3 Things That Made Me Accept My Natural Hair

I have had a complicated relationship with my hair. I grew up in a society that did not accept my natural hair, afro’s or dreadlocks. Straight silky hair was right and kinky hair was wrong. Right from when I was little, I went to the salon every three weeks to get a relaxer. Now if you don’t know what a relaxer is it’s a strong chemical that you put on your hair to straighten it permanently. I had extremely coarse and thick hair that my mother couldn’t comb so this was the best option at the time. Also, everyone was doing it so it was not a big deal.

I think most people can agree that relaxers are more harmful than good. The hair relaxers always burnt my scalp (yes, chemical burns on my scalp!!) but I always loved the straight silky look I got when I wore a relaxer.

I never knew what my actual hair looked like. I always had the impression that my hair was some sort of untamable beast that needs a relaxer unless all my hair would fall out.  It was unthinkable not relaxing my hair!

I also thought that people who had natural hair were dirty, lazy and god forbid they had dreadlocks. This was years of conditioning where I grew up where your natural hair was not appreciated.

 

3 things that made me accept my natural hair

Breaking the Stereotype

The first time I saw a woman with natural hair was on YouTube. Shoutout to Karen aka Glamfun. She looked beautiful, and she looked like me!! Could I really have hair like that? I decided to go natural because I was tired of using weaves as a crutch. I didn’t like the fact that I felt less of a woman once I didn’t have a weave on and felt the need to hide or compensate with more makeup!

It was then and there that I decided to go natural! It wasn’t always an easy journey but reminding myself of these three things finally made me accept my natural hair and love it for what it is!

  1. Your hair is a unique representation of you

Absolutely no ones hair can be the same. Your hair is designed perfectly for you. It’s adapted to your skin colour, your weather, even the colour of your eyes. Your hair has a personality of its own and you should never compare list for list with another persons hair. Using a natural hair typing system may be only part of the equation but just because you and someone have the same hair type does not mean you can do the same things on your hair and have the same results! It will always look different. Embrace its uniqueness cause that is you.

    2. Get preconceived notions of what you think “good hair” should look like out of your mind

I’ve learnt that healthy hair is good hair. Healthy hair always looks good no matter what texture, color or length. Once you remove unrealistic expectations of what you think your hair should look like and accept it for what it is, it will be great! I used to admire people who had long flowing locks of hair and hated natural hair. The self-hatred and conditioning was real ladies! Now I appreciate all hair types, but I have a special admiration for afro’s. They’re just a special breed awesomeness!

On days that I think my hair looks like absolute shit, I get 1000 compliments on it. So never think your hair is ugly because it’s not what you think it should look like!


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3. Stop obsessing over your hair length

When I first went natural I was obsessed with growing my hair long. I always had 16 inch weaves so to go from that to short hair was very challenging for me. I also felt like I had to grow my hair long because my hair had been grazing my neck my whole life and I wanted to prove to someone I could grow it long for some reason. This led me to do arduous things that I didn’t like only because it would give me long hair. Instead of enjoying my hair at every step of its journey, I was always obsessing over it. As long as your hair is healthy, it will grow!

Now I pretty much don’t care about having long hair. I’m even contemplating cutting it shorter because it’s so much more easier to manage! In the end, your hair is an extension of you. Accepting it may not always be easy, but once you do it is extremely liberating.

Thank you so much for reading! If you would like see one of the ways I take care of my natural hair check out my Ultimate Routine For Thick, Curly Hair!

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I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I have been flirting with the idea of going self hosted for months now and I finally did it! I’ve Moved! If you’re reading this post right now it means you’re still subscribed to Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!

I have now moved my blog over to thepearlylife.com so I will no longer update posts on this website!

I hope you can join me over on my new website! I already have some new posts I would love you to read.

Thank you so much for your support on my blog. I wouldn’t be here without it. ❤️

Love,

Pearl.

Handling Rejections and The Power of Positive Thinking

When I was applying for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, I was rejected by 4 out of the 5 schools I applied to. To make matters worse, I got rejected by these schools one by one until it was only that one school left. It was one of the most demoralising times of my life. I was extremely anxious and uncertain of my future and what would happen if I couldn’t go to school that year.

However, I wouldn’t change a thing that happened. Although I got accepted by only one school, it turned out to be the perfect university for me. Studying in Salford University made me fall in love with Biomedical Science. It allowed me to excel and I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree! (For some context for my non-British readers, my grades were evaluated to be equivalent to a 3.83/4 GPA by WES)

My university experience is just a type of rejection that you could experience. There are so many different things that people go through that are way worse than silly university applications. They are not defined by their circumstances and their rejections. They never let it get to them. They are extremely inspiring to me!

