Let's just be real. Can we do that? Can I get real with you? Because it's about to get real.
When I was 18, I discovered my first gray hair. I thought, "Interesting," and plucked it away. A few years passed, and I would see a few more near the same spot. They were near where I part my hair, thus very hard to hide. So I kept plucking. And they kept multiplying. And so the area began to thin. So I decided to put. the. tweezers. down. sloooowwwly. I tried swooping it to the other, non-gray side with a new part. But, it just didn't feel right. So... I had to break out the hair dye.
Houston, Houston, there is a problem.
I didn't want people to know I was graying early, and so I had to hide it as much as possible. By this time, I was happily married. Early on in our marriage, my sweet and honest husband (he like, never lies. He's one of those rule followers.... I'm like a rule bender, sometimes. Not really, just like with things that I think don't matter. Like, speeding, sometimes, doesn't matter. When you're late that is... those kind of rules. I just believe in a lot of grace. Wait, who changed the subject? Let's just say, Lucas and I balance each other out. Aargh) All that to say, my husband is being honest when he tells me things I don't really want to hear. Things like, "I don't like your dyed hair, I love your natural hair color." I know, sweet right? Well, it gets more annoying. He goes even further in his truthfulness with statements like, "I love your gray hair." Wait, what? Hold up. I could almost handle the natural hair color despite my box dreams of blonde highlights, luxurious reds, or chestnut brunets and then you go all crazy on me. Gray?!?! Yikes! (insert scary, horror film, high pitched lady screaming here)...
You see, early on in our marriage he told me about a high school crush he had on a friend's mom. She was very gray in her early 40s. (No... I'm not 40, yet.) And then what happens? God blesses him with a wife who dawns gray hair at an "early" age. Well, relatively early. I'm pretty sure a lot of sisters out there are grabbing those boxes or spending the big bucks at salons for more than just pretty highlights.
So here is the struggle I have had this time of our matrimony. Having the hair my husband truly wants or having the hair color I think I wants It was such a sensitive-ish topic, we had to stop talking about it for a while. I would just "secretly" dye my hair and convince myself he didn't know the difference. Now, before you get all woman empowerment on me saying, "Do what you want to do, girl," hear my heart. I want to please him. I want him to enjoy my hair, and I want to feel like I am pretty... for him. Him alone.
Recently, this summer, I made peace with a lot of my past and jumped over some roadblocks and pushed some things out of my way that have been there for a while. I experienced kind of like a renewal of sorts. And it set me free. It set me free of the worry I have been battling for years, insecurities, etc, and gave me a little more bravery. I had already let my roots grow out (it was the summer y'all), so those grays were saying, "Hello world! We're hanging out on this 35 year old's head!" So, when it came time to get ready to go back to work, I wondered if I should dye my hair. I bought the hair dye, I was planning to dye it... I just didn't. I asked my friends what I should do. A few said to keep it proudly and do what I want to do, and 1 or 2 said to dye it.
A sweet friend in church was already ahead of me and has let her gray streak shine. She's probably 1-2 years younger than me. And she looks beautiful. Even seeing her gave me a little more confidence to do what deep inside I knew I should do, but had been afraid to do for several years. To do what I finally had the confidence to do and take the leap, which took some honesty on my part. Because it meant I would continue to be reflective of myself and step into the freedom this renewal meant for me, which meant stepping away from some old thinking. It's one thing to get refreshed in life, etc, but it's another thing to truly walk in that new found freedom.
I have had all this crud thinking from the past that has told me that I NEED to dye my hair, and that I SHOULDN'T let it grow out. I have had the woman empowerment thinking of making myself happy and doing what I want to do. But here's the problem. The past thinking of what I need to do and should or shouldn't do was based on society's norms: the fashion industry, what is or isn't acceptable according to Hollywood, etc. Therefore... the woman empowerment thinking was conflicting for me. I wanted to please my husband, but I am insecure in myself. I am basing my own thoughts, cares, feelings and worries on how I fear the women around me think and see me, therefore building the sense of security of myself on a lie. I would only be happy if I knew or thought I knew that they liked my hair color because it wasn't grey. And I love the women around me, but more than anything, I love and value my husband's opinion.
It is with bravery that I proclaim this to the world... (you know, because the whole world is reading this blog post, right?) that I am choosing gray for now. And I'm choosing to lose my insecure thoughts about women's eyes darting from my roots of gray back to my own eyes, and I choose to embrace who I am today, gray and all, in this small moment of time.
And Lucas, if you read this, yes, yes, I know... you told me all of this a while ago. You were right. I know. I just wasn't ready for it yet. <3 you. Thank you for your patience. Lol. And thank you for giving me the courage, time and time again, to be who I am. Thank you for loving me.
Fitting with the theme of this post, lemme just share a few photos. That streak right there, is the infamous gray hair, so infamous it got a whole blog dedicated to it. And it feels good. :-)
In all it's glory...