I am not my Hair. Am I?

I recently read an article by Maya Allen on BYRDIE entitled ” 22 Corporate Women Share What Wearing their Natural Hair to Work Means” and I was captivated. The sheer title alone grabbed my attention. The experiences of these women felt similar to my own. Their stories were somehow also my story. 

BACKGROUND

As a young girl, I looked forward to hair days with my mother. On Sundays, she would wash and braid my hair for school on Monday. My excitement for Sundays was always sky-high. The fancier the hairstyles, the better I felt.  Hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, clips, bubbles, and ribbons were my normal as a child. 

Getting my hair done on Sunday would set the tone for my week. I felt majestic, beautiful, and like royalty.

SOMETIME AGO

Something interesting happened from childhood to professional women. There was a shift in my delight of getting my hair adorned.

I felt I needed to fit a mold.

For me, that meant straight and black.

Every hairstyle I wore to work was black.

Straight, and without curls.

Whenever I was prompted by my hairdresser to try a different style, I felt uncomfortable. I remember saying to her “NO BRAIDS AND NO COLOR!”

At my first job out from Grad school. My number one hairstyle- Alway black.

TODAY

My views have completely changed. The idea that professional hair is straight hair was a completely false narrative I had adopted. So this last year, I decided that I wanted to rock my natural hair in its fullness. Whenever I could not wear puffs, Bantu knots, or braid out, I decided to wear protective hairstyles that were more natural-appearing. After examining the disconnection between my hair and my professional appearance, I have found two points to be true:

  1. I realized that I wanted to be accepted by others, even if others could not understand my inner conflict.
    I became too concerned about corporate/professional America accepting my big, curly, and colorfully loud hair yet, I had not accepted it myself. I did not need their acceptance. I must first accept me.
  2. For any young girl reading this- know that you are PERFECT. Your kinks, color, coils, clips, dread, and braids are all apart of you. What sets you apart is your most valuable asset.
    • We can all do more to accept each other’s differences, complement each other’s beauty outside the workplace and within corporate America.

KNOW THIS:

Professional Hair is YOUR hair!

Professional Hair is YOUR style!

Professional Hair is YOUR color!

SO I got my hair braided today and added a little color

Referenced Article

5 Last Minute Christmas and New Year’s Gift Ideas for my Fellow Procrastinators

  1. BOND TOUCH BRACELET
Courtesy of Amazon

If you are spending the Christmas holidays away from family this year, then you may be feeling like you are missing out on the intimacy of family togetherness. I saw the Bond Touch Bracelet on Amazon and immediately felt like I needed one. A better idea is to gift the bond bracelet to a best friend, spouse, parents, or someone you are separated from this Christmas. Show you miss them. 

Review and purchase this product HERE

2. KIDS AGAINST MATURITY

Courtesy of Amazon

My fondest memories as a child on Christmas Day came after dinner. After eating together, we played board games. In past years we played Monopoly, Scrabble, Dominoes, Family Feud, and Jenga.

Consider KIDS AGAINST MATURITY if you are looking for a board game to add to your family collection or gifting.This board game is unlike the ones I played as a child, but I am definitely considering adding it to my own collection.

Review and purchase HERE

3. EMBER MUG

Courtesy of Target

Cold weather is no stranger to us New Yorkers. After our last snowfall accumulation of 24″, we need something to keep us warm. Ember Mug is a perfect gift for the tea lover and coffee drinker amongst you.

Pour a hot cup of cocoa and sip away.

Check it out HERE or TARGET

4. STREAMING, MOVIES, TV SHOWS

Whether it is Netflix, HBO, or Hulu, a subscription for streaming services will make a great Christmas gift. Watching our favorite shows and series is just a click away.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

5. Exercise Equipment/ Gears

After the holiday season comes time for New Year’s resolution. Invest in the health of others by contributing to their fitness goals. You can support them- whether saving up for a new Peloton bike or considering the MIRROR Exercise, contributing funds toward exercise equipment or work-out gear is a great Christmas gift for many.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas to All.

Comment below! You may add suggestions for other readers in the comment section.

Disclaimer: These are my personal suggestions for last minute Christmas gift. There are no affiliate sponsorship. The links provided are for reader’s accessibility only.

