a gray hair on her head. But I may be one of the few who wells up with tears of
hair. I usually don’t pull them out; this isn’t the first I’ve noticed. But
this one, I decided to.
that have grown back since it all fell out from chemo in late 2012.
had none at all before cancer, and several now. But, even before then, I always
thought of it as a rite of passage. As a crowning achievement, really. You’ve
made it. You are alive to go gray at all. You are passing into the stage of life that
is for richness, boldness, satisfaction, self-esteem and a greater degree of self-assurance.
generations, it’s that so much of our self-questioning begins to fall away once
we reach “a certain age.” We begin to think less about how others see us, and
more to question what we want to leave as a legacy. And this brings with it so
much reflection and truth-finding.
age into that category?
values and your desires for the remainder of your years. Like me, and surely
others, you can do that at most any age. But it helps to have some experience
behind you to make those choices from a place of peace, not fear.
7 or 8 years ago. I noted the title, looked at the flap, and went on with my day.
But I never forgot about it, and last year finally picked it up to read.
What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and
Everything Else That Really Matters. A
woman’s exploration of what that means to “go gray” in our culture and society.
A lifelong hair dyer, she made the decision to give up the illusion, and embrace
whatever lay under the chemicals, for better or worse.
goes “undercover” as a woman trying to reinvent herself to re-enter the
workforce to see if image consultants will tell her to dye her now growing-out
grays (none do); and comes to discover that with her new look comes a new clothing
color scheme, and a new confidence.
grow out. She talks with successful women who do and don’t dye, and let’s them
have their experience. All she can speak to is her own.
silvery and dark chrome strands. Which is much the way I anticipate I will.
instead of stale gray, or as my mom describes her (dyed) fading blond: dirty
admiring this newly-found strand, now plucked and held like a precious object
in my hand, was the reality and giddy reminder I feel every time I find one: I made it. I am alive to have gray hair.
all spidery texture and I’ll lament I ever praised finding them. If I’ll
consider dying it after all. Or if I’ll love every single thread of life these gray hairs represent.
Because, like someone admiring a sunset, or their sleeping child, or the taste
of a food never eaten, it means I’m alive.
Which itself means I have a chance and a choice to make my life whatever I want
it to be.