March 23, 2010

The Ever Changing Dreads

I did it.
Couldn't stand it any longer.
Pulled the trigger.
Took the hit.
And it was a disaster! Again! Will I ever learn?
Yea, I think not. :-P lol

I posted a photo blog entry last week about my dreads. About how much my hair had lightened since dreading it, and about how my roots were coming in with a vengenace. It was starting to bug me. Increasingly so.

I decided I would dye my hair dark brown, to better match my roots. If you remember from an earlier blog post, dread dying woes, this decision was not an easy one to make. I went back and forth for a while. Another earlier blog entry, dread-tastrophe... please pass the scissors, or not!, will make my trepidation more understandable.

But, even with THAT history, I still went ahead, took the plunge, and dyed it again.

It didn't turn dark brown. It turned black. JET BLACK!
and I only left the dye on for 1/2 the suggested time!

Oooh, I hated it! I think black hair looks gorgeous on some people. On me... it was just wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I thought I was handling it well. I hated it, yes, but I didn't feel any immediate need to fix it. Told myself that it will most likely lighten up in a few weeks. No big deal.

Yea, no big deal, until the next night when out of NOWHERE I just started bawling. Oh god. Dejuva!
I wanted to chop it all off. I couldn't stand it. I didn't want to look at it; I hated the way it looked. I didn't want to touch it; I hated the way it felt. I didn't even want to attempt trying to fix it. Knowing what I went through last time ... I figured I just continue making it worse.

More crying. More sobbing.
I told you... this is a lesson I don't think I'll ever be learning! lol.
(for the record... life has not been so great lately, as you could probably gather from the previous few entries. So, again, none of this was about my hair. The desire to fix it, the back and forth, the crying mess after. None of it. If I'm going to be projecting crap ... I'm glad the focus is my hair, instead of something more destructive)

I finally distracted myself enough that I no longer wanted to hack my hair completely off, not that night anyway, and I eventually fell asleep. Woke the next morning with a desire to go to the store to just look and see what they had. See what options were out there for possibly fixing the color. I was again feeling that I would just wait it out a couple of weeks and see how I felt then. Maybe it would lighten up by then. Maybe the black would grow on me, and I'd love it. I knew that I hated the blonde horror of last time much more then I hated the black... so that was something to go on, lol. But, I know myself better then that. I know that my mood could change instantly, and I'd be a sobbing mess with scissors in my hand again ... so I was going to look, needed options.

I found a chestnut highlight kit for dark brown/black hair. Stuck 3 of them in my cart, and walked around the store for an hour, contemplating. I knew if I bought them, I would use them, and I wasn't yet sure if I wanted to go down the "obsessive, must fix" road again. Trying to play out all the different outcomes. Figured I already hated it, might as well throw some more crap on it. Haa!

The suggested time to leave the mixture on was 20 minutes. I lasted about 5! LOL! I could see it getting lighter, and I reeeeally didn't want it to bleach to the point of being orange and splotchy. I freaked out and hopped in the shower. Rinsed. Threw the toner on to even it out a bit. Used a little conditioner (bad bad bad for dreads, I know, but I hated the way they felt. needed to do something). And it was done.

The outcome ...
Dark Brown!!!!!!!!!!

Yay!!! You can see little splotchy golden highlights here and there, which I love.
For once, my obsessive-compulsion to fix my hair actually worked for me instead of against me!

Black and Brown

March 22, 2010

Break on Through ...

Dear "Other Side" ... consider me broken through.

I seem to have found my footing again; after stomping, quite aggressively, through the muck. Feeling a lot better lately. Whew, thank goodness for THAT, I was infuriating myself with all my blues! Ha.

The weather has been glorious lately. Well, not today. It's pretty cold and rainy today. And not yesterday, either. It was pretty cool and rainy then, too. Ok, so the weather was glorious for exactly two days, a coupla days ago! lol. But it was a wonderful two days. So warm. I love feeling the sun heat my skin. We spent much time outside, soaking it up.

Never underestimate the power of lying on a blanket in the sun, sipping green smoothie, listening to your kids laugh (and fall down, lol, they were learning how to use their new skates. People falling down CRACKS me up!), and watching the clouds glide across the blue sky. SO much joy! Something in that moment triggered my 'WTF' meter. I'd been moping and doping for weeks. Weeks! What the hell is the point of that? Missing out of the wonderment of life because I was so busy lugging around about a gajillion black clouds to hang up over me.

Yea, no thanks! That's no fun, and I'm telling you people, I am all about the fun!

Ok Ok, maybe not ALL about the fun. I do have a deeper, darker, more introverted and meloncholy side to me. A side that I no longer feel ashamed of; no longer feel the need to hide and wear a mask because of. It's part of me. Not all of me... just a part. There's room.

March 16, 2010

Recycled Beauty

The photo below is of one block, out of a pillar of blocks, made entirely of recycled waste. You can see sunglasses, pockets knives, car keys, utensils, toys, etc in these blocks. It's truly a beautiful piece of art.

