Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good Business

Between what I've seen firsthand, from friends & family and what I hear from clients of mine, I'm dismayed by what the workplace has become for employees. Workers are in bad work situations that they are afraid to leave. A crappy job seems better than no job. Most feel they have limited or no options for bettering their situations due to the economy. Employers are very aware of the power that gives them and they pile on the abuses to save money.

I've heard some say this is just "good business". If it helps their bottom line than they are doing what they "should" be doing if they are smart business people. But what I think is this: if what you're doing is leaving your employees so stressed out that their doctors are telling them they must leave their jobs for the sake of their health, then that is not "good business". It is business without a conscience. And that is most certainly not good.

On the other hand, I never believe that there are no options available. Impossible does not exist. And it's up to us, not our employers to make it happen. We underestimate what we have the power to achieve. Fear is the only thing holding us back. Take the first step, even if it's a small step. See what happens. Did the sky fall? Did something positive happen? Did you meet someone new who has ideas for you? Did you stumble across something that gave you a tiny idea? Hmmmm. Now reevaluate and take another step. Continue in this manner until you find yourself removed from the crappy situation and realizing how much better life has gotten.    It could take just one step. It could take fifty steps. What does it matter if it leads you to where you want to be? I'm a pretty big fan of baby steps myself. I like testing the water and gradually immersing myself. But I do keep at it because I'll be damned if I'm gonna run screaming out of the water.   :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Am Not My Hair

I've always loved India.Ari's song "I Am Not My Hair". Even though the song is mostly about issues black women face with their hair, I relate really well to it. I've never been entirely happy with my hair (like this is news for most women!). But I think for me it has a lot more to do with how I am perceived by others than with simple vanity. My current hairstyle works better for me than any other I've ever had. But am I thrilled about that? Nope. And why not? Because it has lesbian written all over it. And one would think that with me being in a same sex relationship that would not be a problem for me. But it is. First off, I'm not a lesbian. I'm bisexual. And to ME there's a big distinction there. I don't like being lumped into a label by default that doesn't fit. And secondly, I crave massive hair. No offense to all the lesbians I know and love who rock their fierce short cuts. I think they look great on YOU! This isn't about not liking those cuts. It's just about me feeling that it doesn't fit my perceptions of myself very well.

The obvious question then would be "why don't I let my hair grow out already?". God knows I've tried! Over and over I've tried. I've even resorted to big ol' perms to try to make something of my itty bitty skinny baby fine strands. Chemicals suck folks. I managed to fry my hair that way. I finally swore off that madness and reconciled myself to working with what I have naturally. I suppose I could get extensions, but they are way expensive. Plus I know from working on clients scalps that have them, they feel yucky. I don't want my scalp feeling like a brillo pad. One good thing about my baby fine hair is that it is silky soft; the only good thing.

In my fantasy life my hair would be a thick mass of unruly curls. You know, the kind people bitch about how much work it is to try to tame. I am astounded that anyone would want to tame them! I covet that kind of hair. But it is not for me I guess. As soon as my hair grows as far as my chin, it refuses to do anything but lay completely flat and limp. And that is not going to be in any way attractive on a woman who is large everywhere else, or who is determined to not look like a homeless person. Yep....vanity. I may not be high maintenance but I'm not beyond caring about appearances either.

And so, I find myself resigned to having my cute little "lesbian" cut. It does work well on me. It's the easiest cut I've ever had to style. No complaints there. And it has attitude which I enjoy. Truthfully, if my hair must be short then I am happy to have found a style that I like. Bummer that people will make assumptions about me based on my hair that aren't true and that don't reflect who I really am. And God help me from making wrong assumptions about anyone else based on appearances. That may be my lesson here. I know I've been guilty of that before. And let's face it. Anytime something eats at you it usually is an opportunity to change your own attitudes.

And now for the lyrics to "I Am Not My Hair" by India.Ari

[Verse 1]
Little girl with the press and curl 
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone 
I looked in the mirror 
For the first time and saw that HEY....

[Chorus]
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair 
I ma not this skin 
I am a soul that lives within

[Verse 2]
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century 
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off 
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what's on your head
Its what's underneath and say HEY....

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
I am expressing my creativity..
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)

[Verse 3]
Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY...

[Chorus 2x]