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.