How My Hair Changed My Life…

Almost six years ago, I changed my hair out of boredom- I had experimented many haircuts, colors and looks already- I first got the Surf Up cut, the military cut then cut all of it.  At the time, I was not thinking about returning natural. I was having versatility fun…..

As my hair started to grow again, I started to wonder what I would do with it: cut it again? Keep it “kinky” or texturize it to make a change? I have always liked Tanya Saint Val and Orlane’s curly hair then figured out the texturizer was what I needed to get “the look” I applied the creamy crack and started to make research about “curly hair maintenance”, this lead me to books and videos and articles about natural hair (curly, kinky and coily).

What I discovered about natural hair was GOLD to me! I didnt know my hair liked water, I didnt know I could define its texture, keep it beautiful without chemical transformations. I was in awe!!!!!! I had to experience that myself so I re-big chopped in July 2010 and that was it!

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People started to question my choice to remain natural as soon as my hair grew past three inches. From my household to my workplace, people made fun of me: I was named “Tèt tchong tchong” “Anba bra moun fou” “Sentaniz” “Sè Pwotestan” “tèt boude”. Natural hair was neither appropriate, nor dressy, nor professional, nor elegant.  The more the mockeries and sarcasms about my hair, the more I was determined to both keep my hair natural and prove them wrong.

As my natural hair journey went on, I would spend hours reading blogs and watching vlogs. I’d personally contact some authors/hair gurus/ trichologists to ask questions and explanations on controversial hair matters. Meanwhile, I’d post pictures of my haircare, hairstyles and new findings every single day on my social networks. My hair was grateful to me. It grew beautiful, long and shiny and soon, the people who used to make fun of me started  to compliment me and ask me help them do the same!

By December 2011, I had so many people asking for my help on how to go back natural, take care and style their newly natural hair that I was thinking of creating a Facebook page where I could share the information at once for everybody. What would I call the page? How long would I keep it for? Would it really help my friends and relatives?

On January 1st, 2012, I eventually created Afro Alice : 1) Afro from Africa and Alice from Celtic meaning Noble to honor our noble Heritage from Africa 2) I had an Afro and Alice is my alias. The publications were first made in English only to cater to my close environment needs then were changed to Haitian Creole when the public grew larger six months after. There was more coming…..

Throughout all my personal natural hair journey,  I never had downs or doubts or self confidence issues – I was in an adventure and everyday was different and unique. Yet, to help people, I had to understand them better. Their feelings, realities and views were different than mine. I continued to dig even deeper in my research and really connected to my public to better tailor my writing to their needs. My followers were like babies of mine depending on my expertise, example and guidance to make it through this new and fearful journey they were starting. I never knew hair was related to so many aspects of our lives: our health, our finance, our beauty, our culture! Afro Alice was becoming more than a “just for fun” initiative. …..

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I have always been good at styling hair and I have always been good at empowering people. I loved hair and I loved people.  Afro Alice was my opportunity to make a difference in my own humble ways.  Along with the invaluable and continuing help of friends, advisors and supporters, Afro Alice became formally the Premier natural hair center in Haiti but my work was more virtual and I needed to connect more with the people.

In 2015, after two years of styling and caring for people’s hair at my place, I decided to open a salon for people with natural hair to better educate them and assist them.  I also organized gatherings, tours, workshops, forums and groups to empower more people and it worked well.  I organized and participated in exchange programs to foster an environment of sisterhood and collaboration for the community. People from around the globe contact us to express their appreciation and their gratefulness. The natural hair movement has never reached such a momentum before and I am proud of my contribution to that.

Today, four years later, Afro Alice helps and empowers people through the social media, the educational tours and events, the beauty salon and the blog. Looking back, Afro Alice is worth my sleepless nights, my tears of frustration and all I went through to help my people. Some days, I even felt like giving it all up! But, hey! Here I am! Putting my little bricks to build the Castle.

Can you imagine how joy fills my heart when the eyes of a little girl brighten after I boosted her self esteem! Can you imagine how fulfilled I feel when I realize how my words changed another woman’s life!  My heart bumps when I empower my people!

The respect, the appreciation and the love I get from my people, I earned it with my sweat, my tears and my vision of altruism and love. With Afro Alice, I made connections, discovered lands, improved myself and accomplished things I didnt know I could. I still have a long way to go but I am happy with where I am now with Afro Alice.

