Success! ~Drop in the Ocean~

in dropintheocean •  3 months ago

When I read this topic, a conversation I had with someone through the comment section of my post came to mind.

I had just made a video about why I dreaded my hair and how I was shocked that after 5 years I had nothing but positive responses from other women.

The man who commented was from Africa, and he was confused that people would be negative towards me for my hairstyle. So, I took a whole day to really think about how I would respond.

The tricky part was that I wasn't sure! Why would I assume the worst? What about my culture had built that programming in?

Then it hit me...

In the culture I grew up in...dare I say the American culture...success is based on beauty and money.

After childhood, when I became aware that beauty held power, I worked hard to learn how to dress, do my hair, and wear makeup. Which sounds completely shallow. But it's not hard to see on T.V that the most successful woman were the pretty ones.

When I became an adult, my husband and I chased after money. We wanted a big house, nice cars and dinners out! If we had enough money to not worry, than we knew we had made it.

If we could achieve all of this, than that would be success.


I tried to explain to the man from Africa what success looked like in my culture, and that by dreading my hair I was no longer playing the same game. I was going against the grain, and that makes people uncomfortable.

But what was shocking, was all the women that wish they were brave enough to do it come up to me and shared that bit about themselves.

Looking back on how I viewed success in the past versus now is astonishing!

Now, I know success is having the ability to love the people around me without expectations and judgement.

It's diving deeper into my prayer life, and growing as a person.

It's laughing with my kids so hard that I'm crying.

It's enjoying a cake doughnut without guilt because I've learned how to make conscious decisions.

Money has it's place. But it doesn't dictate the rate of my success anymore.

Beauty has it's place, but it no longer holds power for me.

I was so thankful for that comment by someone from a different culture. Without it, I might not have realized how far I'd come!

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What a beautiful post. I'm on a journey myself of finding 'my style'. Not what my culture or family expects of me but what feels right for me. What feels like it is honouring the Most High. It's been difficult and easy at the same time. The most difficult parts are when I'm faced with close relatives with strong opinions. It's when the people I care about disagree with my choices that it hurts, what everyone else thinks is none of my business. ;)

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It's when the people I care about disagree with my choices that it hurts, what everyone else thinks is none of my business. ;)

This is such a crazy phenomenon to me. And it is so true. We look towards the people we are closest to for support and when they can't give it, it hurts. Change require so much space. I hope you continue to seek after what your style is! And remember it will change again and again! Thank you so much for the comment!

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I hadn't thought of change as requiring space but that's a really good way of putting it.
I will continue to explore it.
I'm glad to have found you!

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I'm glad I've found you too! And yes, I've really learned as people around me have grown that the best gift I can give them is room. If I crowd or add my expectations, or worse, assume I know what they will say...or do...then I'm hurting them and by extension our relationship.

You hit the nail on the head. so much in the consumer culture is about chasing the dream of unattainable beauty and riches. Good for you!!

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Thank you! And they are so unattainable no matter what. Those cravings will never be satisfied.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

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That's true!

I'm glad you took the time to think that through! Many of us find ways to "buck the system", and I guess getting dreadlocks is one of those ways. It would be not my personal choice, but I have no problem with it being yours. I started to write a longer comment, and decided it would make a better post! LOL

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I think the funny part is that I never intentionally wanted to buck the system. I've never had a strong enough desire to put that kind of energy into it. But once the dreads were in and I was "wearing my crazy on the outside" as my husband says, it all started coming into focus.

So, I checked your page, where's the post?? I'm excited to read it!

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wearing your crazy on the outside

Love it! I'll get around to posting eventually.....

Love the way you think😎🤗

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Awww thanks!

I really love your perspective - and love how you define success for yourself - and to see how things change over time! beautiful to recognize those things!

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Thank you! I love moments of reflections! It makes me wonder what will come in a few years! ❤

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Isn't it fun to imagine that???? you know how people look backwards and think about what they could have applied?

but how fun to look forward and think ohhhhhhhhhh how shall i apply this :)

Congratulations, @freedomtowrite! You have come a long way from where you were. If I look back 40 years, I am amazed at where I have come on my journey but I also see the journey ahead. There is always room for change and growth!

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Yes! The beauty is in the journey and praise Jesus it keeps going!

You go girl! I love cake donuts! I think this is really deep, and I appreciate you taking time to share your inner thoughts and revelations with us here.

:)

God Bless you and your family!

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Thank you! Cake doughnuts are the best! And I'm glad you liked the post. It's really therapeutic sharing deeper truths. I have a friend, @borrowedearth, that says she sometimes doesn't know what she thinks/feels until she says it outloud. I found that rings true for writing posts too.