At long last, I’m back to blogging after a short break. I moved platforms and providers for my blog so things should be working better now. Ok, let’s get off the train to snooze-ville and get to the matter at hand.
Let me start out with a story which is the reason for this post. A couple of weeks ago, I went to drop of a donation of children’s clothes down the street at a resource center for pregnant women. While I was standing in the lobby with the baby in the baby carrier on my chest and my little guy in his stroller, another “older” woman brought in a bag of donations. We started chatting, and she asked me if these were my grandkids. I responded no, they were mine, and continued to think about her comment the rest of the afternoon. I assumed my hair and the fact that I was wearing my glasses made her ask the question (maybe not, who knows), and so I started thinking “Where is the joy in going grey?”
I had the beginnings of grey hair when I was in 8th grade. I remember picking my sister up at school, being in the school-yard and plucking one out. There weren’t a lot, just a couple here and there, but they continued to sprout as time went on. Fortunately, I didn’t feel the need to start dying it until my 20s. At first, I didn’t have to dye it that often, but as time went on, it became a monthly chore (and I really could have done it more often)… slopping the smelly chemicals on my head, waiting for the color to sink in.
Then I got pregnant with my first baby. I asked the doctor about dying my hair and she said I could after the first trimester. Something in me clicked… I didn’t want to voluntarily expose him to any possible toxins regardless of how “safe” it was after the first 3 months. So that’s when I officially let myself start to “go grey.” There are lots of pictures of me and him, me with crazy hair, half salt and pepper and half brown. I couldn’t wait for it to grow long enough to cut off the brown.
The day finally came and I chopped it off. That was the last day I had brown hair, I haven’t gone back since.
Some days, it’s hard to accept looking at myself in the mirror and seeing all this white hair (my hair doesn’t really grey, it goes straight to white) with a splattering of black here and there. I know that might sound vain, but it’s not really the hair that’s the issue, it’s more what it represents. Getting older…it’s weird too because I’ve had grey hair for a large part of my life, but maybe just not this much.
Aside from the growing older thing, there’s a transition that happened when I let my hair grow out. I transitioned from this “young” person with no one to take care of but myself into a mom. Someone who had other people depending on her. It definitely is a huge change, there’s a seriousness to life now, that there wasn’t before. I don’t mean this in a bad way, I just mean that with these little people depending on me, I have to be responsible, there’s no other choice.
So where is the joy in all this grey? Well, first of all, I don’t have to dye my hair anymore, which is really more than enough reason to celebrate, but there are other reasons. My hair is super soft and shiny! I never was able to get my hair like that when I dyed it. Generally speaking, people are really kind and I’ve gotten my fair share of compliments on my hair, which is lovely.
More important than any of these reasons, however, is the ability to accept myself as I am right now. I can look at myself in the mirror and proudly say – I have accepted, and will continue to accept – what most people in the world avoid – allowing themselves to be who they really are- grey hair and all.