I’ve been so busy with the little calamities happening to my family, that all trivial things are sort of taking a backseat, or getting postponed indefinitely. Most of those trivial things are things for myself like working out, shaving my legs, going to the dentist. Not enough time, not enough energy, too many appointments for the kids to have appointments for myself. I mean, I have to try and work around all the therapy appointments, homework, and chaos that has become our every day.
Two weeks ago, I had the appointment set for my cut & color and I was looking forward to having my hair played with for two hours and coming out smelling like an Aveda shower and looking if not like a model, then at least in a slight more-together me. But my son was sick, again, so it was yet another canceled appointment. And because of the holidays, I can’t get into the salon for another month.
There is so much gray in my hair. So. Much. And I’m tempted…I’m so tempted to just let it happen. I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was sixteen and have been every color of the hair-rainbow. At least until the modern hair-rainbow of blues and greens. But I’ve been black, platinum, brunette, blonde, auburn, and sometimes purple. That was a mistake, that purple, and resulted in a lot of tears and an immediate return to the pharmacy for Ash Blonde and a bottle of Absolut.
I’ve been dyeing my hair so long that I don’t even know what color it is anymore. And frankly, in all that dyeing, I don’t even know who I am anymore. But now I have a hint. I’m in my forties, and I’m probably forty-to-fifty percent gray. Not just gray, but bright silver. Threads and threads of it.
What stops me from just letting it happen? I don’t know, exactly. I’m afraid. It seems like such a little thing, but it’s a big thing too. If I let it go gray, then I’ll look older. Will it stop me from getting cast in romance novels if I look middle-aged? If I go gray (or silver), will I suddenly stop being attractive? Will people judge me for ‘letting myself go’?
These seem like really trivial questions or concerns in light of the world. And they are. But they’re also tied somehow to my identity. My sense of self. Which….right now…I’ve got to tell you…is as fragile as a butterfly’s wing.
I’m holding on. I’m keeping strong. I’m taking care of my kids and we’re figuring things out. And maybe if to do that, I need to ‘let myself go’ a little bit, maybe that’s okay too.
There will be time, sometime soon, for that pampering. That long shower. That new outfit. That luscious dinner out without having to rush home.
Just not right now.
So maybe the choice has already been made. At least for another month, gray it is. Although, actually, maybe I’ll just call it silver. The words that you use can sometimes shape your perception, and silver sounds a tiny bit magical.