Time to shake things up! I’ve given Nia’s Piece a makeover and a new name, “Nay’s Piece.” Don’t worry: I’ll still be sharing my colourful commentary on life and relationships. I just wanted to have my blog and my copywriting website, NavyJade.com under one roof. Blog posts will now be monthly. To check out what’s new and to learn more about a special event I’m having Thursday, July 12th, click here. And to ensure you never miss a post, please visit our new location at nayspiece.com and sign up at the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Thanks!
My hair and I have a good thing going. From cornrows to the Jheri curl (yes, that’s right I rocked a Jheri curl back in the day!), Poetic Justice box braids to my recent Halle Berry inspired short-cropped pixie, my hair has never let me down. However, I’ve known for while that we could both use a break from the rigors of styling and chemicals associated with relaxers. In fact, I’ve been wrestling with the decision to wear my hair natural for almost a decade. The closest I came to taking the leap was in 2009, when days before leaving for Cuba I received a horrible haircut. To make matters worse, once I arrived at the resort I realized I had forgotten my flat iron. Thank God, I brought plenty of headscarves! Since then, I’ve dreamed about the day that I would finally have my teeny weeny afro.
Well, it looks like that day is almost here. Earlier this year I finally decided that 2012 would be the year I wear my natural hair. My decision was not only because I wanted to give my hair a break and some extra TLC, but also because Sean and I hope to have a baby in the near future so I’d prefer to be proactive. Apparently, more and more Black women are opting to wear their hair natural, no doubt inspired celebrities like Esperanza Spalding, Viola Davis and professional women like myself. According to Mintel, a consumer spending and market research firm, the number of black women who say they do not use products to chemically relax or straighten their hair jumped to 36% in 2011, up from 26% in 2010. Sales of relaxer kits dropped by 17% between 2006 and 2011.
So is this really a natural hair movement, similar to what we saw in the 60s & 70s, is it economics, or are we just determined to embrace the hair we were born with? I think it may be all of those reasons. Although, I’d be lying if I said the reaction to my decision was all positive. Some women have told me that natural hair requires more maintenance. Maybe. But no more than what I was doing before. At least the hair products I’ll be using will be chemical-free. I understand though, that going natural is a big commitment and – especially for us newbies – a process. Even the process is a process: because my hair is short, I have to grow it out before I can get my TWA. And although I love him dearly, Sean’s reaction to my decision was a mixture of happiness and confusion.
(Note: Sean has offered his take on his reaction.
Check out the video after the post).
My hairstylist Natasha suggested that the best way to grow my hair would be to get it braided. One week later and the braids are in! Even with Natasha’s gentle hands, it took me a while to adjust to the pulling and tightening. Laughing and chewing were bloody uncomfortable. But I’m cool now. My braids look incredible! I chose a style inspired by Goapele. It’s soulful yet sophisticated. Natasha did an amazing job and the compliments haven’t stopped. Interestingly enough, I’m also answering a lot of questions from my non-Black friends, co-workers and acquaintances. They’re in awe of the style and genuinely want to learn more about our hair. I don’t mind answering their questions and engaging in positive dialogue because knowledge triumphs ignorance.
The beauty of our hair is its versatility. With that versatility, there is choice. And it’s the freedom of choice that we should embrace. So no matter how we choose to rock it: relaxed, TWAs, afros, braids, twists or weaves, we need to be bold and wear it proudly. After all, it is our crowning glory. So my Queens, be regal and hold your head up high.
© Nia’s Piece, 2012
I think I stumped my husband when I asked him for three words to sum up our first three months of marriage. He started to ramble on about feelings and rainbows. Ten exhausting minutes later, he was only able to give me “awesome” and “renewed.” When I asked him to elaborate, in typical male fashion he quietly did the “one thing” to make me chase him out of the room. This, ladies and gentlemen, is just a taste of our beautiful & comical married life…three months and counting!
I can’t tell you how good it feels to be writing in my own space again. Deciding to lay low to enjoy my first few months as a newlywed was one of the best decisions I ever made. I knew planning my wedding was going to crazy; however never in my wildest dreams did I envision it becoming an all-consuming ball of stress. The closer I got to my wedding day, the more I realized that in order to stay sane I needed to reprioritize everything. Additionally, my Road to Mrs. column on Black Bridal Bliss kept me very busy – not that I’m complaining. I believe I produced some of my best work at BBB and thank Editor Bridgette Bartlett and her readers for making me feel so at home.
