Today I went to get a hair cut after school. Somehow I was just in the mood to let it be cut a bit more freely all around. As I watched, I almost started laughing. All the upper layer of hair was being thinned out to reveal the grey growing out underneath.
I thought about colouring it right away to hide the grey but decided against it. O, I will colour it but I think it will be fun to just show up at work with my grey hair and see what response it gets. We are so afraid to appear without our masks in public. For a day, I want to see how others will respond to my removing one of the masks of youth. Then I will put it back on. I like my hair dark and am not ready to totally let that go.
But these moments of grey make me think of aging. I am not afraid of it. Each year I can tell others my age. I have lived that many years of experience and, though not all were easy, those experiences have helped me become the person I am. To deny a year denies something I gained in that time.
I am wiser.
There was a time I believed I had it in me to change others by the choices I made. Now I know I can only model or speak about my choices. Each person has to make their own choices for themselves.
There was a time when I thought my ideas were the ones that needed to be followed. Now I know that my ideas are only a part of the wonderful myriad of thoughts in dialogue. There is so much to learn, so much to know and the years I have lived have given me access to much I didn’t know when I was young.
As I get older I am less afraid of just being the person I am. I am less afraid of admitting when I need help from appropriate people yet less ready to spill everything to the world. I can decide to let go of pain while holding on to story where it might make a difference in the world.
As I get older I find it easier to forgive the past when I felt I had failed to be what I needed to be. The interesting thing is, each time I forgive another piece of myself, I also find it easier to forgive and reach out to others.
So for the next day or so I am going to let the grey hair show. In this month of mindful gifts, today I am going to celebrate the gift of aging.