Here’s the Truth, Nothing Changes.

Last January, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. The weeks prior were filled with feelings of fear, anxiousness, and a small amount of excitement. A few months earlier, I wrote a list of the things I thought I would have accomplished by thirty years of age.

On this list you could find;

Have children

Big wedding

Finish schooling

Buy a house

Start a Charity

Yet, there I was one month out from my thirtieth birthday sitting at home without children and considering going back to school.

A small part of me felt like I had failed, but most of me knew the truth. The truth is, I was a work in progress. At thirty years old, nothing changed. Sure, I had more life experiences, enjoyed more adventures, traveled a little more, even believed I was wiser.

But, I continue to be a work in progress. These same DREAMS ARE STILL ATTAINABLE. Life does not end at thirty.

I celebrated with my friends and family. I had a custom birthday cake and lots of love around me.

But I wondered, why was I fearful of becoming thirty years old? Was it societal norms or peer pressure? Sadly, I had fallen for the one size fits all plan. But, I am no means, one size fits anything type of girl. These are some of my thoughts one month away from another birthday. This time around, there is no list to review.

I figure some young girl will read this. At least, I hope so! Enjoy your life and cherish the moments as they come. There is nothing to fear of becoming older.

So there it is,

The truth, nothing changes.

Keep working on yourself and your dreams

We are all a work in progress…

How do you celebrate birthdays?

A Letter from me to ME

Dear younger me,

There are so many things I want to tell you. As I sit and type this letter I am flooded with so many thoughts. Thoughts of hope, joy, laughter, family, and hardships. Life has its trials and at times you will feel defeated, but you have learned that defeat is never the end of your journey. So to my younger self, I leave with you, three points of inspiration.

Your childhood does not determine your adulthood

I can recall vividly the moment I realized I was not born into a wealthy family. I was eight years old when I looked around and noticed the differences between myself, my neighbors, classmates, and friends. The difference in dress, food, resources, and property. You will come across that one person, that always seems to have it all. But, do not heed to jealousy.

Hold fast! As you become older, the struggles of your childhood and lack of finances will become the driving force of you accomplishing your dreams. You have learned to live by the motto, “Hard work pays off.”

1994

To my younger self, know that you are in charge of your destiny. Use the skills of your childhood to create the adult life your desire. You are a work in progress still.

Enjoy your childhood. Don’t rush to grow older

Take your time. You have much more of life to live. Do not rush the process of growing up. Cherish the silly games with your brothers. Spend more time running around, playing with board games, jumping skipping ropes, doodling with chalk, playing cricket, and telling moonlight stories on the bridge.

As you get older, you will reminisce on these times with your siblings at every family get-together. You will spend hours laughing about some small thing that now fills the room with so much life. Something as simple as the time you fell down the stairs or the night your neighborhood friend got a spanking, and you waited up late at night with your brothers laughing in the living room.

To my younger self, slow down and savor these moments.

Find a strong support system. You will need it !

Over the last year, you have weathered many storms including family illnesses, the death of a loved one, mental health challenges, a pandemic, and the diagnosis of cancer of a close family member. Life can be so messy at times, and yet so beautiful. It is during these trying times you realized how truly blessed you are to have a great support system. Remember to appreciate the daily check-ins. When you felt discouraged and spent days crying, they rush over to be by your side to comfort you. When you felt like not praying, they prayed for you.

w/Mom
w/Dad

Here’s the surprise- Your parents will become your best friend as an adult.

DO not take them for granted.

So to my younger self- treat your family and friends with love. They will show up for you time and time again.

With love,

Your future self

P.S. You’ll meet your best-friend and love in the most unexpected way.

On my “About” page you would have read that I am from Guyana, South America. This small bit of information does not quite give much insight to childhood struggles, accomplishments and unfulfilled dreams.

When orthopedics cannot mend the broken..

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Over the last six years, I have worked in orthopedic surgery and quite enjoy the experiences and skills acquired through my profession.

Why orthopedic surgery? My answer- Why not?

The most appealing part of my profession is that I am actively involved in fixing a problem. The outcomes after surgery, especially in the subspecialty of orthopedic trauma, is tangible.

A broken bone fixed.

An arthritic hip replaced.

Very often, I am a witness to that transformation.