I wish you could see my tears and smile of accomplishment and fulfillment as I am concluding.

I never thought my own hair would change my life in such an awesome way.

Happy Anniversary to Afro Alice!!!

 

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The Elf, the Yellow Butterfly & the Rainbow

As I am drawing nearer to my twenty-eighth spring, I am sitting in front of my computer asking myself for the millionth time what would my transition speech be this year.

My posts for the previous years have been about Lessons Learned and Will-dos. I beg to change this time.

This year, I just want to tell myself a story- a pep talk and a sweet reminder to my lost and aching soul.

Once upon a time an elf, a yellow butterfly and a rainbow..

A, the elf loved all beauty of nature, had an insatiable curiosity and a desire for learning and creating.  She was carefree and fun-loving.  She could never sleep and instead rested her mind with fairies and beautiful thoughts in reverie.  She was also ambidextrous and clever.  

C, the yellow butterfly felt achieved and proud because she went from being a larva to a caterpillar to a chrysalis before finally becoming that beautiful flying being with the color of the sun. Metamorphosis is her magic! She dances as she flutters among the flowers.  

E, the rainbow was a breathtaking mixture of colorful lights. Her presence was like a promise and she always brought hope.  She was the best reminder that tomorrow couldn’t be anything but good! 

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A, C & E were the best friends ever and together, they form a wonderful trio: A, the elf brought the willpower, the vision and the dream; C, the yellow butterfly was the symbol of bright joy and the reminder that tomorrow will bring an opportunity for the best; E, the rainbow was the hope and the reassurance they all needed to carry on. And as long as the three of them remain best friends, life would always remain great……..

Ace

My Philosophy At This Point

As I do it every year since the past years: 23TH Spring, 24TH Spring25TH Spring26TH Spring,  I blog at each new spring.  As I was very busy during the past days, I missed it four days ago.  But, as they say, later is better than never.

How do I start? …  I have been thinking about what my post would be this year since the first day of November, yet, here am I, sitting in front of my screen, hesitant and lost in my thoughts…..

Three minutes later….

Lessons from the past year – I have learned a lot about human nature and people management.

Life with people is beautiful and wouldn’t be as interesting as it is without them but caution and diplomacy should be used when dealing with them.   I am almost giving up my Spontaneous Self to be more the Cautious and Observing Me.  I have learned to decipher wolves hidden behind a sheep mask and I have learned to let go of toxic habits.  I have learned to shut up although I am right, I have learned to apologize although I am right….. I fought for my beliefs and welcomed ennemies I gained because of my principles, my standards, my vision and my dream.  The past year was about my Human Awareness & Management in Life classs.  I struggled but passed the class!

I have also learned about leaving my comfort zone, challenging my fears and working towards my dreams.  It takes guts, resilience and boldness to live your dream.  I now understand why almost everybody has a dream but very few people live their dreams and I am happy, satisfied and proud of myself because I am daring! I am living! I have a vision, I have a dream and everyday of my life, I am working to fulfill it 🙂 Getting married and launching a business were two of my biggest fears but I overcame them both: Here am I happily married since three months and expanding my natural hair center :).

My third lesson is about freedom.  Everybody is RELATIVELY free.  I have longly read about freedom and how free some people are and how freedom is a necessity. I have observed that people are only partially/relatively/questionably free.  No matter how much people claim they are free, they are still enslaved to something, even a little thing: slaves of a habit, slaves of a situation, slaves of their beliefs, slaves of their mind, slaves of society, slaves of Facebook, LOL.  Freedom is relative and once I have realized that, I have chosen what I would be free of and what I would be enslaved to.  Happier and easier life!

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New Spring, New Philosophy– At this point in my life, I have realized how a lot of things are vain and I can concur with King Solomon as stated in Ecclesiastes 1: 2 “The greatest futility! Everything is futile!”.  That’s why I have decided to concentrate on the most vital things and based on my current situation, my health and my peace are the most important things to me

Health: Mental health. Spiritual Health.  Body Health.  IAmness Health.  Less 12-16 hours working in a block, less sleepless nights, less Facebook, less stress, less platonic and toxic friendship, less Ragaman (taurine and gingseng drink made in Haiti) drinking, less emotional eating, less shopping therapy.  More quality time with true friends and family, more reading and writing, more self care, more praying, more rest, more self-building initiative.  I have decided to stop doing weight loss journeys- more about the appearance than the real deal- from now on, I am on a health reclaiming journey.

