Lockless Lady I Am

I cut my hair again today. It hurt my feelings for about five minutes. I love my natural hair texture now, so I hate having to cut it all the way down and almost start all over again. I think I left an inch on there. It's the height that Whitney Houston's hair was when she released her first album. 

Why'd Timiarah Camburn Cut Her Hair?

No, I'm not a feminist, and I don't have "a secret to tell you" about my orientation. I lose a lot of hair in the crown area, so it always ends up being severely uneven. This has been going on for many years. I don't think I'll be able to have the hairstyle I want (high afro) because I don't think the problem is going to go away. However, I do think that I can learn to rock a short style eventually. 

Enter: Random High School Memory

I remember this girl in high school named J. I think her hair caught on fire just like Micheal Jackson's did in the 1984 Pepsi commercial.

I could be wrong, though.  She could have had a cancer, or she may have just botched a haircut. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I do remember that the situation forced her to wear short hair. The students in my school tortured that poor girl. They laughed at her and said all types of rude things to make her cry. One of the kids who made fun of her was the same one that said the N-word to a pedestrian as they were giving me a ride home from school. 


The car got real quiet. P looked at me and said..."You know what I mean," as if there was an alternate way for me to take P calling one of my people a n***er. I know exactly what P meant. P meant the same thing that every other white person means when they use that word. 


That was one of the most insightful times of my life. It was a time when I first learned that some of my "best friends" and fellow academically talented students didn't really like people of color. We just happened to be integrated and such, but when it came down to it, they made fun of us and called us names. 

Anyway, J ended up buying a wig because she couldn't take the torture. Guess what? They made fun of her for that too. See, if you're a black woman in America, you're condemned by this society if you wear your natural hair, and you're condemned by this society if you wear weaves, perms, wigs, and so forth. You just can't win here, so you know what you have to do? You have to do what makes you happy, and do what makes you feel good about your culture. 

I used to hate my natural hair because of the way people treated me in school. Now, I wish I could grow a full-out afro like I used to be able to do when I was younger. Life is too short for all that nonsense. Forget the haters. Girl, get your afro on!

As for me, I'm about to watch some videos to learn how to shape up the back properly. The local barbers will probably be irritated just like the local mechanics are, but a girl with limited financial resources must be handy and studious. I have to do it myself. If I ever come across a large sum of money, maybe I'll pamper myself with a suite of beauty salon services. At this time, I have do everything by myself. 

Heinous Tests

I finally passed the proofreading test at one place I work. Wow, and it only took me seven years. I had been trying to pass the test so long that I had gotten used to the fail screen. They have stringent requirements. They want a 90% score rather than the usual 80%. I'd have passed a long time ago on the 80% requirement, but the 90 was tough. 

You have to know English grammar and AP style to pass the test. I was never a fan of AP style even though it's the chosen style of all modern journalism platforms. Parts of it peeve me, like the forced Oxford comma omission. Aside from that, I don't like chopping my work. I'm a wordy speaker, and that usually flows into my writing. I'm a fan of "archaic" terms, and many of today's editors are not. 

Seven years is still a super-long time to fail a test. In my defense, I will say that the test is heinousMany people complain about its complexity and trickiness. I think none of them took as long as I did to pass it, though. I took grammar refresher courses. I will get an AP stylebook soon. I had a 2016 version, but they change the darn thing every year. 

Oh, and I'm still not a "professional" writer by their standards. Passing the proofreading test is just one part of the process of leveling up. I have to show that I can post consistently flawless work, too. I think the low pay is the reason it's so difficult to do in the content marketing business. That's an honest statement, and it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the opportunities I've had. The pay is super-low, and many people don't have the will or patience to stay because it takes a lot of work to make a regular paycheck. It's hard if you're not at top level.

Lower-level writers probably post flawed material because they try to compensate for the low pay with speed and churn. Personally, I spend far more time on projects that pay well than I do on nickel-and-dime items. It makes sense, right? I have no problem spending a few hours on something that pays $50. I will not have that same passion and undying dedication for something that pays $5. I think no one would. So, decent writers appear to be horrible writers because they type too fast and don't edit enough. They're trying to make a living in an industry that's not exactly writer-friendly. 

Here's a little something from the irrelevancy box: I think I will scream the next time someone asks me why I moved here and if I have "family" here. I think I will really scream. I shouldn't have to explain my choice to live somewhere where I don't have "family." It's a free country, or at least it's supposed to be. Secondly, not everyone has a close-knit family, so not everyone wants to live where they grew up or whatever. 

Aside from that, I have already been living here for three years if I round it off. I didn't just get here yesterday. Haven't I told this story already? Haven't I answered, "Where are you from?" 100 times already? NO, I'm not from here. NO, I don't have family here. NO, I was not born here. NO, I don't have a husband, boyfriend, mate, lover, friend, or anything else. NO, I don't have a desire to go back to where my parents raised me. 

Can we please talk about where I'm at instead of where I was? Can we talk about who I am now instead of who I used to be? Better yet, let's talk about the future. One day, the future will be bright, and it will eliminate all the ugliness that exists in the world.

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