At the beginning of the year I decided to strip a lot of superficial depthless behavior. I needed to take my own advice about letting things go. This included the constant dying of my hair. Since I was in my early 20’s I have had premature gray. I hid it like if it was something shameful. I covered it up like a dirty secret. As it was growing out I cut my long hair to make the transition quicker. It was a tough few months. I wanted to hide the roots and everything else. I felt exposed. I was constantly second guessing myself. Thank goodness for wonderful friends who supported the process.
Now, after so many months, I get to admire the real color of my hair. I also get to be me. I stopped worrying about what others would think. I earned each gray hair. And, yes, some people did not care for this process. They think I am still too young to “let it all hang out like that.” But, I’ve learned a few things about myself this year: The color of my hair doesn’t determine who I am. It is the colors I carry in my heart.
At 44 years young I am finally happy with the person staring back from the mirror. It was exhausting to be coloring my hair every two weeks because the gray was so prominent. I truly did not want to know who I was behind that mask. That’s the thing about superficial outward appearances: we use them to hide the traumas, low self-esteem, and so many other secrets. Shedding the dark hair also allowed weight to come off. Things started to diminish and fade away in the background. It is funny how letting go of pretenses helps shed the many things we hang on to for security.
So many times we keep upholding a totally different extension of ourselves to fit in society. We want to make others happy by looking a certain way, acting a certain manner, while all along being exhausted from the façade. I am learning to never take myself serious. I am finally loving myself in a way I never imagined.
This is a recent picture of my son, Patrick, and I hiking last month. I also believe that people approach me now with some gentleness. Is it that I look old? I don’t think it’s that. I believe it is the lack of pretentiousness. Oh, who knows! I am finally able to dance in the rain and sing out loud and have little filtering. Life is too short to be battling with what people think. Life is all about loving the journey and yourself in the process!