Maybe she’s born with it (guest post).

This week has brought a few blog-look changes to my neck of the ‘net.  As a result Ive found myself chatting about change with some of my FAVE bloggers.  The next few weeks will bring *their* musings change with all its various meanings, connotations and results.

Please welcome a blogger I adore:  Michelle.

The following is a variation of something that I’ve been saying for well over 20 years now:

I will never ever ever not color my hair. I don’t care if I live as old as my grandma Daisy (95) I will exit this life with the same color hair I had when I was 20. I will never go gray.

I turned 50 years old in February of 2013. Throughout the course of last year, I have become intensely aware of how very far I am from self-acceptance. I’ve lived most of my life removed from myself and have lived my life as a fragmented version of me.

I am the ’me’ who has spent her life waiting for things to be different. Things will be great when I’m married! Things will be even better when I’m divorced! My life will be great when

I’m a smaller size. I’ll finally be happy if I just get those boots.

I am also the ‘me’ who can’t stop being critical. It never mattered whether I was a size 5 or a size 20, the critical voice was equally harsh.

Between the two of them, I’ve spent way too much time waiting and way too much time being unhappy with myself.

It’s dumb and I don’t want to do it anymore.

I want to be exactly who I am. I don’t want to wait. My size makes no difference. I can’t be anyone other than who I am. I need to appreciate how wonderfully bad ass I am now.

I’ve decided to stop coloring my hair.

This might not sound like a huge thing, but it so much is for me. It’s letting go of some vanity that has never brought me peace. It’s accepting the person I am now, without pretense.

I’m also curious how it’s going to look. I’ve definitely got a lot of tinsel colored hair on top, but I think the temples are going to come in white. I’m really hoping for a ‘bride of Frankenstein’ look.

I know that letting my hair grow gray isn’t going to fix my self-acceptance issues.

Man, that would be great if it would though, wouldn’t it? Sacrifice one thing and all of a sudden, you’re having a love affair with yourself? I’d be willing to give up a pinky finger for that.

I’ve been trying to catch myself when I practice negative self-talk and replace it with positive talk. Positive talk feels unnatural. I feel like I’m lying to myself, and I feel ridiculous when

I get to the ‘replace it with positive talk’ part.

Ridiculous or not, I’m still working on it. Positive self-talk is getting easier. I feel just a little bit more comfortable in my own skin.

I’m learning to trust my decisions. When you live with a harsh internal critic, you tend to doubt your decisions.

You know what the difference between an acquaintance who is kind of your friend and a real friend is? An acquaintance will pretend like she doesn’t see the gray. A real friend will say

“You’re REALLY going gray? You weren’t kidding? Because you’re pretty gray. Are you sure you want to do this because you’re only 50 and that is going to make you look older”.

I love that my work friend felt comfortable enough with me to actually say what she thought about my ‘going all natural’ decision. It was good for me to hear her doubts about my decision. I learned something about myself.

Initially, after my friend expressed her views on my changing look, I doubted my decision to stop coloring my hair.

Why am I doing this? I AM going to look really old. This was a terrible idea. I think I need to go back to highlights.

No.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about how I will look with gray hair. Their opinions aren’t my business. I decided to do this. Trusting my decision gives me a feeling of power and peace that is foreign to me.

Besides, if I decide that I really hate the gray, I can go back to coloring my hair.

Another decision I’ve made is I get to make my own rules. I get to decide what I’m comfortable with and I am free to alter myself in ways that makes me feel good about myself.

I’m finding little bits and pieces of me that I like so very much. I’m excited to discover more.

I don’t know that deciding to stop coloring my hair was the push I needed or to change how I see myself. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m finding out who I am and deciding that I am good enough.

I might even find out that I’m awesome.

 

me 300x241 Maybe shes born with it (guest post).

Michelle blogs over at Rubber Shoes in Hell.  She’s running head first into her fifties as fast as she can with her fingers in her ears and going LALALALA the entire way.

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Comments

  1. says

    Carla, thank you so much for inviting me to your wonderful blog!

    It’s strange seeing ‘me’ out of my normal place. It’s kind of like the first time your kid goes off to play with other kids. You never see them as anything less than wonderful…but as soon as they’re around the other people you start worrying if their clothes are too shabby or if they have a dirty face and you get that protective/scared feeling.

    Or is that just me?

  2. says

    You are totally awesome in my eyes…and I LOVE this topic! We’re basically the same age…I turned 50 in November of 2012. And I’ve been coloring my hair for at least 20 years. And I have gray. A few years ago I wrote an article for a local magazine about how going gray can actually make women look *younger* because they’re embracing their natural beauty…of course the hair stylists I interviewed also said that cut and style matter.

    And as someone who has been on the path to self-acceptance for years ago, I’ve wondered about the whole going-gray thing…if I don’t, does that mean I don’t accept myself? I don’t know…but I do know that I am not ready do it.

    But you GO girl!

