Journey into the Middle East



I recently met some close friends in Dubai. From what I’ve been told although Dubai is in the Middle East it has strong western influences which were evident by the peppering of chain restaurants and expats with foreign clothes. There are some things that stood out as time in some cases does not always trump tradition.  There is still sightings of separation in the sexes apparent by the female only or male only labels. There were a few times when none acknowledgement or response from a man was evident but I wasn’t sure if that was due to my gender or foreign status.  Yet I was very aware of the slight difference.  Not in all places but enough to have stood out in my psyche.

Overall it was a very eye opening trip.  On our ride to the safari we became aware that married men are not allowed to sit next to other women. The driver asked him to move to the front passenger seat while his wife silently sobbed beside us. When we journeyed to Abu Dhabi an hour away we were required to wear traditional head wrap and coverings to be permitted into the mosque.  It was quiet evident again that things were different.  We weren’t allowed to step into certain sections of the mosque.  But I respect honor and tradition so a part of me instinctly understood the nature of sacredness being conveyed. We spent all of our days on day long tours or treks into the city. So much so that when I returned I slept for probably 16 hours in one day.  Sleep for me is symbolic of an internal integration or a spiritual shift that occurs as a result of a long journey.  In their streets I was a damn near bald headed liberated black woman walking the streets of unspoken limitations for my gender.  I call it a balancing of the scales, being able to see both sides of the coin in one swoop.  Self realization of where you are at and how far you have come.  Another piece of my puzzle revealed.



Parallel Universe

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These days I have been feeling my grandmother’s presence a little bit more lately.  This is my favorite picture of her that I keep on my dresser.  Her spirit definitely lives on through me.  I’m starting to see more unexplained parallels. I’m not sure how old she was on this particular picture but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was close to my current age. I got Weezy (my car) in the same year she transitioned and these days my mood has been very reflective of how she looks in this picture.

Liberation 2016

I traded in my hair for bigger earrings and lipstick….

Liberation 2016

I have been literally avoiding the urge for two weeks of taking the clippers and cutting the rest completely off.  I think this is probably a good happy medium.  It took me about a month to cut it this short. I had very mixed feelings about it especially since I’ve never cut my hair this short in life.  So I was a bit excited and scared.  Excited because I’ve labeled 2016 as my year of liberation and shedding your hair is definitely an act of freedom.  Scared because no matter how many pictures I looked at I wasn’t exactly sure how that would translate onto my own face.  As I showed the lady the photos, I said this is just a guideline don’t give me anything that doesn’t fit my face.  I believe my grandmother was there with me because she wore a similar short haircut for as long as I could remember.  I believe she was helping to fuel my soul courage to step into the unknown and this new chapter.

Believe it or not I still get nervous about the unknown.  Even though I know all things work themselves out I still pause at change’s door.  Kind of like when you taking that breath right before you jump off the ledge.  I got to say the stylist and my grandmother did a great job.  Right now I cannot imagine my life with hair.  I think every woman should cut their hair off at least once in their lifetime.  It is a very freeing experience. I remember standing in the mirror the next day and having a full conversation with myself.  This is my idea of what a beautiful free-spirited black woman looks like.  I’ve had all types of styles over the years including braids, extensions and wigs but at that moment I felt free as I looked at my reflection. So this was what my actual face looked like and I was completely unclothed. I allowed myself to see myself.  I could feel my confidence building as I prepared to show myself to the world as a freed woman. My reflection glanced back with no regrets.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the reception I’ve received so far.  Even the whispers from other women on how they would love to do this but it was followed by a reason why they had not.  That’s ok because in my mind I will remain their muse.  They can live it through me and smile quietly as I strut by courageously feeling more like a woman than I had ever felt my whole life.  Courage leads to confidence and sexiness exude from confidence.  My 2016 is on trek to destroying self-imposed limitations in order to make room for new possibilities.  It is said that cutting the hair is the first step in making a major transition.  Therefore, I look forward to more liberation as I walk around singing…I traded in my hair for bigger earrings and lipstick.

Peace and Blessings