I remember when I was 10, I wanted to be 13. When I was 13, I wanted to be 16. And so on, and so on.
Why is this? I can only say my desire to be older was equated to my desire for independence.
As a kid, I so hated being at the whim of adults when I didn’t agree with their decisions and yet had no voice to influence their ultimate choice. Even when it concerned my own life.
One day my mom and grandmother told me that we would switch hairdressers.
Now, if you know anything about the Black community, the hair salon is a STAPLE. We went there to fellowship, discuss politics, gossip, buy bootleg tapes and get our hair laid for the weekend. I was fortunate enough to go every two weeks when the money was flowing, and know so many with this experience. It is just how it was.
Hairdressers are like extended family. Think of the bartender who listens to everyone’s problems or the counselor who offers advice and healing. The hairdresser falls into the same category.
And when you find a good one, well, you stick with them. It is taboo to be a “hairdresser hopper,” similar to being a “church hopper.” The hair salon was somewhat of a sanctuary, and loyalty to your hair stylist was the natural order of things.
But my parents were not just saying we were switching hairdressers, they were telling me that we were changing from our hairdresser, who we had been with for years, to the hairdresser who had a booth right next to her! Can you get any more tacky?
I told them this was so not a good idea. I could only imagine, even at just 12 years old, how bad our hairdresser would feel to find out she had lost all three clients to her friend who did hair right next to her! Even at 12, I see now how empathetic I was being.
And you know what? I was right. Every time I went to get my hair done by the new hairdresser, I cringed. I could feel the awkwardness between the two stylists. I could sense the hurt from my old stylist. And what made matters worse was that the whole reason my parents decided to make the switch was to shorten our wait time. But guess what? We still were waiting the typical two hours!
Eventually, I remember my grandmother leaving the salon altogether and finding a new stylist, and the dust between the two stylists settling from feelings of betrayal to subtle awkwardness.
I bring up this story because I know it runs in the background of my psyche. The feelings of powerlessness. The lack of control. And the emotional impact on me because I had this gift of being able to sense the feelings of others.
Depending on adults was one of the things I hated most about being a kid. Knowing this about myself, I recognize my own triggers when someone is trying to exert control over me. Or even when I perceive that to be happening. I will “buck up” immediately and make clear my boundaries. I am an entrepreneur for a reason.
I will not be controlled.
The irony is that I found myself in a position where this attempted dominance was happening, and I didn’t even recognize it. It was like the slow boiling of a frog. Before the frog knows it, he’s cooked.
Now my senses are more heightened, even to my own control tendencies. I definitely have come a long way regarding self-awareness and character development. My own dysfunction has been highlighted, and I’m thankful for the healing and growth over the years.
Still, we all default to unhealthy ways and thinking. It takes intentionality to grow. Otherwise, we will stay stagnant in our ways.
Are you someone who has a sensitivity to being controlled? Do you struggle with controlling others? Feel free to comment below on how you cope with falling into either of these categories.
In other news, did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!
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