  3. says

    I’ve embraced my gray, after a half decade of struggling with it. I’ve found two things: 1) I’m not quite AS gray as I thought, and 2) my hair is much healthier for it.

    I’ve also decided to break the over 40 (or is it over 50?) rule and grow it out. The other day my daughter (Cay) let out a big sigh and said “When I get older, I hope my hair gets gray like yours does, in beautiful streaks.” She thinks my hair is beautiful.

    … and I’ve come to think so, too.

    Oh sure, there are times when coloring and going blonde crosses my mind, but I no longer peruse the hair coloring aisle at the drug store or grocery store wistfully, taking in all the color possibilities. There are days I actually part my hair carefully to have the densest pale streak on top over my right ear.

  4. cheryl says

    I have a hair appt. today- cut and lighten. I have been blonde my whole life and am now, at 60 “mousey” and somewhat dull. I get highlights because I like them.
    I love my career as a speech pathologist to preschoolers with disabilities (39 years). I love my marriage. I love that I am 60 and am packed to go swim 2000+ yards this a.m. and am registered for Escaped from Alcatraz this year. I love that I am doing my 118th triathlon in March. I love that I raised a great daughter who is now well on her way to living her dream career. I love that at 60 I have lots more to do.
    My hair color has nothing to do with how I function, feel about myself, my aspirations or goals. It’s jet something I do for myself a couple times a year. Some people get pedicures-I get highlights.

    • says

      118th triathlon?!? Did I read that right? HOLY MOLY woman! You have the right to be bald or have steel spikes embedded in your skull! Whatever makes you feel as bad ass as you are!

      • cheryl says

        yes. but most were sprint distance. Only 6 are 1/2 ironman and 2 ironman distances-but I work full time and raised a daughter and put her thru college singlehandedly-more proud about those accomplishments than any triathlons that’s for sure. I think women gain strength by being financially independent and having a job where you are part of a team and really making a difference in people’s lives. All my “whys” and “wherefores” are answered with my career choice-I know I am doing what I was meant to be doing.

  5. says

    Oh ma gah – this: “Man, that would be great if it would though, wouldn’t it? Sacrifice one thing and all of a sudden, you’re having a love affair with yourself? I’d be willing to give up a pinky finger for that.”

    Me too, sister. Me too.

  6. Kirsten says

    I like the idea of letting hair go gray to see how it looks. Go for it! I may join you in this exercise!

  7. says

    I hope you get a streak of grey like Rogue in the Xmen…that would be cool :)
    I’m doing this after chemo when my hair comes back…I’m curious to see what it is…I can’t really remember my “natural” colour after years of dying it… it used to really bother me, but after being bald, grey doesn’t seem bad at all, lol!
    You know, positive self talk was the best thing I ever started to do for myself. It is amazing how different you can feel in time when you become a supporter of yourself instead of a negative force.

  8. says

    Let the freedom rise from within! I say do what makes you feel better. I have never colored my hair – well not yet and I am 54 but I just might one of these days. It’s shoulder length and my mom thinks it’s too long given “my age” really? I keep it the length “I” think looks best on me.

  9. says

    Love this post so much. It reminds me of when I was younger (30s? 40?) and I went to an all-women’s retreat. We were asked to line up by birthdate (age!). It was interesting, to see the older women, the ones who with graying hair, interspersed with women their same age who had colored their hair. The gray-haired ones seemed not older, but somehow stronger. I vowed then that I would not be the lone 60 or 70 year old coloring her hair, that I would wear the gray with pride. However, I find that (mid 50s) I’m not quite ready YET! ;-)

  10. says

    Once again, Michelle, awesome post! Even though I read your blog regularly and am familiar with this story, you have made it so much more inspiring through this post! Great job!!!

  11. says

    Michelle already knows I adore her. How she knew I’ve been thinking about coloring my hair because the gray is starting to FREAK ME OUT is beyond me. Love this post – and I’m always happy to find a new blog that may just be the androids I’m looking for.

  12. says

    Thanks, Carla, for introducing me to Michelle. I’ve been coloring my hair since my twenties, when the blond started to get darker. I’ve occasionally considered going back to natural, but never stuck with it, even more so when the “dark blond” became “grayish.” Still not sure if I’ll ever go natural, but I loved reading this post. Michelle, you are awesome. Believe it.

  13. says

    I gave up the coloring a couple of years ago, and it was one of the best decisions ever! As well as one of the healthiest! Contrary to popular opinion, when women embrace their natural hair color, AND do their best to optimize their styling along with it, they look far younger than if they keep up the fake dying. And once you start to embrace it, you can spot even the priciest fake dye jobs across the room EASILY. Enjoy your new freedom, and improved sense of self! :)

  14. says

    I already think Michelle is awesome, and I love love love this post!

    I went natural just after 50 and I feel better about myself than I have in YEARS.

    You go, girl, you are just getting better! :-)

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