So this is a hot topic in my household. Grey hair. Well, in fact, silver or even white hair. My hubby has been a salt and pepper hunk since he was 18, and no, I did not spur it on when we met – he was well on his way all by himself 🙂
But I on the other hand, have only started to get these pesky wiry hairs since I turned 39. Not even 40! And now I am 41 and they are starting the quick march down from the top of my scalp and advancing quickly!
Now, for the past 2 years I have been dutifully covering up this progress with a lovely glossy black, working hard to emulate the classy 20’s style bob that I have loved since I was a kid but in the past few weeks I have realised something.
I am getting older. Yes, I know, here come all the ‘of course you are, silly!’ comments but what you have to understand is that for all of my adult parenting life people have said I can’t possibly be old enough to have children the ages that my boys are (currently 19 and nearly 17); that I look way to young to even have kids. I love these people. They make me feel like a queen!
But this is what I’ve discovered. I’ve been holding on to my own perception of beauty because the way I present myself provides a very lucrative payoff. I get told I am young looking, attractive, too young to have children etc., and this translates to my heart as ‘you are worthy’, ‘you are validated’, ‘ you are approved of’.
Hm. Well that’s interesting. I only realised that this was the case when I was looking, forlornly into the mirror at my crinkle cut white hairs and wondering why this activity made me feel so anxious. I generally have a pretty good self confidence level. I am loved beyond my wildest dreams and am living a pretty awesome life in a really save country. What else could I want?
Validation is a powerful motivator, so it seems. And perhaps, for whatever reason, I still feel the need to be validated.
So I am making a decision. At least for the moment, until this weird anxiety is beaten, I am not dying my hair. This means I will progress through that awful regrowth stage, as my natural hair colour is an insipid mousy blonde. My hair will be a combination of faded black, mousy and stringy white, for I don’t know how long, but I know in my gut that this needs to happen.
I need to see myself in a real way and I have been slowly working toward this goal for a number of years, one step at a time. Now I’ve realised that I need to be free from this unnatural need for validation and I’ve known this for a long time. I just didn’t put all the pieces together until recently 🙂
What am I grateful for then? Is it the silvery slide flowing down my locks? No. It’s pretty simple.
I am grateful for getting older. For my wrinkles and my little flabby neck bits and my chin hairs (not really, but I’m trying to be honest here!) and my silver friends. For my spare tire that has decided to put down a deposit and stay and my weird little spider veins that remind me that sitting crosslegged is a thing of the past and my feet who refuse to wear cheap heels no matter how cute they may look.
Because I know that as I let go of these notions of beauty, success and approval, I let go of things that actually encumber me. And that means I become freer, lighter, more capable of being a strength to others and less bound by my own sense of need.
If there is any one thing I could share with you today, it would be this:
Live for now but don’t try and carry yesterday with you. It’s too heavy and even though it has some great stuff in it, it’s a bag that’s also got obsolete things in it. It’s like carrying around a bag full of books when you go on a road trip thinking you’ll read them all but you never do. So just leave it behind, look into today and ponder tomorrow. And let the grey/silver/white come along for the ride!
Much love and a few more white hairs,