective shifts and how we live our lives shifts along with it – whether subtly or obviously.
We have all had several journeys within our lifetimes, and will likely embark on several more. Regardless of your journey, and how you choose to go about it, there a few things all our journeys have in common – whether in hair or in life:
- They require patience. Hair does not grow overnight, neither does it lock overnight. The changes we try to make in our lives don’t happen overnight, and when we try to cut corners we often end up damaging ourselves or others. Be patient. Learn to enjoy the wait. There is much to learn during periods of waiting.
- There will be times when things don’t go or look the way we want them to. Anyone who has ever attempted the loc hairstyle will tell you of their ‘ugly phase’ when their hair just ‘wouldn’t’. It wouldn’t anything. At all. Totally out of their control. Life gets like that too. Sometimes we won’t even recognize our lives. We may feel overwhelmed and underprepared to handle it all, but it’s just a phase – whether situational or existing within us – and we must meaningfully work our way through it.
- If we don’t grow, we become stagnant – or worse, regress. Growth is the result of care, time, embracing challenges, and making necessary changes. If we shrink from every problem, rush through every red light, and maintain that this is how it HAS to be, how will we grow? We won’t. We need these experiences for character development. Without them, we will grow.. weaker.
- We must be mature enough to accept the end result, even if it isn’t an end in itself but simply the beginning of another journey. Maybe you hate your look now. It just doesn’t feel like you. You’re upset about all the time you’ve wasted. You could decide that with all the time invested you WILL be rocking this – even if you hate it. You could also decide to remove the blinders and see the many new opportunities presenting themselves to you because you are now in a new and different place.
Bottom line: we are all on several journeys all the time. Thoroughly enjoy the great times, the good times, the quiet times, the pleasant times; determinedly plod through and learn from the stormy times, the sad times, the ‘rut’ times, the dull times. These are the ups and downs of life – and they keep life colorful.