BOOK TWO: INSIDE- OUT
“In the Creative Process, the Order of Life is Inner before Outer,” (source unknown)
…Around the same time, 1990-91, the relationship with my mother, and to a certain extent a few of my siblings and old school friends, remained strained. I had changed and still was very much changing and growing, and had picked up on the fact that people found this hard to deal with. They found it hard to relate to my being in higher education and all that they thought it entailed, all of which seemed to set me further apart from them.
In regard to my mum in particular, she still wasn’t open to discussing the past, let alone acknowledge its continued after-effects. She also found it difficult to accept the fact that I had a mind of my own, and that I was coming into myself and therefore letting go of the role of being her good, compliant little girl.
I was very much separating from her, and I sensed that she felt threatened by this, but at the same time, because I was the only one in the family who had ever made this kind of change, it made it easier for her and a few of my siblings to view the resultant unease and conflicts as solely a ‘Marcia problem.’ After all, hadn’t Marcia always been ‘different?’
During this time I decided to lock my hair; one day I just had the thought that no matter high up the ladder I got, I would never want to sacrifice or compromise my cultural and racial identity. Whatever group I was going to end up being a part of in the future, I still wanted to be proud and feel very much involved in my African and Caribbean heritage. Basically, I wasn’t going to ‘sell out’ in order to fit in anywhere I may later find myself. Besides, I had stopped perming my hair because it was ruining it, a thing I clearly began to notice after having gone through a six-month period of just plaiting it, whereupon it really picked up, which further suggested to me that my hair generally does better left to its own devices, as near to natural as possible.
It was quite an experience deciding to lock my hair; it was and has been a journey in and of itself. I got a lot of anxious and negative comments from some family members and friends with their main concerns being, What if you change your mind and no longer wanted it locked? What if it doesn’t look good? What will people say/think? What if it stops you from getting ahead? However, I persisted on, because deep down inside I knew it was the right thing for me, that I wouldn’t be changing my mind for now, and that nothing could stop me from being and becoming who or what I pleased…
Peace & Love,