Taking something that is old, broken, used up, discarded and turning it into something beautiful;
It’s an inspiring life message…
on a level so much deeper then recycling.
on a level a bit more personal then environmental responsibility.
I’m getting older.
My heart may be broken.
My energy, patience, forgiveness, and optimism may feel used up.
And I may have been entirely discarded.
But there’s hope.
As long as my heart is still beating; there’s hope.
I can turn this mess of me into something beautiful.

March 14, 2010

By Someone's Hand

Does this tunnel end?
I can see the light, sometimes, but I can’t reach it.
It seems so close some days.
I become filled with such optimism knowing that soon I’ll be able to stretch my hand out and grab it.
And other days, like today, the light disappears.
Fiercely. Intentionally.
By someone’s hand.
The same someone who was supposed to be helping me reach the light.
The same someone who I trusted with my heart.
The same someone who told me he’d protect me.
That same someone just destroyed me …

March 13, 2010

Beautiful I am not.

Dreaming of...
blinding warm sun
inspiration and guidance
gut busting laughter
safety and security
feeling beautiful
the strength that I hope will come from finally getting out from under his thumb.

knowing it's over is one thing
moving on is quite another
I'm not sure how to do it. I'm scared and ashamed.
I feel so ill equiped.
Beautiful I am not.
Strength eludes me.
Darkness envelopes.
Where is the sun?

March 11, 2010

Happiness... is that a word?

What does it mean to be Happy?
I mean, really, what does it mean?
Obviously I can pull out the dictionary and get a literal definition of the word, but that's not what I'm after.
So what am I after then? I don't really know, actually.
Nothing really, I guess. I'm not after anything. That might be the point.
What I do know is I don't feel happy. I don't feel joy. I don't feel contentment.
I feel sad. I feel scared. I feel anxious.
What I am wondering, though, is if I'm content with feeling so much discontent?
I mean, I'm not making changes to my environment that would better able my body, mind, and soul to reach levels of happiness that I am just not able to reach in my current environment.
I'm not making those changes.
Content with being discontent?
Yes, I guess so.
Driven by fear. Controlled by feelings of being too weak.
Anxiety is powerful.
I do smile, sometimes.
I do laugh, sometimes.
I do feel joy, sometimes.
Is that a version of happiness? A "settled happiness", perhaps?
I don't know.
Is sometimes enough?
No, it's not. But maybe I'm not, either.

March 8, 2010

Dirt and Mud and Smiles

In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn

The kids have been outside digging a hole for the better part of today. That's it, just digging a hole. No cries of boredom. No wailing for entertainment. Happy as can be with shovels and dirt. They started this morning, and are still, as of 4:30, digging away.

The sun has been shining all day; begging to be played in, enjoyed.

Just two hours ago the school bus drove through the neighborhood, dropping the school kids off for the day. Two hours ago, and still not another kid in sight. It's still as quiet on our neighborhood as it was all morning and early afternoon. No bikes in the streets, no basketballs being bounced, no groups of kids hunched together giggling. Nothing. Tied up with chores, or snacks at the table, or probably homework.

Sitting here on a blanket in the sun, I look over at my children, covered in dirt and mud and smiles, and am so very happy we have chosen this path. This unschooling journey. This natural way of living.

"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Living and Loving and Learning... all day, every day.

Just as I began writing this entry, the digging stopped, and the bikes came out.
Sooo, I give to you this video...

March 6, 2010

Happy 5 Months, Dreadies!

They're 5 months old now. Yippie!
Haven't had the happiest of times with them over the past month ( I usually start off saying this?), but they're still here, so that says something! lol.

Truth is, I love them. I really really love them.
Sometimes that love only encompasses the *idea* of them, but it's still love, and that works for me.
It keeps me from letting my frustration take over, and giving up.
For valid yet irrational reasons that need a blog post all to itself, I see myself as such a weak quitter. This negative self talk is destructive. And it can lead me to do destructive things. The fact that I love, love, love the idea of my dreads is maybe what keeps me from acting out destructively when I'm frustrated with said dreads (though, as we've already discovered, several times in fact, most of my "dread frustration" is not at all about my hair, but instead of other aspects of my life that I am taking out on my hair. It's an easy target to blame shift onto).
My stubborn love over an *idea* is as good a reason as any when trying to overcome a difficult time.
I love them. I love having them.
I love watching the ebb and flow of their "lives". Each so different, yet so much the same.
Totally uncontrollable (I've tried!).

March 1, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics ... Paul Style

Stealing (and expanding on) a Photo-A-Day entry I published the other day.
This first photo alone is reason enough to duplicate.
I mean, look at their expressions! So cute, and fun, and giddy!
Spread the Love :-)

Rylan & Owen Paul for Team USA ...
at the starting line for Mens Speed Stairs; Team Pursuit.
aaaaaand they're OFF!

Even though we don't have cable (or tv) in the house,
so we had to catch the events online,
which were only made available to us approx 2 days after said event,
causing difficulty trying to keep the suspense going (it seems everywhere I turn there's another person, or news story, or tweet, etc telling me who the winner of such and such event was) ...
we all still really enjoyed it.
We love the Olympics!!!
both watching as well as playing ...
and since we're unschoolers, we have endless amounts of time to create and play out our
"Paul Family Olympics"