Monday, June 27, 2011

Everyone Needs a "No Man"

The comedian Kevin Hart said it best on last night's BET Award Show, "Everybody needs a "No Man". The "No Man" is that true friend who tells you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. For example:
"Your breath hasn't been smelling right lately, whens the last time you saw a dentist?"
"That dress may have looked good on you about 25 lbs. ago. Girl, you know you're too big to be wearing that!"
"You slept with all them people in a drunken stupor?!?! You need to go get tested."
"No, that was not the right thing to do/say, you need to go apologize"
"You know this rug is too small for this room. You need to buy a bigger one."
I could go on but I think you get the point.
My husband is usually my "No Man", but as a smart man he has learned that he has to be gentle with the "No" news. Sometimes he is too gentle when I need him to just tell me the truth. Anyway, I had a "No Man" situation this weekend. I have been completely natural for about 2 months now. While I love my Afro, I wanted to try something a little different.
So on Friday, I warned my husband that I was going to try something different with my hair. As a "retired" natural hairstylist, I had styled many natural coifs and was going to try one of the popular styles on my own hair. I went and purchased a new hair product, washed my hair, and went to town.
While the end result was beautiful, well moisturized, two-strand twists, I wasn't quite that excited about how this new style looked on me, with my slender face, considering my hair isn't that long right now. But my faithful "No Man" insisted that it was "Cute" and the style just needed to "Grow on him". So we went to the baseball game together with my new hairstyle. I only got a few compliments, not as many as I usually get on my hair, which pushed me in the direction of "This style isn't for me". I just didn't feel comfortable or fly with non-big hair.

On Sunday night, 2 of my friends came over to watch the BET Awards with me. Both of them are opinionated and honest young ladies. The first friend arrived and quickly noticed my hair. Her initial comment "Your hair looks cute, but it's good "weekend" hair. You don't plan on wearing it to work like that, do you?" The second friend, who has been my hairstylist through my transition to natural, instantly called me "Lil' Tank Tank". Thank God for my "No Men". Can you imagine how I would've ruined my "fly, natural chic" reputation at work, coming in with this so-so looking hair?

My "No Men" confirmed what I was feeling. As a result, I included into my morning routine taking my beautiful, well moisturized, two-strand twists OUT. And the results? Well, let's just say, I've been compliments all morning on my hair.

The lesson, be real with the people you love. Don't let them walk around looking crazy. Also, keep real people around you. If the people in your circle have never given you constructive criticism, they probably aren't your real friends. No real friends = you end up being the one walking around looking crazy.
Be real and God bless.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2 Steps Forward

Yesterday, was a sobering day. I found myself giving a few words of encouragement to a friend in regards to making the sacrifice of leaving everything that is familiar in order to move forward in her career. My husband and I decided we needed re-evaluate our plan to pay off consumer debt. I also had a talk about "doing the right thing" with another friend when it came to dating Mr. Wrong who happens to be so convenient.
Often, I encourage people to make a temporary sacrifice in order to move forward and actually accomplish a goal. Be it weight lose, career, financial, or relationship goals. Sometimes, you have to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. While it may mean you giving up conveniences that you feel you deserve because you've worked so hard to get where you are in life, sometimes you have to temporarily move away from family and friends for a couple of years, not have your daily dose of chocolate chip cookies, be without Direct TV for a couple of months, or go a significant amount of time without male companionship. If you meet your goals in the end, the sacrifice was worth while. Right?
It's all relative, we fast and pray in order to gain spiritual clarity. Isn't it only right to sacrifice in other areas when you want to meet the associated goals? For my husband and I, not being able to indulge in reality TV for the summer and fall months is a small price to pay if we can testify to being free of consumer debt by the end of Fall 2011. In the grand scheme of things, we all know that when you give a little you're guaranteed to get a lot.
With that being said, don't be afraid to make a sacrifice and take one step back in order to make significant progress toward a much desired goal.