Things are finally back to normal. The thank you cards have been mailed, the marriage certificate received and I’m adjusting quite nicely to my new title and role as a “Mrs.” Aside from Sean and me feeling a deeper spiritual connection, not much else has changed. We still joke and “pop off” about the silliest things. I guess that’s what happens when you marry your best friend. Okay, let me stop. I don’t want to get too sentimental on what an incredible year it’s been. Instead, I’ll keep it light and look back at some of my memorable moments of 2011. Scroll down to check them out.
And before I go, I want to wish you & yours all the best for the season & a very happy new year! While it’s true that this is a special time for family and friends, this year my holiday desires are slightly self-indulgent. I’m dreaming of being curled up on my couch in my Forever Lazy, hot chocolate in hand, catching up on some good TV. Frosty the Snowman and the old Rankin-Bass classics like Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town immediately come to mind. And I can’t forget American Horror Story, Once Upon A Time and my current guilty pleasure Revenge. Now that’s a Festivus dream come true!
Call of Duty Scrape If you play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, claim to “fight for my freedom” and scrape your knee, rubbing alcohol shouldn’t scare you. :-)
Scrooged At Galleria Mall If you’ve ever been to Galleria Mall in Toronto – think the old school malls with brown tiles and orange seats – you may appreciate why I was less than thrilled when Sean called me to tell me he was there to pick up my gift. Seriously? I pray he’s joking. I know my initial reaction completely goes against the spirit of Christmas, but visit the mall before you judge me.
Forever Lazy Lady I laughed at these commercials at first. An adult onesie? Really? However, I recently reconsidered. I get that it’s not the sexiest thing for a woman to wear, but it’s comfortable and soft. Sean tried his best to “forbid” it, and even took his grievances to Facebook. In the end, none of it mattered to me. I was so eager to get one before Christmas that I called the Showcase store at Dufferin Mall had them place the last XS on hold for me. I picked it up this week, with Sean in tow. See, he’s beginning to see things my way already, lol.
© Nia’s Piece, 2011
In case you missed it, here’s the recent video I did for my Road To Mrs. column on Black Bridal Bliss. In it, Sean and I provide an update on our wedding plans with hilarious results! Check it out:
© Nia’s Piece, 2011
You know what I love most about weekends? Sleeping in. I’m not a morning person so if I have to get up early, it had better be for a good reason. There are only a few people who can drag me out of bed before 9am and I’d like to give 2 of them a quick shout out.
I realize this may be an unconventional way to start my first blog post of 2011, but it’s a new year and a new decade, why not shake things up.
The first one is to my best friend. Hey BF! Only you could have me stand in the cold for 5 hours straight, no questions asked. Why are you so surprised I didn’t complain? I thought I told you whenever & whatever. After all, a deal is a deal.
The second is to my Saturday morning gal pal. My dear, I really do cherish our Saturday breakfasts! Your positivity perks me up more than any cup of java! She and I recently got together for our first breakfast of 2011. Not exactly sure why I suggested we kick things off with an hour-long walk in the middle of winter, 20 degrees below zero. True to form, she was up for the challenge and I learned that a frigid early morning walk is a great way to: a) wake the hell up, b) get in some cardio and c) work up a serious appetite.
As we devoured our delicious spinach feta omelets, we agreed that 2010 was THE year of major changes. Even though we’re only 2 months in, it’s looking like the same can be said for 2011. Globally, the wave of social reform sweeping northern Africa and the Middle East has those countries breaking free of long standing governments and regimes; first in Tunisia, then Egypt and now Libya. Amazing and inspiring! I hope the sacrifices made won’t be in vain and that the people will truly have a say in how their countries moves forward. Nas was right, all you need is One Mic to spread your voice to the whole world. We hear you. Loud and clear.
