Braiding Bonds

Living in a car and discovering that I was 2 months pregnant was not the most ideal situation, of course. At first, I associated an unexpected pregnancy with failure. I had a, “Woe is me” attitude. I felt disappointed, discouraged and embarrassed. I had thoughts of returning home to what was comfortable and familiar. I was sure that being pregnant was going to hinder all of the plans I set into motion. I generally worked from 8am to 5pm on the week days. By the time I got off from work I was too exhausted to even think.

After a workday, we would post up inside a library and do research about places for rent. Sometimes, I would just stay in the car and kick my feet up. Other times, I journaled. This became a routine for quite some time. The research included rooms for rent. Many of the rooms for rent were a, “no go”, for boarding couples and/or pitbulls.

Sophie, our pitbull boarded with a sitter during the weekdays. This cost us a little over $100 a week to keep up. We came to the conclusion to sell her to the family that was keeping her all of the time anyway. This was hard to do. But it was what was best for Sophie and our budget. As soon as we came across someone who’d consider us for tenants, the company we worked for spiraled into bankruptcy leading us back to where we started. This resulted in us not getting paid for a month. We began to use the money we saved for a place to survive. When we wanted a break from the car, we’d Airbnb or stay at a hotel for a night or so. We were blessed to have memberships at 24hr Fitness gym where we showered regularly. Meanwhile, we were searching for jobs. My guy was willing to work anywhere legit and professional that paid. I was not. This caused friction between us. He was focused on the now and I was thinking about the future. I needed to work somewhere that wouldn’t drain me. I was focused on our baby’s development. Pregnancy hormones were pinging. I wanted a job that required minimal physical and mental stress. I said no to several opportunities. It took me a little longer to begin working again. I finally said yes to another cooperate position. It was on and popping! I was back getting to the money. I was showing. I wore a jacket everyday. No one at my new occupation knew about my pregnancy right away. Neither did I volunteer that information. Since I hadn’t had a haircut in a while, I was looking a little shabby. One night, I entered what I assumed to be a beauty supply store to get some braiding hair...

I had my coat off and the owner seen my little baby bump. She inquired about the person braiding my hair. I told her that I was braiding my hair. She asked me to stop back by after I’ve completed my hair. She also informed me that her store was also an African braiding salon. She asked me if I wanted to work whenever it was convenient for me. I expressed to her how my braiding technique was nowhere near comparable to the African braiding technique. She smiled and in her african dialect she replied, “No worries we are family and we will teach you.” She gave me the biggest hug. I needed it. I went to the gym into the locker room to braid my hair for several hours. I braided my hair in the box braids you see in the picture. I was very exhausted but I wanted the owner to see that I had skills. The following morning, I went in to work sleep deprived. I stayed up all night braiding my way into a new opportunity.