Wednesday, April 08, 2015

My Authentic Self

Sometimes I really surprise myself.  I don’t know how this all happened, in the realm of two days..but it has happened and I like it. I feel liberated...from myself?

I have been coloring my hair for 25  years. I first began with foil highlights added in to my strawberry blonde hair. The darker blonde would grow in and back to my colorist I would run.  After a few pregnancies my hair grew in darker. I’ve gone brunette, blonde, red…all colors of the rainbow. The past 10 years I’ve been coloring and foiling to keep up with the gray. Or the darks. I'm not sure what color my hair is any more.  I hadn’t even thought of the alternative: my authentic self.  My gray self.

I’ve heard others say “I’m not ready to be old” and I’ve just nodded my head in agreement. Gray and old are no longer synonymous in my world. One might begin to gray at 25, or 45 or 65. Age is how I live. Not how I look. Age is how I feel. Now how I look.

I have a couple of fantastic  friends who sport their gray beautifully.  I’ve always looked at them with longing as I wished I could do the same but that's where my thought would end. I’d then make the call for an appointment and I’d go to my stylist.   $150 every 6-8 weeks for color, foil, cut, style, wax and tip.

As I was driving into work yesterday I saw the grays and darks coming through my roots and thought to myself that  my last appointment was February 15, it’s about time to call for an appointment-I came into work and thought about my hair. Why do I continue to color it? Why do I continue to change who I am. I haven’t had botox-my skin is who I am. I haven’t had liposuction. My body is who I am. I realized I no longer wanted to color my hair. I want to be my authentic self.

My authentic self.

That’s who I want to be. Who I am. Gray hair and all.

During the course of one day I realized I no longer want those chemicals placed upon my head. My hair is dry and processed. My head itches. I live a pretty healthy life. I consume a plant based diet, we grow food in our garden, I move my body daily, I do what I can to battle the genes I was dealt. Why would I continue to place chemicals upon my scalp? It was the normal.

I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that what I look like is more important than who I am.

No longer.  Granted, I’m only 7 weeks from my last foil. I’m only 2 days into this way of thinking. I’m thinking of beautiful Nancy, Karen, Simona, Bonnie, Denise, Twyla and Lynette, with their beautiful silver hair. They are their authentic selves.

Women with gray hair strike me as being high priestesses of sorts. They are  beyond societal beauty norms so much so that they've created their own niche where they are alluring without the battle of aging. We  are beautiful as gray or blonde or brown. 

These  women are also beautiful because they aren't slaves to narcissism. They have the moxie to take their vanity in moderation, which gives them an air of wisdom and strength.

Gray. Silver. Authentic. Me. I’m going with it. 

Are you rockin' your gray? Are you coloring?

I'll keep you posted. I'll let you know if I continue to feel this way.  Who knows? I could change my mind.

For now, it feels right.


René said...

Admirable. Embrace it and go with it!

Julie B said...

Thanks Rene!

Sonya said...

I wish hair was all gray not just around my face and I would go gray too. One of these days!

Julie B said...

Sonja, I feel liberated already and it's only been a short while. I'm loving it.

Sue said...

I'm rocking the gray Julie. Never dyed, colored or foiled my hair. It is what it is. I think your gray will look awesome!

Julie B said...

Thanks Sue! Yours does, too!!

Twyla said...

Thanks for the kind words Julie! Made my day. I started going gray in my early 30s. Think of the $$ I've saved😄

Olga said...

I stopped highlighting 2 years ago, and now everything finally grew out. My hair for sure is MUCH healthier. The rest I don't care about, looks and all. :)

Julie B said...

Yes, Twyla! I thought of you often as I had been thinking of going gray. Yay! Right On, Olga!

Wendi said...

Love it!