It’s July 07, 2016. 9.41PM to be precise. I’m sitting on my couch, anxious and excited to get this post up on the blog tonight. I’m looking forward to sharing these photos with you.
I’ve been working on this post for a few days.
I’m semi-excited too! Just semi- though. The other half is nervousness? Maybe? I’m a little crowd shy, I’ll admit. I know the blog will be a-buzz this week. :-) I want you to enjoy these photos as much as I do but more so, I want you to understand that this for me is more than just a celebration of hair.
It’s a celebration of my journey to this very moment in which I’m seated on my couch typing this sentence out. It’s been 5 years since I sat on my kitchen table in Lavington, Kenya and googled “how to take care of black hair in University in America”. The journey began with relaxer-fried hair and 20 packets of Afro Kinky braids packed into my suitcase as I left home to go to College in Massachusetts.
And now, here I am. Seated in Melbourne. 5 years later. Oxford University & Williams College educated. Here I am. Seated on my very own, white, leather couch. Chicken kiev and roast potatoes for dinner. 5 years later. Working in a corporate job. Grown-woman-ing. And running a 1.5 year old blog with close to 90,000 followers across all my social platforms.
How life goes.
It’s been a journey.
I’ve grown into young womanhood. Morphed. That’s more what it feels like. I’ve changed. Ask my friends Wakanyi, Njoki, Rachel, Kawi, Naito and Nimo about what we were giggling about in our Whatsapp group chat a few hours ago. I’ll give you a hint: Russians and Deep Conditioners.
Ask Jordana how I looked in Kenya High. Ratchet. Brown shoes, grey skirts and all. Ask her how we’ve both grown into young entrepreneurs. She could write a book.
Come along with me to Uni and ask Mmase or Marce. My girls since day 1. Speak to Neo, Doris, Felicia, Jen. Ask them how I’ve grown. They’ve seen it first hand. They were there when I got a D in Calculus. We laughed so hard about that!
Ask my mum. Ask my Dad. No, now they could write several books. They’ll tell you about my first day at nursery school and about how we repacked my hardy, weather-worn, Samsonite suitcases for four hours at Albany airport in Massachusetts the day after graduation. I love them.
What a journey.
Life’s a journey and I’m learning to soak in the rays of the golden sun wherever this path my lead.
I’m eternally grateful for growth. And for the chance to grow. The chance to morph. I’m thankful for this journey. For your readership. Geez, thanks for coming over to see these photographs. To read this very sentence. Thanks for sussing the blog. I see the silent numbers. I read your comments and messages. Thanks for learning from my journey and for sharing yours with mine. Thanks for allowing me to be honest and raw with you. Vulnerable.
I write. I hustle. I share photos and videos with you. And for you. Girl with melanin. Cocoa beauty. Ever so softly kissed by the mighty Sun. Soulful. Young mother. Ambitious. New wife. Old soul. Young professional. Black. Woman. I write only for you. My Black sistahs. My African sistohs. I see myself in you everyday. You inspire me. Hustling. Thriving. Beating the odds. Re-writing your story. Breaking the barriers.
And so I write. I write for us all. To encourage us to be beautiful in our honey-coated, chocolate-dipped skin. Kinks and curls. Rolls and flaws.
May we find love and sunshine in all the simple joys of life.
May we take pride in celebrating our achievements.
Above all may we find a deep and unrelenting love for our true selves wherever each of our journeys may lead.