I take delight in colouring my hair.
This may be routine for some, nothing note-worthy for others. But I am wondering why it is delightful for me and the deeper meaning it holds.
In my mindful moments, such as the three or more hours I sat at the hair salon while the hair-colourist and stylist worked their magic on my mane, the first thought to “why do I delight in this?” was “I will not be what others expect of me”.
I made a vow many years ago that I will age gracefully. As my biological age begins to creep upwards, this holds true more so than ever. I have no desire to return to my 20s and 30s; my 40s was a self-defining epoch.
Having arrived at where I am comfortable in my skin, I am largely unmoved by the world’s expectations of me, unaffected by their judgment.
Once upon a time, I was fearful of how my hair colour, and therefore I, would be perceived by others. Growing up in a culture where almost everyone had jet black hair and many who attempted to cover their greys and whites, any other tones seemed too rebellious. Having greys and whites signify “old age” and therefore they are hidden so we do not appear “old”; otherwise we must behave as old ought to. On a superficial level, I was also fearful that any colour other than black on my head would not match the clothes I wear or their style, that it would not reflect who I was. But then I didn’t know much about who I was anyway. Ironic, isn’t it?
I colour my hair in different styles because it is fun. I do so because I don’t believe age dictates the choice of hair colour nor limits it to black or white or the shades in between. My mane of hair is now shorter with a blue grey underlayer.
It is of no consequence to me now whether I am aging gracefully or ungracefully, particularly noting “grace” as a theological concept which carries potential for sexism.
As the years progress, aging well is about being okay with my biological age. It is acknowledging I am defined by so much more than my age. It is possessing a rich and colourful internal life, not just hair. It is being okay with the person I have become. It is being aware of my significant insignificance in this world. It is transitioning from self-consciousness to other-consciousness.
I am not bold enough to shave my head. Maybe some day? 😀 So I also take delight in this open curiosity.
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