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Rejection

Getting rejected sucks. And it especially sucks when you poured your heart and soul into something and no one appreciates, no one wants it, people laugh and completely ignore it. You feel inadequate, like something is wrong with you and you try to analyze everything you did and what you could have done differently. These were thoughts that crossed my mind on a number of occasions. But during these last few years I have reformed my way of thinking and I have began to adopt a positive mindset. Adopting a positive mindset has allowed me to enjoy life more. I appreciate the simpler things and I understand that it’s okay to try again!

Getting Positive

Call me crazy but I truly, truly believe positive thoughts attract positive things. What you think can really affect the outcomes of situations in your life.  It’s like the law of the freaking universe.

I often draw inspiration from extraordinary people whenever I approach challenging situations in life. As future scientist, I am inspired by scientists that succeeded above all odds. One peculiar example is Thomas Edison: a great inventor and businessman. Most people know him as the man who invented the lightbulb. When he was younger, Thomas Edison’s teachers said that he was “too stupid to learn anything”. He was fired from a number of jobs he had because he was “unproductive”. He also had 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb. One thousand, painstaking, detailed attempts! Thomas Edison was rejected and experienced thousands of failures before his successes. His drive and ambition was extraordinary!

Rejections and failures are a normal part of life but you  only need one yes or success for things to turn around. In times of rejection, I believe having a positive mindset is crucial because it allows you to handle negative situations properly. Don’t give up!

Have Faith

In Christianity, faith is the pillar of it’s belief. We hope for things that we do not see and things we can never understand.  In hard times, we are encouraged to have faith and hope that things will work out for the greater good. In fact, faith is so powerful in Christianity that a parable says that even if you have faith as small as mustard seed, you can move a mountain! Even if you are not a religious person, having faith allows you to keep your head up high and not be overwhelmed by your problems.

Hope

I always say to myself if rejections happen that it’s not the end of the world. It may feel like it but just keep hoping. Never stop hoping for positive things. Affirm that you will receive them and work really hard for it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out the first time. Try again, try harder and in different variations. Above all, hope for the best. Believe that the universe is working for your good and not against you. Hope that everything will work out for the greater good!

How do you handle rejections?

Thank you for reading!

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The Art Of Decluttering

I find it ironic that I had a closet filled with clothes but nothing to wear, or a makeup counter bursting with products but I found myself using the same lipstick and wearing the same clothes everyday. I was also surrounded by a room that was beginning to turn into an episode of Hoarders (which is a really interesting show by the way). I was overwhelmed with items around me that really didn’t make me happy.

I had been away from my family home for 3 years and now that I was back, I was confronted with the clutter that had accumulated over the years. Books and clothes that hadn’t been read or worn in years were stacked in every corner. It was so much that I didn’t have space to keep the things I actually use. It was truly suffocating.

I came across a great book by Marie Kondo called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” which has really changed my perception of items I keep around me.

Most people are a “I’ll use it one day” or “just incase”  type of hoarder. This mentality makes me keep things that I really don’t need or like when it comes to clothing, books and makeup. I often felt guilty about throwing things away but I felt even more guilty for being surrounded by so much clutter.

After reading Marie Kondo’s book, the single most important thing I have learnt is recalibrating the relationship I have with the items I own. Now I sit and consider if an item I own “sparks joy” in me. Do I feel good, fulfilled and happy using this item? This is how I understand the statement that is used extensively in the book. If it doesn’t, it is better to let it go.

I’ve discovered that I do not need to feel guilty for giving away things that are in perfectly good condition, things I may use one day (which hardly ever comes) and just incase items. We often feel we are protecting the items we own by keeping them close to us but in reality it is the opposite. These items are sitting in a corner collecting dust, often forgotten, not being used. Marie Kondo says “If our items could speak, would they be happy?” I don’t think so.

Letting go of these items gives them, in essence, a new life where they may be cherished and used by someone else. I’ve realised that each item plays a special role in our life; that purple lipstick you never used? It taught you what lipstick colours worked for you and what didn’t. It is time to thank it for fulfilling its purpose in your life and let it go. Those books you read halfway last year and have been meaning to complete? It’s time to thank it for entertaining you briefly and let it go.

This change in my mentality has led me to remove  an estimated three 50 gallon trash bags of things that do not “spark joy” in my room.

I have also learnt how to fold clothes properly. I usually stacked my clothes on top of each other when I folded them, which is a recipe for clutter, mess and crinkled clothes. Now I fold my clothes the Marie Kondo way; vertically and colour co-ordinate. This has helped my organisation and reduced the stress of figuring out what to wear since all my clothes can be seen at a glance.

Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of my room before I started decluttering. I didn’t realize I would probably want to blog about the process.

