I have some feelings about gray hair
UPDATE: I got my hair done!
I feel like I should tell you that I have decided to grow my hair out.
And by “grow my hair out” I mean the gray parts, which apparently are at 50%.
50 freaking % of my hair is gray.
I know, you think I’m crazy. I think I’m crazy too.
But I do have a reason and it all began last week in Portland.
My literary agent’s wife was going to be picking me up from the airport, and you know how you have a picture in your mind about how someone is going to look? Well I pictured her as a blonde. I don’t know why, I just did. So when she picked me up I noticed that she wasn’t a blonde, but rather a gray; her hair was ALL gray. And you know what my first thought was? “Why?! Why does she have gray hair? Doesn’t know about hair salons? She’s beautiful, why has she let herself go?”
Yep, those were my first thoughts. I know, gross. But that’s what they were.
Now, you know how when something is not what you seemed and then you have some thoughts and then you become obsessed and neurotic with said thoughts and become obnoxious to other people about them? Yea, that was me with her and the gray hair situation. I couldn’t get it off my mind. And, because I obviously can’t help myself, I asked her about her gray hair. I asked her when she grew it out and why. She told me she grew her out when she was 45, and she said it like it was no thing, like gray hair was normal. Which we all know IS NOT NORMAL unless you’re 60 or 80. Everyone dyes their hair, and by everyone of course I mean women because men don’t seem to have to/want to. Whatever. Anyway, back to this beautiful woman with gray hair who was totally confident, and obviously totally crazy.
But she wasn’t. She wasn’t crazy.
And I couldn’t stop thinking about gray hair and why my immediate thoughts about gray hair were always mixed with “letting yourself go” and “old” and “I’m not going down like that.” I was so judgy about women who had gray hair. I mean, I’m paying nearly $120 every two-three months to take care of business because of the 50% situation.
I started talking to her more about her gray hair, and I’m pretty certain I got quite annoying because at one point, while we were cutting vegetables, I said, “I’m making a much bigger deal about this than it is, aren’t I?” And she just said, “Yes.”
I was making a big deal out of gray hair. Why? I asked God, and of course, when you ask God about a thing He may answer the thing in a way you weren’t prepared for. And that’s just what a happened as I was standing and taking in the worship music on a Sunday morning in Portland.
You are afraid.
You are afraid if you have gray hair you won’t be desired anymore.
You won’t be taken seriously.
No one will want to work with you.
You will be embarrassed.
You will look old and like you let yourself go.
At the heart of it all, you’re afraid of not being wanted.
But the thing is, you already are.
And there it was, fear of not being wanted and the truth that I already am.
In that moment of realization I also felt an intimate voice in my spirit letting me know there was freedom either way, freedom to dye my hair or let it grow out. But perhaps, if I let it grow out, I might find a deeper identity in Christ instead of in how I looked and how deeply I listened to and relied on my fears.
I’ve decided on door number two.
I’m going for it.
Now, you should know that I’m still going to pluck my chin hairs, and I still want to look nice, and wear makeup, and maybe even put on some false eye lashes sometimes. But my hair? It will be 50% gray. So if you see me in person, just know I won’t look like my pictures online. The lovely blondish-brown will be gone. But hopefully you’ll see something that wasn’t there before. Perhaps you’ll see a woman a little freer in who she is in Christ, confident in His love for her and that being wanted by Him is, truly, enough.
With love and a root line, Sarah Mae
A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.