Peace: Peace with myself, peace with others.

Reviewing and challenging my feelings, my beliefs, myself to build a stronger Me with grounds and anchor.

I have noticed how people like others to nurture their delusion instead of telling them what the reality is and I am NOT getting there! In trying to always be transparent and truthful, I have hurt myself several times and I am determined to be, stay and remain outspoken but ONLY with selected people.

I am grateful for each new day as it is an opportunity for me to do better.  Just like a butterfly or some wine, with age, I shall become better until I reach the best version of myself.

I Love The Person I see In The Mirror

In few hours, I am turning 26 years old young.  You all know I do not celebrate birthdays but I always make sure I blog about my new springs: 23 years old 24 years old  25 years old

This year, my blog is about my affirmation of love to myself.  Balanced love, no crossed borderline but strong and pure love.

I looked in my mirror and fell in love with the person I see, I love ME.  I went through trials and I made it.  I suffered but didn’t lose hope.   I grew up more than ever.  More insight, more maturity, more wisdom, more spirituality.  I am proud of the Me I am today.

I know myself better, I stand up for myself more than ever, I accept failures and am less reluctant about changes.  I have a better leitmotiv, I take better care of myself.

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Before, people would tell me about myself but this year, I met myself, got to know me and fell for myself.  I am a grounded woman.  I am a strong woman.  I am a human (with my imperfections, limits and flaws) and a hero (with my qualities, my achievements and my dreams).

I have lost and won battles but I have won the fight.  I have found back my essence.  I have gotten the best blessings I have ever had.  I have a better relationship with people and God and myself now.

I feel happy, I feel free, I feel young, I feel restless.  I found myself.  I know who are my true friends, I enjoy life, I LIVE…..

Humm…. I envy no birds for their wings, I do not envy the wind for its freedom.

If I survived this year, If I am still strong after so many trials, I made it and I can go even further.  I look on more time at myself in the mirror and I am proud. I am in love with myself.

I am not afraid to grow up because I know more years will bring me more adventure, more strength and more blessings.

I am in LOVE with MYSELF.

 

One Quarter of a Century Old

Today, I turn 25. Yes, one quarter of a century old.  As per my tradition, although I do not celebrate birthdays, I write a post about how I did during the previous year and my goals for the freshly started one. Well, this year, I am not into talking about what I have done during my 24-year-old days and how I will be using my 365 next days as a 25-year-old woman.  I am into forecasting things I want to do before I reach my third decade :D.  Stay tuned:

1-I wanna get married and have two children, two DAUGHTERS. I can imagine your riposte already: Pray to have healthy children instead of expressing preferences.  While I get your point, yet, my penchant goes to daughters.  Aint’ I expressing a dream? My dream is shaped up with my taste….. What was I saying again? Yes I want a family before I turn 30.  Although this has become a very risky initiative and a lot of people fail in their marriage or family life, I still believe that people (including me) can be happily married and raise properly children.  Difficult, I concede (as a matter of fact, what is easy in life?), but feasible.

2-I wanna publish three books: one of those I wrote when I was in high school and want to publish, one about Grand Mal Epilepsy and another one about one of my passions in life.  I always wanted to be a writer and think this is the first of my biggest dreams ever.  I have held myself back for too long waiting (for what?), doubting, etc.  Time to work on what I, myself, want and love.

3- I also want to be a permanent auxiliary pioneer.  I am Jehovah’s witness and as so, it is important to participate in spreading the kingdom’s good news through field service.  As a permanent auxiliary pioneer, I will spend 50 hours minimum per month helping others to know Jehovah, my wonderful God. There is nothing better than that.

4- I was born a lawyer, I just need to get the certification to actually be one.  For the past four years, I have procrastinated a lot and did not start my law school. I made other studies but they make me unhappy in my career life because my number one passion in life is LAW.  Enough! I want to be a law professional before I turn 30.

5- I want to move away within five years.  Although I love my country: its culture, its food, its landscape and the people there, the person I am cannot fit in there.  If I stay there, I am going to drown.  I am too smart, too mindly organized, to straight forward, too enlightened to stay there.  And, why would I live far from my sister , my mother, my aunts, my whole family alone in the jungle?! Rolling my eyes.