However, just to give you an idea of how cluttered things could get, here was a picture of one of the most cluttered tables in my house:

Now tables look like this:

I feel like a minimalist princess. I don’t know who I am anymore. Thank you Marie Kondo. Seriously, get this book.

Now that I have somewhat handled my clutter problem, I am now interested in tackling my style problem. I don’t have access to the clothing I want to buy so I have to wait till September till I can buy a whole new closet. Through decluttering I discovered that I hate ALL my clothes and I don’t really have a personal style. I am now in a long process of discovering  my personal style and aesthetic. I am currently loving a classic, sharp smart wadrobe with lots of white and pops of red and mustard.

Questions! 

How do you personally tackle clutter?

Thanks for reading!

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20 Things I’ve Learnt In 20 Years 

In my 20 years of growing up I have learnt a lot of things through my experiences and I thought it would be nice to share them because it could be applicable to people of any age. Here they are!

  1. Humans are complex and extremely unpredictable creatures that can be capable of great evil or love.
  2. Worrying about things you cannot control is a waste of time.
  3. Question everything. Never be afraid to question things that are considered norm.
  4. Always try to see the good in people.
  5. But don’t be naive. Even though some people have good qualities, a lot of people have ulterior motives and may not be genuine.
  6. Try to be aware and thankful for the privileges and opportunities you were born into.
  7. Motivation rarely gets you to complete a task. Being disciplined is far superior to motivation.
  8. Not everyone is going to like you. The sooner you accept it, the easier navigating relationships and friendships becomes.
  9. Everyone has different, interesting and even offensive opinions. Always listen with an open mind and try to broaden your view of the world.
  10. Things are not always in black and white. The whole world is a blob of messy grey areas.
  11. Your parents are probably right 99% percent of the time.
  12. Bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t make sense and I will probably never understand it.
  13. Healthy food doesn’t actually taste that bad, as long as you know how to cook it properly.
  14. Be silly and laugh a lot. It makes you feel better and relaxes you.
  15. Most things are not that serious. When you put things into perspective, will this really be important 10 years from now? If not, it’s probably not worth it.
  16. Be a problem solver instead of a problem dweller.
  17. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
  18. It is okay to be single. It will happen when it will happen.
  19. A lot of arguements are pointless and never get anywhere. Pick and choose your battles.
  20. Cherish and love your body. You may not like how it looks but it does a pretty fucking hard job of keeping you alive everyday.

That’s it! I turned 20 a few months ago and it kind of feels like the age where you aren’t really a child anymore so you should really have your shit together, but at the same time you haven’t fully entered adulthood. I am just enjoying this last few months of the baby-girl life before I become a full adult.

What have you learnt about people and yourself these past few years? Leave it in the comments section!

What I Learned From A Social Media Detox 

Hey everyone! I know I’ve been away for so long but I had a semi-good, almost dramatic reason for abandoning my blog and other social media sites for over 2 months.

I think it’s very difficult sometimes to remember that it’s just social media. It literally exists in a space consisting of data in the form of ones and zeros. It can be turned off at anytime, you can control it. But why does it often feel out of our control? Why do we give social media so much power over us?

For a long time I felt a bunch of unpleasant feelings surrounding my presence on the Internet. I felt an irrational pressure to post things on time, post often and be perfect. I felt these feelings particularly on Instagram, where I couldn’t help but compare myself to other people often.

At one point I obsessed over the amount of Instagram followers and likes I had. I even contemplated deleting my account because I wasn’t racking up to a 100 likes. I look back now and I wonder why I was so dramatic. I also had my fair share of online bullies and fights. This caused more negativity to surround my social media. I was tired of it.

I felt disconnected the more connected I became. It’s like I was present, but I was not really there. I also wanted my privacy back. I felt like I was sharing way too much information about myself on the Internet. I had the mentality of “If you don’t post it online, did it really happen?”. I think it’s horrible to think that way.

One day something clicked in my head and I immediately stopped posting on all my social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I also deleted all my pictures from my Instagram account. I went from 150 + pictures to only 2 pictures.

During that 1-2 months hiatus I really had time to revaluate how I want to share and be perceived on the Internet. I felt way better not living on my phone and the irrational pressure to be perfect and present dissipated. Now that I’m using my accounts again I feel what more conscious of how I want to utilise social media moving on. I feel more in control of my life and self. I don’t need to live on my phone and I don’t feel a pressure to have my life figured out. I don’t need to post everything online. Even though I don’t have it all figured out yet I have a clearer sense of where I want to be.

I will still post on my blog moving forward. I love writing and reading peoples blogs! I love beauty, movies and little nuggets of wisdom. I love the community here and think I want to continue moving in this direction going forward. I also can’t wait to catch up on all your blog posts I missed!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!

Have you ever had a social media detox? What did it teach you?