It makes me feel nervous going around New York City shouting who I am so loudly (which I do well online and with friends, but I have trouble doing it with strangers).
I have a hard time being taken care of by anyone, including myself.
One particularly thorny piece of this deals with my hair. I've cut my own hair since I was 12 years old, except for two or three times when I got a professional relaxer and they trimmed it. This was pretty much forced on me by my southern family. Today, I don't wash my hair often, and despite what my online presence might lead you to believe, up until a few weeks ago, I put it in a bun or braids and hid it because it's scary to me to wear it out—the attention I get is scary.
I've never had a haircut that is meant to showcase my curls, and I've felt like because these cuts are so expensive, who am I to deserve one anyway?
Well, several friends and said to me, "YOU DO DESERVE THIS!" by together Vemnoing me enough money to cover the cost of the haircut.
Overwhelmed by this support, a few weeks later, I got my first ever cut with Mona Baltazar and now I wash my hair more often and rock the fro pretty much full-time. It makes me feel nervous going around New York City shouting who I am so loudly (which, again, I do really well online and with people I know irl, but I have much more trouble doing it with strangers)—but I'm doing it. I 100% WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT have done it without the community I mentioned above. Self-care and hair are so fraught for me and so many others, particularly black women.
This shit runs deep. 200 years of oppression deep.
If you're interested in learning the thorny details of my hair care routine, you can read about it here.