You guys... I feel like a flower that has burst into bloom, or a tree that has borne big, juicy, happy fruit.

I'm unsure whether this is because TME is over, or because I'm turning thirty, but the combination of the two did something really remarkable for me. As a woman in America (and prolly as a man, too), we all know that there's this stigma around turning thirty. I felt it when I decided to start this project, that dread of facing the fact that I was no longer "in my twenties" which meant I was no longer young. I know, it's stupid and makes no sense, but let's be honest: that's how we think, way down deep in our animal midbrains. We think that somehow when you cross that threshold, you're fat and lame and no longer relevant, or are supposed to have it all figured out, or whatever. Thirty = old.

But combining my thirtieth with TME made me look forward to turning thirty, and even better, it helped me learn to accept myself as I was gradually and without having clothes or makeup to hide behind. It made the last year of my twenties one in which I learned to think I looked just fine without all the extra stuff, thank you very much. It reduced my Big Scary Thirtieth Birthday into what it really was: just another day. It forced me to face my fear of not always being young and beautiful and helped me focus on other aspects of myself over a long period of intentional work, instead of having thirty "thrust" upon me.

In short, TME made my thirtieth birthday a coming-to-fruition day, instead of a falling-off-the-tree day. Look at me, all glowy:

 Now remember, that's not my real hair. It was a gift from The Less-- which would have cost over $2000 if he had been paying full price. This is NOT sustainable for me. (Well, my bangs are real.) And yes, I acknowledge that this is another form of "fakery"-- it's not MY hair. But the way I see it is, I feel bloody gorgeous like this, so I'm gonna go with it. Tonight I'm going out in a short dress and some new boots Mom got me for my birthday, and Less will take pics, which will be posted. Oh yes.

The other thing is, I fully believe that the universe supports you when you have faith and go out on a limb in the service of bettering yourself or the world; if that's true, then the universe (God, as I call it) has met me more than halfway. I grew spiritually and emotionally, and now, on the other side of TME, I have a relationship where I get to have this incredible coming-out party and all this crazy-ass hair, two augmentations to this experience I never would have had otherwise-- and the experiment itself was part of what drew him to me in the first place.

You know what I was thinking? What if I wrote a book about this, and other women could choose to undertake TME before their thirtieth birthday? It made turning thirty a highly positive rite of passage for me-- which, sadly, is not the case for most women. Many of us deny that it ever happened, or try to ignore it when it does. It really is just another day, but for me, it's the day I get to emerge as a happier woman, inside and out, and I can't wait to celebrate. How great would it be if there were a movement towards making the unacknowledged milestone of turning thirty into something to look forward to, instead of dread all through one's twenties?

What if I could share this with other women? Would you read a book like that, one that walked you through and supported you in designing and undertaking your own Modesty Experiment?

The party is tomorrow, comments book and all. I can't believe how great I feel.


Is pain beauty? Or is beauty pain? I think it's the second one. Definitely the second one.

So my awesome boyfriend, Less, has badass multicolored dreds, courtesy of The Hair Police's Heather. Less had offered to pay for some nifty streaks in my hair from her as a b-day gift. I was thinking, "Sure! Lemme do something different!" My appointment was yesterday at 2:30. Here's what happened.

The Hair Police have this awesome way of threading REALLY brightly colored streaks into someone's hair-- so no dyeing and no resultant damage, and the colors are purer than pure. Cool, right? Unless you already have dreds, you get them woven into your hair on the lower layers so they blend, and they can't add too much length-- otherwise, they look totally stupid, like, you have your regular hair, and then BAM, there's this looooong streak of purple or something down to your butt. Dumb.

Well, I'm a white chick with no dreds, and my hair is about down to my earlobes in back and to my nose in front. I don't have much hair, so the streaks were going to be woven in in the back under my real hair. I was so excited to be done with TME, though, that I decided to let the stylist go a little crazy. Hair is supposed to be fun, right? (At least, is usually is for me.)

The stylist told me we'd go for an hour, which would be about 20 streaks, and then we'd see where we were. Well, an hour turned into 2. And then four. And then twelve. And then... 18.

Yeah. 18 hours. When the streaks were put in, they looked really really weird with my natural hair. So the stylist gave me more to make them blend... and more. And more. And then, before I knew it, I had class to go to-- at 8AM-- and an entire head full of dreds.

It's not done yet-- I had some stuff I needed to get done, so I'm going back on Saturday to get the length reduced and the last extensions dredded. But that stylist, man, she's DEDICATED. Here's what I have so far:

Is it wrong that I... actually... kinda like it?

In any case, I'm going back to get them trimmed so that they blend with my natural hair length a little better-- so, I'll have chin-length dreds. People may make fun of me for having this kind of hair (i.e., not mine), but whatevs. I'm just happy to be having fun with my hair again! Oh, and this kind of locking doesn't destroy your hair, so I get to keep growing it out!

I'll post more pics when it's done, and of course, there'll be pics of the party.

Now my biggest issue is, How in the hell am I supposed to catch up on all this work after losing 18 hours to this, and another whole day to sleeping? That's the rough part-- I hadn't planned on spending two whole days on my hair. Well, stuff won't get done with me sitting here blogging...


Two Days. TWO. DAYS.

So we had originally scheduled the party for Friday, but it's Saturday now-- which gives me more time to prepare. I already have my dress, of course, and my hair's got some WILD stuff going on. Wait til you see!

It's funny-- ending TME is all I've been thinking about for the last two weeks, but I apparently still suck at planning. I gotta get my clothes and makeup back from Noel still... on the other hand, I spent part of yesterday with a face mask on (like, the clay stuff) and tweezing my eyebrows.

I feel like a big release is on the way. I feel like I really have been waiting for this for nine months.


I Was Struck Dumb By Something Today:

I have to make a hair appointment if I want to reveal a decent haircut when I'm done with this.


Not sure how I feel about that. Hm.


Ten days. Ten days. ZMGZ, ten days.

So it's been forever since I posted; this has to do with my recent lovestruckness, and classes having started on 8/8 for me.

More than that, though, it's really just that I'm used to this now, and don't have much more to say-- except that I'm looking forward to it being over. Not just because I miss exposing my hair and arms and stuff, but because in my case, dressing modestly has become a real pain in the butt. Used to be, I just spritzed my hair with water, blow-dried it, and was done (this was when I had short hair, of course). NOW, I gotta find a hat/ scarf that matches (woe is ME!); plus, it's friggin hot down here, and when classes started I began having to walk to and from the bus/ class/ etc., and when you're dragging a backpack with you... it gets gross. Just sayin.

Also, in ATL heat, not being able to wear tank tops while covering my head... man. Not being able to wear tank tops, period, in ATL heat... miserable. Utterly miserable. I keep wanting to slip on a sundress, but noooooo. I had to be all counter-cultural! Pbbbbbt.

So once again, I seem to be finding that dressing modestly, while simpler sometimes, is in some ways more of a pain in the butt than dressing "normally." You still feel the need to match, and you still feel self-conscious when your hair pokes out from under your headscarf.

In ten days, though, I'm having a Labyrinth-themed masquerade to celebrate my finishing this thing out. I'm SO EXCITED, both about the party and being able to go back to dressing "normally," that it actually keeps me up at night. Wheeeee!