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"Up and Outward"

"Change is when you get the knowledge...Growth is when you use it."

-Troy A Carroll

If you were to look at me now, the statement I am about to make would ring empty, but I promise it is true none the less, even if you never had the chance to see it.

When I was a kid...ladies around my neighborhood, or friends of my mother would ask her if she "Relaxed" my hair. I had curls on side and it was very straight and wavy on top.

I also had what they call a "cowlick", which is a section of hair that stands straight up on your head. For me it was the right corner near the back. And no matter what I tried to do, that darned patch of hair resisted all efforts for me to lay it down.

That was an oddity no doubt, but not really a big problem. What was strange was the fact that people would continue to ask the "relaxer" question consistently.

That didn't of course change the answer. No matter how often the question was asked the answer was always the same.

A resounding....


That didn't stop them from asking though, much to my irritation.

As I grew older I would struggle with my hair and my acceptance of it, especially when trends headed my way, such as the "waves" period. Pomade and a wave cap did nothing for my fairly straight hair to actually hold a wave pattern.

That didn't stop me from trying.

Next up was the "High Top Box Fade". Oh yes, the Kid and Play era where young boys, teens and yes, even grown men walked around with sculpted box shaped hair style.

Not me though. My hair texture required me to brush it up and pat it down.

So, no not a true box. time wore on, I grew to hate my hair...or maybe the better statement is I wanted my hair to be like some others versus my own, not being mature enough to appreciate that part of myself.

That is another story all together, but suffice to say my esteem wasn't at an "all in" state.

I would go through different variations, brushing it back, or forward. Cutting it really close to growing it out.

None of this was done just as a means of expression, despite what I tried to tell myself.

Instead I went through bouts of frustration and assumed I didn't look attractive because of my adversarial hair as I would go from one change to the next.

Here is the thing that is important to note.

Of all of the changes I made, nothing helped my self esteem. Brushing it flat against my skull or using a light gel to add some body to it, still left me feeling.....flat.

These temporary changes made me happy only long enough for me to become dissatisfied with the results.

And for a very simple reason. One...I was using external things for internal things, I was using temporary things instead of things made to last, and I was changing instead of...growing.

Regardless of what it entails, change is always momentary. Yes, it can be a segue to growth, but that is never a given, unless you apply whatever lesson you have hopefully learned that sparked the need for said change.

Change is what you do to with your clothes, or shoes, and in my case for this example a hairstyle.

Change will never fulfil the need inside. It can help you feel better, but it will not help you get better.

If you want success and must grow. Internally as well as externally, inside out, up and out.

Growth has never been consistently linear, its best results showing when done in fits and spurts all over. No, not necessarily at the same time, but spherical none the less.

I envision a misshapen circle. Not the most attractive description, but one that fits the need even if you don't like it. the world throws lesson after lesson at you. As you surmount those walls, leap those gates, find ways to unlock and open those closed doors, remember to add the lesson to the life and....


Plant the seed...Cultivate the Garden...Reap the Results.


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