Becoming odd.


I’ve recently celebrated a birthday and in the weeks preceding have been contemplating the effects of aging, the my perceptions about appearance, and my relationship with all of this.

Let’s start with my hair. In my 30’s I changed my hair color as an expression — exploring different colors by whim. This morphed, mostly by accident, into an exercise in covering up the gray. It became less about expression and more about requirement. So that I wouldn’t reveal the age I was accumulating. As I observe my peers, women in mid-life, I’m beginning to realize that natural hair color is a bit of an oddity.

I’ve decided to become odd.

I made the decision to grow out my natural color. It’s taking some time, and I still have no idea how it’s going to look when fully evidenced. (I feel a little scared.) Despite this uncomfortability I’m certain I’d rather live with who I am than be shackled to my assumptions about people’s perceptions — that may or may not equate “gray” with “bad”.

Then there is the subject shame of wrinkles. I have them. It may be a popular choice to fill, plump, or in the very least aggressively hide them but I feel a genuine fondness for my wrinkles. Despite my inner-conflict of (once again) the opinion of others (whoever they are) society (whatever that means) and me (at least that part of me that is cruel and judgmental). I prefer not to banish them.

So, why not be odd? Oddly loving. Oddly accepting. Oddly happy with who I am, and oddly at peace with my appearance.

I’ll oddly see every gray hair as evidence. Of challenges weathered and sometimes won. Of learning and stretching beyond my comfort zone. Every wrinkle a testimony. Of surprise, curiosity, interest, or smiling really really big…about becoming odd.

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One Response to Becoming odd.

  1. Hi Kerry,
    I can truly relate to the word, “Odd”. I think I have colored my hair 5 times my entire life. Just for the heck of it. My cousin was a hair dresser, so why not, I thought. got a lot of compliments on it, a few wow your a red head now with a buzz cut. Well, yea, long hair riding a motorcycle it’s gets all messy when you take your helmet off.

    A few years back I decided to let it grow and grow. My gray was getting grayer and longer and I liked it. I truly liked it. Some people would say to me “are you going to dye your hair and cover the gray? You’ll look so much younger”. I like the way I look and I want to be me, who I am still discovering on a daily basis.

    Oddly enough last month my cousin put a light purple rinse in my hair on the top and little on the sides and I liked it. I did it for me not for anyone or for what society feels or thinks. The compliments from young and old were wonderful. Made me smile, laugh, and how special I really was/am. Just that little tint. I think i needed to hear that which boosted my confidence, which at times, seems to be misplaced in my head somewhere. I love my salt and pepper hair with a hint of purple that is beginning to wash out. I like letting it grow, longer and longer as I haven’t had long hair for many a year.
    Oddly enough I feel very unique, too:)

    You talk about wrinkles: Well, I got lots of those and I have earned every one of them. I kinda cover them up with wearing loose clothing, a part of me is occasionally embarrassed about them. but their my wrinkles and I own them and loving them as best as I can. Me now exercising is helping them to leave. I hope I don’t turn around and find them. LOL
    “I’m a gray haired woman, and I’m coming into my years, I’m a weathered woman and I’m coming into my years…..”
    Oddly enough I am happy with all that I AM. And there is a lot more to come….

    I admire you Kerry, I respect you Kerry and how you put yourself out there for all to read, hear and see. I am very blessed to call you my Odd friend. Oddly enough.