All my life I’ve wanted to look older or be older: “I’ll tell you when you are older” said my parents to a very young me. In my teens I’d put on a suit and extra eye make-up to try and make it into the liquor store. And in the last decade I’d wear my hair in an up-do while trying to climb the corporate ladder in my family business.
I turned 40 last September and rather than completely dreading it, I was eagerly anticipating it. I’ve been merrily celebrating in a rather unconventional way – letting my grey streak show through. Yes, you heard right. For the last few months I’ve been excitedly working on ‘my little project” of letting a rather large patch of whitish grey hair grow out which has lovingly become known to me as my “Streak of Authenticity”.
Yes, growing old can suck if you let it, but I’m choosing to embrace and celebrate it! The alternative of wishing to not grow any older is both silly and unproductive.
I admit when I first started “my little project” I couldn’t stop sneaking peaks of it in the bathroom mirror. So appalled, and yet intrigued, was I by how much grey I actually had, I eventually developed a rather strange obsession with checking just how much there was and how fast it was growing! Soon I was so entranced by it I just had to show my friends and family.
My husband would roll his eyes as he would see me yet again gleefully flip my part to the other side to show off the grey bounty, much to the shock and horror of my poor friends. Yes it’s true; most of them could not conceal their confusion, concern, and perhaps even repulsion when I’d giddily show them. “Look! Look what I grew!”
I’ve always wondered if the famous philosopher Victor Frankl could find beauty in his concentration camps’ thin gruel, could I find beauty in getting old? I’ve never much cared about the actual number of my birthday, but over the last year I did notice that I started caring about that deep number 11 that formed at the base of my brow, and maybe even the mottled skin and the this and the that. Can I find beauty in all those things?
I confess, I’m having a hard time finding beauty in that cross looking number 11 etched into my eyebrows, however, I do view my white streak of authenticity with love. You gotta start somewhere!