Going Gray

We are all on a journey. Life is the journey, there are many processes, chapters, books, experiences, etc on life’s journey. We fail, learn, and grow. We succeed, get better, and reach milestones. We often find that our environment is not conducive to where we are on the journey, or maybe we are not personally synced for where we are. This is a story of such a thing, being out of sync to finding balance.

Hi, my name is Erin and I am 44. My hair has been going gray for sometime. Technically, I am silvering, but that is really just code for gray. At first, I was bothered by this, I am too young to be old, to look old, to be showing my wisdom. You could say that I am fighting aging through coloring my hair, that is accurate, that is fair, but it isn’t the whole picture.

I have been in an environment for a while with younger people, and while I see where they are on their journey, as I have been there too, they didn’t see where I was, and it affected me. Now, it didn’t bother me in the sense that they didn’t get me, how could they, they have yet to have my experience and knowledge. But it bothered me in the sense that their concerns and interests didn’t really jive with my own, we are not truly in alignment. I didn’t fault them, but I had observed that they treated me differently, as irrelevant, sometimes even with pity.

I started to think there was something wrong with me, that I was a washed up, pathetic has been, or maybe never was. Maybe by coloring my hair, I was trying to remain young, hip, and contemporary to fit in. And so I decided to stop coloring my hair and go gray. If my inside was to match my outside, I was going to embrace the wisdom earned and show these people what I was about.

I consulted with my hair stylist, told her my plan and she told me how we would achieve my desired results, slowly over time. I was excited, unsure at points and ready to show the wisdom I had obtained over the years, one silver hair at a time. I am relevant, I am wise.

For several months I let my natural hair color grow out, waiting to see all these glorious silver hairs to present themselves, a showing to all around me that I know myself, I know my worth, I know my capabilities and I am not who you want me to be, I’ll be whoever the hell I want to be. I’ll be ME.

And then nada. Those 20 silver hairs on each temple, and the 50 random silvery gray hairs on my crown showed me that while my natural hair color is slowly fading, I really didn’t have a plethora of gray/silver hair like I had anticipated. Wow, now what? How does this align me with my plan?

Did that mean I wasn’t wise? No. Did that mean I was irrelevant? No. Did that mean that I was a had been or never was? HELL NO. What that meant was that I was in the wrong place around the wrong people. Once I admitted that to myself, I also thought, well yeah, but you have known that for a while, you just wouldn’t admit it.

This was never really about my hair. This wasn’t about not knowing myself or being affected by others, and their possible opinions of me. This was about me having much to offer this world and not doing it. I am not doing what I want and need to do, and it took me going gray to not only admit it, but to do something about it. It is all part of the process, on the journey. The problem is/was my visibility. I did not want to be seen. We’ll talk about that later though.

Oh, and yes, I will be going back to coloring my hair soon. ~Erin

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