Maybe I Can: Dutch Braids And A New Mantra

Moments of clarity can strike you in the most unexpected or unremarkable moments. For me, that moment involved a pair of double Dutch braids.

All through high school and primary school I didn't know how to braid. In primary school I didn't care about this fact and in high school I came to the conclusion I just didn't have the skills for it. I decided it was too difficult, something beyond my own capability. But the truth is I never tried to learn properly, I only attempted to figure it out on my own and when that failed I accepted it wasn't meant to be.

Fast forward a couple of years and I finally asked one of the hair stylists at my local salon to teach me how. And I proved my teenage self wrong. Sure, I was all thumbs at first and my braids weren't perfect, beautiful creations, but I learned regardless. I was successful. I followed up this success by placing new limitations on my abilities. Yes, I told myself. You can style a simple braid, but that's it. And so I concluded that anything more complicated was simply beyond my capability.

Jump forward to the Easter weekend, 2017. My sisters and I were on a mini road trip to our childhood home when my big sis asks me if I can do boxer braids. At first I didn't know what she was talking about. What are boxer braids? It turns out she was referencing Million Dollar Baby (I've never seen it. Neither has my twin–but she still got the reference straight away. I swear those two have their own separate wavelength for all things concerning spirituality and home decorating). Once I understood what she meant I told her I couldn't.

But, using my big sister as my model, I ended up giving it a try anyway. I'm not sure why. Maybe my subconsciousness had decided it was time. Or maybe it was just one of my whims (I get those sometimes e.g. deciding to run a marathon. I still haven't checked that one off the bucket list). My first attempt didn't get beyond dividing her hair into two sections. I had no idea how to proceed. Cue the YouTube search. I flicked through the Carli Bybel tutorial (a good one if want to learn how to do double Dutch braids) and then tried again. And it worked out. It wasn't great, but it was a start. My next try was much better.

Since then I've tried out a few different Dutch braid styles on my twin (sisters come in very useful when you're learning to braid–and you don't have to put in any effort to convince them. At all). Each new braid looks better than the last.

I'd like to think I'm a pretty positive person, but I know I have a habit of seeing particular skills and situations as something I can or I can't do, ignoring the middle ground. But I had an epiphany after my little Easter accomplishment (and maybe influenced a little bit by The Artist's Way) and I've decided to adopted a new mantra, maybe I can. I just have to try.

Until next time,
Miss Fif