Actually, it didn’t make me old or even older. I started to age the day I was born. It is part of the cycle of life. Now, let me preface this by saying that I am not making light of this terrible pandemic. People are sick. People are dying. People are dying alone. People are living in fear. People are losing their jobs. I continue to be devastated by the numbers from both the health & wellness perspective as well as the economic perspective, but I share this because even in the darkest of times, I still can’t help but have something so frivolous as my hair be something that began to drive me bonkers, so if you want to read something light, keep reading. If you don’t want something light, please close the browser.
Back to my aging…I had a birthday during isolation. Leading up to it, I had been spending a fair amount of time reflecting on my life, the impact that I have made (or lack thereof), so instead of focusing on those big thoughts, I became OBSESSED with my grey hair. Yes, you read that right. People are dying. I don’t feel like I have added much value to the universe, and I decided to focus on my grey hair, and I could not stop thinking about it!!! I became obsessed with the grey, and it was not good.
I have been coloring my hair consistently for over 20 years. It has been various shades of blonde, brown, and even orange when the guy who did it screwed it up – big time. That orange hair incident was enough to make me realize how you better get the chemistry right on the hair, or best case scenario, you look like Ronald McDonald and worse case scenario, it will fall out. As I have aged, I haven’t paid much attention to what was really going on with my hair. I just let the professionals take care of me. I recognize how privileged I am.
I was supposed to get my hair touched up in early March, but it fell in the 2nd week of my isolation. Unfortunately, I had to tell my hair dresser that I would not be there, and we would not be getting our 2 hour chat. What I didn’t realize is that about a week after that appointment date, the grey started popping, and I don’t mean just one. I mean A LOT, and it was not pretty. I became more and more focused on the hair, which became more and more obvious as I was in front of a mirror doing longer and longer hand-washing (thanks Corona Virus). Because I had the orange hair experience years ago, I had no idea what to do. I had never considered doing anything to my own hair. I envisioned a chemical disaster, so I called my mom in a completely frantic state. “Mom, I am getting old, and this sucks. What should I do?” She reminded me that most people get grey hair, and she reminded me of how lucky I have been to be able to have the time and resources to take care of it. Then she asked how she could help. My response was “Send anything you think will help me without making my hair fall out (or turn orange).” Now, most people would say that coloring is not that hard, and that I should not have been in freak out mode, but because I have had too much time on my hands, and because I didn’t want to think about the real problems of the world, all I could focus on was getting older, and the grey hair was PROOF that I was getting older.
My mom did what any amazing mom would do, she mailed spray half way around the world (from the US to Japan).
Fortunately, I haven’t had anywhere to go so no one really saw the grey but me; however, it got me thinking about aging. What it means…
For me, it means, more time to build relationships. It means more time to have more adventure. It means more time to be loved. It means more time to learn. It means more time to reinvent yourself. We can look at this aging thing as something to slow us down, or we can look at it as the time to build our toolbox of life experiences so that we can learn from them, grow from them, and given the opportunity – help others learn from them. Maybe aging isn’t so bad after all, and maybe grey hair is a simple price to pay…
Corona Virus did not make me old. I was aging already. Instead it reminded me of how lucky I am to be given the opportunity to grow old.
A final special shout out to all the hair dressers out there. I happen to think that you have special talents and your talents should not be taken for granted.