lighter, happier

Yesterday was a big day: I cut about 12-14 inches off my dreadlocks.

It was time. They were beautiful, long and heavy. Five years of growth. Took forever to dry (so washing them was a pain in the tuchus). Got all wrapped around me at night (and didn't feel too great on my bare skin).

But their beauty (and the awesomeness of being able to wrap them into a bun without any band) kept me from cutting them for awhile. (I've been thinking seriously about a cut for more than six months now.)

Oh, the beauty.

That's one of the three reasons I locked my hair in the first place: I love the aesthetic.

Shorter locks are cute, but they're not majestic in the same way long dreadlocks are.

But the main reason I started this locked journey is for spiritual reasons: to teach me patience and self-love and enjoyment in my natural hair. Without product to make it thicker or wavy or do the things it was "supposed" to do.

And I was losing that enjoyment, simply because my hair was too long for me.

And so it was time. I took a few photos on Instagram to document before and after and I just did it.

This is me, this is who I am: once I make a decision, I leap.

And so I leapt. The first dread I cut (wow!) I cut much shorter than I'd anticipated: but it was just right. Chin length, not shoulder length, like I had been thinking.

And after, it felt strange. Light. They looked a little bizarre so I gave my locks some love (separating the roots, rolling them a bit between my fingers).
And they "grew" on me (LOL).

As the afternoon progressed (Remy's only comment to my question, "What do you think?" was "good!" Oh, how I love that kid!) I started falling back in love with the hair I already had been in love with.

And I got progressively more excited.

This morning when I woke up, I couldn't wait to take a shower! None of this look-at-the-weather, see-how-long-drying-will-take. Wash and go! Just like before (before they got so long and heavy and before I was locked, both).

My heart feels happier today, lighter.

Part of this is just the change, of course: I thrive on change.

But I really do believe my hair being shorter is lightening my load, physically (OK, my neck can already attest to that truth!) and emotionally, spiritually.

I let go of some things recently, and they were things that happened while my hair was locking and locked.
Cutting my locks shorter is a good symbolism of that letting go.

It was time. I was ready.

And I let them go with so much love in my heart I thought I might burst.
For those who are curious (as my FB friends were yesterday): I have already put the ends outside, waiting for burial. I was hoping some birds might use them as nest-building material, but I think they're too big.

The ends really had gotten much fatter than the root area, none of my beads fit anymore. I think this was the reason I'd had some breakage this past year.

And also, I think it had to do with being pregnant two years ago and then miscarrying -- I had the same hormone drop off as a post-partum woman experiences and the change in hair growth may have been a factor in the change in my dreads. I suspect that where I cut the dreads is about two years of growth for me, give or take.

Symbolically meaningful, yes.