Yes, I have decided to take the plunge. No, not the Polar Bear one. I’m going gray. Or, more eloquently, silver. My hair started turning gray in my 20s, a strand here, a strand there. Not too scary. Then, in my 30s, I began dyeing my hair to cover those gray strands, which had started reproducing at an alarming rate. And now, at age 47, I have no idea what my hair color is, nor do my children. I told my youngest son I was going to go gray and he asked why…he didn’t see any gray. So I had him come closer, and I pulled back my bangs to reveal my white roots. His response? “Oh wow. I didn’t realize there was so much.”
Oh, the honesty of youth.
I’m not sure what made me change my mind about going gray. Last year I would have said I’m going to fight aging with every weapon at my disposal. But a week ago, I did an abrupt about face. Maybe it was seeing a picture of my younger sister, who has already transitioned. She looks good. Maybe it was coming across a photo of model, Cindy Joseph, sporting her fabulous silver mane. Maybe it was my crunchy straw hair and split ends and the realization that my roots already really showed and not even a month had passed since my last coloring. Probably it was all that stuff coming together, like a perfect storm.
I must admit I’m a little nervous about the whole process, but also strangely giddy. Perhaps I’m bored and want a change. Why not? I am 47 after all and should be allowed a mid-life crisis. Though I’m kind of heading in the wrong direction, aren’t I? Which sounds like me. But I needed to try something different, and this is what I chose. I still have kids at home, so it’s not like I can go backpacking in the Himalayas. They don’t have soccer and basketball in the Himalayas (as far as I know), and I won’t take that away from them. So here’s a safe way to take a ‘risk.’
Admittedly, I’m worried that instead of looking fabulous and sophisticated, I’m just going to look old. Looking young has always kind of been my thing, all the way back to a time when I didn’t want to look young. It felt like a curse then; it feels like a blessing now. This fall I had people tell me I look too young to have a kid in college. I loved hearing that! I absolutely ate it up, because seriously, who wants to look old? Other than maybe a wizard, probably nobody. But…still. I also don’t want to care anymore about white roots showing, or what people would think, or about everything else that goes along with dyeing your hair. I just want to be, and I want to see what happens. I’m curious, and it feels nice to be nearing fifty and still curious. I guess I’m just feeling bolder and more empowered in my life these days. My writing has taken on a new, adult edge, and maybe I figured it was time I followed that change.
All this being said, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. Because in the end, this is about being comfortable with myself. And if gray hair makes me feel frumpy and old and tired looking, it’s gone. I’m just hoping I’m like the women I’ve seen on the internet who look great. I want to be a silver fox, too. So high-ho silver, here I go…