Pandemic Surrender

thinking about surrender

During the last year and a half, I’ve done a lot of thinking about surrender. That’s why I chose surrender as my word of the year.

I believe that surrender is not about giving up, but making peace with reality. Because I’ve learned that what you resist persists and the fighting is emotionally exhausting.

A few days ago, I did a selfie photo shoot of my new look. Normally I’m not one to share many pictures of myself. But I do change up my photos on this blog and my social media every year or so. This change is dramatic, so I thought I’d blog it too.

My hair has been thinning for years and has been a constant source of stress and anxiety. Society places so much importance on thick long luxurious hair. What do you do when you don’t have that no matter how hard you try?

You do the best you can with what you have. You try to overlook comments that people make about other people’s hair while wondering what they think of yours.

Then you just get exhausted by the whole thing. Because life is short and what’s the point of worrying. I can’t control other people’s thoughts — only mine. I need to be comfortable with myself. I’m 56, soon to be 57, and want to age gracefully. Wigs, weaves and braids have never been my style, so I started looking at the other end of the spectrum.

Several of my aunts have embraced the bald look and some well-known glamorous women like Christine Platt and Ayanna Pressley rock it as well. Ayanna Pressley is such an inspiration and powerhouse that I’ve especially taken strength from her and see her as an expander. I don’t have alopecia, but many women in my family have thinning hair, so it’s almost certainly genetics.

My mom had a stroke at the end of February and I’ve been helping her get back to her life. It’s been a long journey for both of us. Through all this, we both were vaccinated. PSA — Get vaccinated!

The day before I became fully vaccinated (two weeks after the second dose) was also the day that I picked up my mom from rehab and brought her home. It’s also the day that I got most of my hair chopped off. I only have so much physical and emotional energy and focusing on my hair is not how I want to use it.

The pandemic has given many of us time to think about what’s important and what’s not. At the beginning of the pandemic, I vowed to myself that if I survived it, I wasn’t leaving it the same way I went in. None of us will. Intentionally or not. Time will reveal other changes that I probably can’t imagine yet.

What about you? How are you leaving the pandemic differently than you went in?

15 Black Owned Beauty Brands

Black Owned Beauty Brands

Cannot believe that Thanksgiving 2017 is already a thing of the past!

Well, today is Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is coming up in a couple of days. So we’re officially in holiday shopping season! With each purchase we make, we are also showing who and what we support.

Supporting small and local business is important to me. And being a Black woman, I like to support women, Black people and other Black women in particular.

After Retweeting a list of black owned lingerie brands by She Tweets Truth, Izzie responded asking  if there was a similar list for cosmetics. I had already been thinking about possibly blogging a list like this, but our Twitter conversation pushed me to do it.

Izzie mentioned Juvia’s Place and I learned about Faith’s Naturals from my cousin. While searching, I found a few lists from prior years and a post that seeks to correct some of those other lists. There are companies that focus on Black beauty products, but are not Black owned. Some of these companies are mistakenly listed as having Black ownership.

It’s easy for this to happen, because sometimes they may have originally been Black owned, but the Black founder no longer has a controlling interest or the company was sold outright to another company that is not Black owned — like what happened with Carol’s Daughter. Lisa Price founded the company, but in 2014 it was sold to L’Oréal USA.

From what I can tell, these companies listed below are currently Black owned in 2017. But who knows how things will change in the future? So if you’re reading this list in 2020, you might want to double check the ownership.

Also, I found that some of the companies in other listings no longer seem to exist. I figured with my new additions and corrections, another list would be helpful to me. Hopefully for you too!

This list is certainly not all inclusive or the end all of lists, but it’s a start. Happy shopping! Oh and there are actually 16 brands, because an additional one was added soon after the post was published.

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Danessa Myricks Beauty

Faith’s Naturals

Ginger + Liz

Glow by Melodye

Gold Label Cosmetics

Hanahana Beauty

Jacque Mgido Cosmetics

Juvia’s Place

KA’OIR Cosmetics

Laws of Nature Cosmetics

The Lip Bar

MDMflow

Mented Cosmetics

Pink Stiletto Cosmetics

Plain Jane Beauty

Vera Moore Cosmetics

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Image Credit: Collage created from Hanahana Beauty, MDMflow and Plain Jane Beauty website photos.

I See You Boston

Two aerial images of Boston, the left shows snow covered rooftops, the right shows green tree lined streets.

My current project has me working at the Pru in Boston. The view is always different and amazes me everyday.

In the winter, the snow covered buildings look so different from the plain red brick. The snow adds a powdered sugar look to the rooftops.

But as the seasons go by, what is normal changes. Seeing the city from such a great height each day, I notice the big picture.

After the snow melts, the rooftops go back to being red. But I didn’t notice or miss anything in between them.

With the warmer weather, the trees have leaves on them again. I notice spring blooming while walking around on the street. The other day I suddenly noticed all the green between the rooftops.

I see you Boston and you’re beautiful!

A Gentle Transition

tree + blue clouded skyThe past few days it’s been warm. In the 70s and I’ve ditched my jacket. October had some very cold days and nights.

But November has been a breath of fresh air before heading into winter. The change in seasons stepped back for a bit to let us enjoy a gentle transition.

pink flowers yellow leavesThe bright colors of the leaves only lasts for a few weeks, so I like to take pictures and notice the differences. The type of light and shadows. The blue of the sky. The fluffiness of the clouds. Each day, even minute to minute, there are subtle changes.

The contrast between yellow autumn leaves and pink summer flowers is striking. Within a couple of weeks, they will mostly be gone.

yellowish green treeThese trees will look different. A more permanent chill will have set in. But for the next few weeks, I’m enjoying the transition.

Have a good weekend!