• dana11dane

Doing Exactly What Miss Simone Proclaimed: Creating Freedom By Being Fearless

The Real Reason Why I Chopped My Hair and Started This Blog

Source: Abigail Gray Swartz

One of my biggest spirit animals of all time is the late great Nina Simone. She’s championed a style of expression through music and activism that is STILL undeniably transformative and necessary to the times then and most certainly to the times of now. Among many lessons, she taught me that there is an empowering essence in being an unapologetic flawed Black woman while growing every single day. While watching “What Happened Miss Simone”, there was an excerpt of a clip from a documentary entitled “Nina: An Historical Perspective” by Peter Rodis. She was in a recording session sitting on the ground looking so effortlessly beautiful with a long patterned smock-like dress, the perfect earrings to coordinate, and an intensity like no other as she explained what freedom means to her. The quote that stuck out to me the most throughout her explanation was: “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, NO FEAR.”

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, NO FEAR.”

That struck a chord for MANY reasons but I’ll only highlight the main ones in relation to my most recent decision to chop my hair, start THIS blog, and hell “the why” I vowed to continue to stay fearless, even through the complexities of what that truly means, while going towards what life success means to me.

If you would like to view the full clip to this documentary, click the link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pByeP0T6zZE

Now, let’s get into this new look, ha!

Photos By: Deandra Damson + DaJisha Hubbard

Few things first:

This is merely MY opinion about how I KNOW MYSELF and MY HAIR.

Also, much needed credit goes to:

Kaycee ( @iam_ibe_ido ) from FlyGirls Hair Salon in Dayton for bringing my vision to life.

Chelsea of @ghxtoeglam for beating this face down! #GhxtoeGlamOnTheBeat

Let’s chat, shall we! To not be long and drawn out but honest and frank:

--- I cut and colored my hair because I was frustrated with the plainness of its current state and wanted something different. No matter what I did, as far as styling, the quick fixes only lasted for a second. I wanted to be happy with my fro consistently. Also, I wanted to feel the luxury of not fighting with my mane during wash day so with this cut I can feel ease and accountability with maintaining healthy hair. (I got y'all very soon with the wash day regimen blog post! I definitely won't leave you hanging)

--- Channeling the influence of Miss Simone’s proclamation, I also found excitement with the practice of removing all doubts and just leaping forward with such an impulse! Don’t get me wrong, I did my research with this particular choice because I refuseeeed to be slipping, okay! But honestly, this choice made me okay with not being afraid to start over. There is much power in understanding the concept of letting go to receive more. To me, it’s not about failure AT ALL. It’s about taking the lessons of the previous journey and applying them to a fresh one. Yep, it can be scary in any situation (hair, passions and dreams, relationships, and more) but I trust myself to do better and also honor myself enough to receive the better things in life. To receive great, it requires you to feel great. Acts of self-love, whether they are as edgy as a transformation, as transparent as doing the work inside, or as simplistic like retail therapy, are important reminders of how we value ourselves. Now, I’m not saying “I made this drastic change to my appearance, God rain down the blessings. New Year, New Me” because I don’t believe it works like that. What I’m saying is that going with positive impulses in general DO set you up to receive the most you, and ultimately God, want out of your life.

To receive great, it requires you to feel great.

Photos By: Deandra Damson + DaJisha Hubbard

--- Lastly, to me, hair is just hair. It WILL grow back. Through much trial and error, tears and joy, I’ve come to embrace the journey and love what naturally grows from my head. Despite the still ever present colorism in the natural hair community, I’m happy that I can be my own example of truly accepting what being a beautiful, dark-skinned, kinky curly girl means. I, too, hope that those on their own natural journey, especially those who look like me, grow to simply not give af about societal conditioning whether from social media, the consumer market, family and/or friends but to be consistently happy about what they see when they see their true beauty.

So, Basically: #NOMOREPLAYINGITSAFE2018(hence that bold color!)

Now, why Simply_DNicole the blog? How does that tie into freedom equaling no fear?

Photo By: PLUHF Media

Well, for me, it’s simple. I didn’t want to limit myself to just my passion for theatre as the only way to express myself. By creating this blog, I am embracing my love for words, impactful and vulnerable transparency, and genuine conversation. By creating this blog, I am giving myself permission to evolve, be free, and trust my own voice and life experiences enough to share my thoughts and create space for others to simply live, connect, and be themselves.

Sometimes, our connection to society (this includes our direct- family, friends, etc and indirect- social media, etc) boxes us in and makes us think we should only use our creativity within the confinements of “what’s comfortable” for others to enjoy OR only use our gift in the way we first introduced it to the world. All of these things are simply CORNY to me because the wonderful aspect about creativity is that it’s meant to be explored and innovated in as many ways that make YOU happy. That even means going forward with a hidden hobby and pursuing it more seriously…like me with this blog, ha! With the power of creativity, you don’t have to be a master of whatever it is you want to create BUT you should be passionate, consistent, and gentle throughout your process of creating whatever ideas you have. You deserve to live out your imagination.

With the power of creativity, you don’t have to be a master of whatever it is you want to create BUT you should be passionate, consistent, and gentle throughout your process of creating whatever ideas you have. You deserve to live out your imagination.

So, I would like to welcome you to Simply_DNicole: The Blog! A place where my thoughts have the freedom to live. A place where I’ll write intentional monthly postings (ranging from 0-4 posts a month, who knows lol) from me about: my imperfect journey with wanting to make more mindful decisions to live an all-natural life (hair, skin, wellness), quick life rants sprinkled with much sass, humor, and honesty, and all things theatre sharing about my own creative journey, favorite playwrights, plays, and more.

I don’t know it all by any means, but from time to time I do have something to say! I hope you enjoy this window seat to my life!

Before I let you go, I just want to know how you're practicing your own fearless freedom in 2018? Let's motivate and keep each other empowered to be our best selves while living our best life!

#StayFreeAndFearless #BlackJoyMatters #EmbraceYourNatural

Keep It Simple,


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