Bringing things back to home, has anyone noticed the number of relationships either ending or drifting apart? I have. It’s something that I’ve discussed a lot with my friends and it seems to be a common occurance for those of us in our late 20s & early to mid 30s. Here’s the thing: outgrowing relationships may be hard to accept but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Experts say that if you and your friend/lover are moving in vastly different directions, the bonds that brought you together may not be enough to sustain the relationship. Try not to feel too bad about it. Moving on doesn’t mean that your past shared experiences weren’t meaningful or important to you both, but it acknowledges your needs in the present. Remember, this is a natural part of your personal growth.
Speaking of change and growth, I thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on with me and give a little link love. Call it a catch-up/mash-up. Enjoy!
Nay Redux: This year marks the 2nd anniversary of Nia’s Piece. What began as a way for me to overcome my shyness and share my work has exceeded my expectations! That said, I’m ready to take the next step in my writing journey. Part of this will involve a refresh of Nia’s Piece. You can still expect the same feel good thought-provoking words along with a few other features I can’t wait to share. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on these changes as they happen so stay tuned!
My Column on BlackBridalBliss.com: Remember my piece, The Bridal Path? Well after it was featured on BlackBridalBliss.com I was asked by BBB creator Bridgette Bartlett, writer and former editor of Essence Magazine, to be a contributor. The “Road To Mrs.” column, chronicles my road to the altar. If you missed a post, you can get caught up here. Thanks to everyone for your feedback! And for those of you who’ve been asking to see the hilarious video, “Spoken Like A True Sean-In-Law”, you can view it at the end of this post.
All Apple’d Out: Just call us one big Apple family. Earlier this month I picked up a lovely iPhone 4. Although I loved my BlackBerry, I grew tired of its lack of apps and functionality. The only downside is that I’ve been getting flack from my BBM friends for going to the “other side.” Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to abandon you. I guess we’ll just have to text, lol. My iPhone 4 is so sleek and easy to use, how could I resist? I’ve even mastered the touch screen typing. But what’s impressed me the most are the number of free apps. My top right now are: “Nike Training” and the “Unblock Me” puzzle game. I know that someone whose name rhymes with Jean is more than a little jealous. According to him, I haven’t “earned” an iPhone 4. Whatever the hell that means. Who cares if I confused the retina display with a retinal scan, fall back homie…this is my phone!
I Marcus Garvey: It sounds good. I hope it’s good. I’ll know for sure when I check it out. This epic drama tells the story of Jamaica’s national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the founder of the United Negro Improvement Association and a leading advocate for the advancement of Africans at home and abroad. It’s playing at the Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery Rd., in Toronto, March 11th-27th. Click here for more info.
ThisIsYourConscience.com: I came across this blog while perusing the Internet and just had to share. Described as a site “honouring those who display sense and criticizing those who have none at all”, creator Lincoln Anthony Blades doesn’t hesitate to say what’s on his mind. Hands down ThisIsYourConscience.com is one of the most real and honest blogs I’ve read in a while. Don’t believe me? Just check out his take on:
Brutally honest, funny, real and Canadian. I LOVE IT!
Well, that’s it for now. I hadn’t really thought about how I’d end this catch-up/mash up post. Enjoy the links and have a look at the videos below. I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to hit me up by either leaving me comment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook or Twitter. Until next time…
© Nia’s Piece, 2011
Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
© Nia’s Piece, 2010
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
As the world commemorates World AIDS Day, I hope you will too! According to the UN, this year’s theme, “Universal Access and Human Rights,” is being highlighted in events around the globe by the Light For Rights campaign organized by various charitable organizations. Light For Rights events are being held all over the world. The events encourage 100 cities to dim the lights on public landmarks to remember the devastating affect AIDS has had, and then to turn the lights back on – to illuminate the fundamental human rights shared by all – but often denied people living with HIV.
AVERT, an international AIDS & HIV charity says, “Universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care is the key to ending the global AIDS epidemic.” I couldn’t agree more. Although we have made incredible strides, there is still much work to be done. Click here for the stats.
Visit these sites to see how you can help:
And for all of you coffee lovers, Starbucks is supporting World AIDS Day. As part of their 12 Days of Sharing Campaign, five cents from every handcrafted beverage sold today will support the Global Fund which helps those suffering with AIDS in Africa. They’ll also be making a contribution to the Global Fund with any purchase of (STARBUCKS) RED products throughout the year. Click here for more info:
© Nia’s Piece, 2010