I’ve spent my last two birthdays flying through the air on the flying trapeze. It tests my courage, mental agility, and ability to let things go. Watch the video of me and I’ll explain.
At the flying trapeze school in Washington, DC, no one holds your hand. If you’re a beginner, they’ll spend ten minutes going through safety information and showing you basic moves, before expecting you to execute at what feels like 50 stories in the air. Needless to say, it’s not for the faint of heart. But I still do it every year.
Because I hate my birthday.
Ok maybe hate is a strong word. But I seriously dislike all the social pressure and extra attention my birthday brings. Between people asking what your plans are, and uncertainty about the future, it feels overwhelming. If I could fly to a remote island and spend my birthday there, on a beach, with a margarita in hand, with a boo thang… LOL, I would be amazingly happy. The older I get, the more introverted I become, and the more selective I am with people and activities that affect how I feel.
Yet, instead of running away from the day, I do the next best thing: I go to flying trapeze school. The reasons I throw myself off a platform that seems a gazillion feet off the ground?
Yes, that’s me y’all!!!
To practice vanquishing my fears
To remind myself that I’m mentally and physically capable of a lot of cool ish
To practice the art of allowing
Let me expand on the third point a bit.
Letting go is not synonymous with giving up. Letting go means to allow yourself to recognize that there are a million different paths to walk that will lead you to fulfillment, happiness, and peace. Letting go means allowing God, the universe, YOURSELF, to steer you down a new path that is 100 million times better than you could have ever dreamed up yourself.
Personal story: I never dreamed of going into the hair business. It’s never been the remotest desire of mine because the dream I had determined for myself was journalism. But journalism didn’t work out for me, no matter how hard I studied or the amount of hours I worked. It wasn’t until I learned to let go of that identity did blessings flow. Now I’m in business, enjoying an amazing career that helps me live a comfortable life. And the best part?! I’ve realized that I’m still fulfilling a deep desire of mine.
You see, I used to hate my afro-hair texture. I used to yearn for curls and waves, and when my sew-in came out, I couldn’t even identify with the person who stared back at me in the mirror. The Tumblr community helped break me out of that self-hate. By consuming so many images of beautiful women with afro-texture hair, my own views of hair started to change. Tumblr helped me embrace my own kinky texture. Now, I see myself as part of a larger movement to help other women feel beautiful with their kinky afro hair as well.
I see Kurly Klips very much aligned with this movement. Why? Because it helps women embrace their hair texture. Point. Blank. Period. Not everybody likes short hair on themselves and that’s OKAY. Hair lengths aren’t universally attractive on everyone if you want to keep it 100. Some people look better with long hair, some people don’t. Some people look better with short hair, some people don’t. It is what it is.
But everyday I get these little notes from women who are LIVINNNGGGG for their natural hair texture and the versatility Kurly Klips gives them, and I am SO HERE FOR THAT. Kurly Klips fulfills a much deeper purpose of mine, which is broadening the world’s standard of beauty. Not just for the sake of it, but for the next generation of little afro babies. By putting positive images of ourselves and our hair out there, it’s my wish many of them will avoid the self-hate I once harbored within myself.
I am a proud Black American. I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors who toiled for me to have the life I enjoy today. In a deeply fulfilling way, I continue this tradition.
TL;DR If your world does not feel aligned with your inner being, let go of the outward identity you crafted for yourself, along with any fear and negativity. Look forward to the next opportunity that feels 100% right. When you start flexing your intuition, birthday after birthday you’ll get closer to your truth.
PS Never discount your past experiences. You’ll need all those skills you’ve acquired and lessons learned for your future!!!