If they are in accordance with God’s will, may all my dreams come true 🙂

Have a nice day people

New Spring, New Perspective, New Goals

In few minutes, I will be turning 24.  Although I do not celebrate birthdays, I still take the time to make a retrospection and set new goals.

If I had to name my twenty third year, I would call it “the Year of Enlightenment”.  I achieved two big things this year: I discovered myself and I got rid off the two biggest handicaps of my life.

I took the time to discover myself and know myself. Through the process, I grew more aware of my beauty and my ugliness, my strengths and my weaknesses, my ups and my downs.  As I know better myself, I can give a shape to my world, i can better define my needs, my wants, my expectations, my duties.  I am proud of this beautiful part of myself and I know what to improve to become a better person.   That’s the biggest and first goal I achieved.

I also  had enough courage and strength to clean out the two biggest burdens(dead weights) of my life and I feel so free now.  I feel good because today I can bear my load with no resentment or tears or disgust. I have a better life now.  I am free.  That’s my second achievement as a 23-year old woman.

I am proud of that improved version of me……..

Now that a new spring is coming, I see life a different way, I grew stronger and more mature. I have greater goals and higher expectations for myself.  More than ever, I believe there is nothing worthier than having a close and solid relationship with God.  There would be no life, no me, no others, nothing without Him.  That’s why, my first goal for the coming year is to get a better relationship with Jehovah through better quality prayers and more deeds to show Him my love.

My second goal for this coming year is to learn to stand for myself.  Too often have I relied on people I should have not and this has make my life miserable so many times.  I feel the need to become more independent.  I am pissed off flying using others’ wings. Time to use mine and with more decisiveness and less procrastination, I will make it.

My third and last goal is to learn to RELAX.  By being too thoughtful, too cautious, too smart, too busy and too serious, I easily become stressed and irritated.  For a healthier life, a better personal development and a funnier life, I need to learn to relax.

My last words: Thank you Jehovah for having guided me, protected me, cherished and loved me all through this year. What would I be without you? My other thanks go to my mother, she is my everything, my push ups Donia, Maudeline, Fodlyne, Ricky, Jean Michel and Alma. Much love and gratefulness.

Arrideverci to my 23 years.

My last speech as a 22-year-old woman….

It is twenty and something o’clock! In less than four hours, I will turn 23 years old! A new year! I do not celebrate birthdays but each new added year makes me have a deep thought!

My 22 year old was chaotic! My- let’s say- first year as a grown up adult specially in choosing my career and work! I had also to deal with new issues and make some important decisions like buying a car and a land or having new friends! I have made a lot of errors also! Choosing the wrong person as a friend! Thinking the wrong way about something or someone! I have also gained a lot! More maturity! More people skills! More guts! More experience!…..

But, if I had to resume my 22-year, I would go that brief way: I have more or less succeed in my test to get into the adult life! I am not a A student yet at life school but I am improving more and more. I am perfectible! I have done a wonderful job in my work for this year! I made a lot of sacrifices to assist people after the 12-jan earthquake whether economically, morally or else! Not even one year yet since I got this position and I received award for showing competence above position requirements! That’s all my achievement is about for this year! I have procrastinated too much(in my relation with God, in choosing my new field of studies, in taking some paths). I have forgotten too often that not making the choice in the right moment is a choice itself and with the consequences!And my second sin is to waste too much my resources and opportunities! Imagine, for instance, that my number one sponsor is still waiting for a copy for my own book publication’s sake! I have a lot of luck but I am spoiling it!

I have also failed one of my greatest dreams: getting married at 22! I have however started pretty early in the love field to achieve my goal but I too often forget that I can’t play this game by myself! I can’t even postpone that dream for this year or the next! Uh! Minos one dream!

My resolutions for the coming year are then the following:

1- have discipline in everything
2-Know my own self
3-Build that self
4- reconcile with the others

Anything more to add? No! Just…. Thank you Jehovah for having spared my life from all those! Thank you for this new year! And may I use it to give you all love, glory and pride you deserve!

Bye bye to the 22-year old Annie, welcome to the almost 23-year old Alice!

Much love

Myself