I am a witness to a life transformed.

BUT, I know there are broken aspects of healthcare and our society that orthopedics cannot mend.

As the holiday season comes along, I like to ask patients if they are ready for the holiday season. In previous years, the answer has always been a resounding “yes, I have my tree up” or “I have most of my shopping done already”. However, this year has been different.

More recently, I hear “no!” or “I do not have any money this year for Christmas”. I would venture to say that about 10-15% of the patients I have seen recently in the outpatient clinic were not in the spirit of jingle bells and deck the halls.

Instead, they are concern about where their next meal will come from and how to find a small gift for their children. Even more so, they are unsure of their next job.

These are the issues of life. The real problems of society that I wish I can mend.

So what can we do for others during this holiday season?

My suggestion is simple and one that I am following.

Be mindful of others, realizing that they do not have the same means as you do. DO not be boastful, but rather kind and considerate.

If you have excess, find a local place to donate or a family to sponsor. I guarantee that the families you help will appreciate the love with the highest gratitude.

Our actions today will lead to a society with one less fracture.

Let us give each other support! Be each other’s crutch.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Feeling Sad? How to cope with the winter blues.

If you live in the New York area as I do, then you are no stranger to the winter months and heavy snowfalls.

For many, the winter months can be extremely tough with earlier sunset, heavy snow, and the onset of seasonal affective disorder. Personally, I can relate to feeling slower in the winter months. I often rush home from work to cuddle up on the couch with chili and hot chocolate in hand.

Finding healthy ways to cope during the winter months is even more important during the lockdown season and current pandemic.

Staying home is our new normal. And understandably so!!

But what can we do to fill the void of socialization and lack of vibrancy that we all miss so much especially in the winter months;

  1. Allow yourself to feel sad about the changes around you. I think it is totally fine to see the difference in your environment and feel a sense of sadness. However, do not be consumed by sadness. Changes can be good.
  2. Make a plan with your friends, co-workers, or family member to get together virtually. I am now so proficient in making video-calls and connecting with family across the US and in Guyana
  3. Try Netflix Party. A group of co-workers and I watched TigerKing together during the lockdown and quite enjoyed it
  4. Pick up a new hobby. Here I am starting a blog. You can do the same!
  5. Learn a new skill. FREE ONLINE LEARNING WITH COURSERA
  6. Get some exercise. Exercising aids in mood improvement and weight control. A simple exercise I recommend is dancing. Put your favorite song on and dance the entire song. Watch your mood improve.
  7. Set aside a time for meditation and mindfulness- whether it is a moment of silence, yoga, or prayer taking the time out to reflect and heal is crucial.

What other things have you found to be fun during the winter months and pandemic lockdown?

If you are completely overwhelmed by everything around you and feeling hopeless, please reach out to a family member, friend, or healthcare provider for further care and support. We are in this together.

Uncertainties of 2020 in this COVID-19 era

I had every intention that my first post would be lighthearted, fun, flirty, and easy. Typical of my personality. But if 2020 has taught us anything; it is the uncertainties that lie ahead of us and the unpredictability of our health and the health of those around us.

So here I am writing my first post from my “quarantine room” at home.

After finishing a long day of work in the outpatient clinic, I showered, ate dinner, and sat down to drink some hot chocolate and prepare for my usual nighttime Netflix binge. But my phone kept beeping. As I peered through the messages, I was alerted that I had a positive COVID-19 exposure.

I would love to tell you that I became fearful, but that was not the case. Instead, I knew, that possibly one day I would hear this very news. After all, we are in the year 2020. As a good friend of mine would say “I got twenty-twentied”. As if twenty-twenty is a verb. But it is true, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years for many of us. We have been pushed to our breaking points and yet here we are in the last month of this year.

I can sit here and type all the reasons I disliked 2020 and a very long list I would compile. Instead, I will share with you three reasons I feel blessed to be alive in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. It allowed me to slow down and really focus on my long-term goals with intention.
  2. I began to cherish the people around me even more- My friends, my family, and my colleagues. Every phone call, text, meme, reel was received with joy and love
  3. I became HOPEFUL. Hopeful that there will be a change; hopeful for new possibilities in medical science and hopeful that 2021 will be better.

What are you thankful for in 2020?

.