I am currently writing a blog about aging, and as always the universe is right there, perfectly synchronized with my lessons.
Today I went to town and a man, whom I know as only a passing acquaintance, commented to me, "Wow, going grey already, old girl".
I instinctively laughed. I have learnt that I mostly do this as a standard defence mechanism when shocked or uncomfortable. It is a learnt childhood response to deflect attention.
Ironically, I was actually in town to grocery shop and buy hair dye. (Yes, I am a repeat offender on the home dye job).
What struck me on the drive home was that I realised I also instinctively laughed because I felt embarrassed. Why should I feel embarrassed? The man conceivably held no embarrassment for commenting on my appearance.
Was I embarrassed because I felt shamed for not maintaining my appearance? My instincts failed me and I felt I handled the situation poorly. On reflection I felt dissapointed in myself. I am sure I am not the only one to struggle with this instinctive boundary setting.
I would like to have my time again, this time not to laugh, but instead to have some witty comeback.
Like all of us, I replayed the event for a good while and practiced what I should have said. That was until I realised the 'Prince of Lies' (my head voice) had brought this man along for the drive and I was wasting my time feeding banannas to my monkey mind.
So instead I am posting a picture to show I am infact not embarrased. I spent the rest of the drive home questioning why I dye my hair.
I would love to say I decided to go completely grey. That feels like what a strong, modern woman should do. But truth is, I am just not ready. I am just not prepared to be speckled grey yet.
I questioned wether sub-consciously I was bying into what we are told beautiful should be. It was hard for me to admit, but yes I am. Then I got frustrated why as women we are constantly judged at a higher standard?
The end result is tonight I am dying my hair. Not for anyone else, but because it makes me feel better and more confident. I love aging, I love the wisdom and I love the growth in self confidence. I do not yet love the grey.
Perhaps this was my first step towards true acceptance of the aging process. To me true beauty comes from being authentically honest about what makes us feel good and then unquestionably supporting each individual woman's right to decide for herself...x Sare