Amidst this global crisis we are facing I have felt like my ability to take control of my life and what happens with it has been stripped of me.
I know that in a thousand more ways than one I am better off than probably millions around the world who have simply had ‘COVID-19’ added onto their list of life-threatening problems, such as the people in developing countries whose governments are in the midst of war or young children who are stolen from their families and enslaved.
However, if there is one thing I have learned from my first year of university, it is that no one should have the power to minimize or suppress the importance of anyone else’s individual struggles.
So, I figured I would share this with y’all.
The decision to colour my hair was an impulsive, over-night attempt at taking back my control. The morning after, I walked to the closest drugstore with my mask on and bought a crap ton of hair bleach and dye. A day and a half later, I was officially a new person (somewhat).
I’ve had this hair for about a month now, but I rarely took pictures of myself to keep — just a few with friends to post on social media and as a feature on my Snapchat streaks because they disappeared after 24 hours.
It was only today, when I had just finished work and had my hair done up all weird for Crazy Hair Day as requested by the kids I work with, that I had the chance to look at myself in the mirror and think, “What’s the point of ‘making a statement’ with your hair if you’re going to keep finding ways to hide it or pretend like it’s not a big deal? You go around supporting people who are vocal about their own beliefs and statements yet silence yourself.”
Everyone has their own way of standing up and speaking out. For many, it could be marching the streets with signs and slogans. For others, it could be working in the front lines against something or someone that violates their human rights.
For some, like me, it could be starting small- like colouring their hair or getting a tattoo (or four).
My change started small, and may only serve a small purpose to others as well. But starting somewhere small is better than not starting at all.
Often times, that’s something we — even I — tend to forget or overlook.
Acknowledge the strength it takes to start something, no matter how small, and appreciate their courage and willingness to do so.
In a world where being put down or ignored or silenced is a social norm, validation in any form — especially towards yourself — definition goes a very long way.
Stay safe, and protect yourself. Peace out