Wednesday, June 19, 2013

and so it begins...(again!)

I think this might be my third, or maybe fourth, attempt at a blog.  But for one reason or the other, although started with good intentions, I wasn't able to be consistent.  I think that's probably because I felt I could never continually come up with interesting content, my subjects were too broad, or the most likely culprit - I just got lazy. I am again.  This time, however, my subject is pretty focused - I'm going to be 55 years old this year, and I haven't seen my natural haircolour in almost 30 years (27 years, to be exact).  

It was the occasion of my wedding, October, 1986.  My cousin, who was my maid of honour and my style/makeup guru, suggested that I get a few highlights to brighten up my face for the big day.  And from there, the old snowball effect...a few more, and then still more - then the arrival of a few stray grey hairs, which led to fun "experiments" with drug store boxed dyes - you name it, my hair has been every shade of blonde, from Jennifer Aniston to platinum.  And then there was my auburn/red phase - sometimes professionally done, sometimes again out of a box.  My mother was never a big fan of the reds, but I actually liked it....the one that didn't work for me was an attempt at a dark, flat, chestnut colour.  I think that coif actually absorbed all available light - I looked like I was wearing a permanent motorcycle helmet.  Probably my most adventuresome was a bright pink streak on a bed of red hindsight, not the greatest idea - my photos of my (so far) only trip to London have me forever immortalized, standing in front of Buckingham Palace, looking exactly like what I was - a middle-aged woman trying too hard to avoid the inevitability of the ageing process.  

Now don't get me wrong - I'm still a LONG WAY from wrapping myself in a shawl and sitting out on the proverbial front porch rocker just watching the rest of my life pass me by - far from it, my friends! And I'm ALL for women of a certain age rocking their own personal style, whether it be funky streaks, or tattoos and piercings, or whatEVER floats your boat.  But for me, over the past year or so, I've been undergoing something of a personal metamorphosis - and I believe I have finally learned, or come to terms, with who I really am, and what I want from the rest of my life going forward.  A short explanation: I've had a lot of inspiration recently from a fellow blogger who has made quite a name for herself in the world of nutrition - Meghan Telpner.  Without going into too much detail, she's helped me understand that I want to live what's left of my life in an authentic, healthy, vibrant, body.  And while what I nourish myself with is a HUGE part of this equation, she's made me also question what I'm putting ON my body, not just IN it.  Everything from makeup to shampoos - and you got it - hair dyes. So there's that. 

But the health aspect is only one facet of my decision to let my hair grow out to it's natural colour (or lack thereof).  Here's the way I see it:

1. I'm 55 years old, and I'm in a happy, supportive relationship. And I'm not kidding myself - those catcalls aren't directed at me when I'm out for a walk with my daughters - and that's EXACTLY the way it should be. (Well, NO woman should have to endure bone-headed catcalls - but you get my drift). 

2. I spend, on average, $1,400.00 and about 35 hours (wow, just worked out those figures and that is SCARY, people!!) a year in a stylist's chair, all in the name of covering up the grey hair that everyone knows is under there - again, who do I think I'm kidding?  

3. The older I get, the more I'm appalled at the double standard where it applies to ageing women vs. ageing men. You know what I'm talkin' bout - the desirable, distinguished older man, vs. the undesirable invisibility of the middle-aged woman.  Yep, you can call me a closet feminist if you like, but it's JUST. NOT. FAIR. 

So there you have it folks.  My raison d'être on this blog, if you will. Now that I've dispensed with the lengthy intro, my reasons for doing this are two-fold - I'm going to attempt to grow out my currently shoulder length medium blonde hair to it's natural grey/white/silver (I honestly have no idea what to expect, but there's a LOT of it hiding under all this chemically treated hair), and I thought a blog would be a great way to document this transition; and -  I know I'm not alone!  When I decided to do this, I turned to (what else?) Google and YouTube to look for support and inspiration - and wow, did I find it.    This link was especially inspiring to me - and I also just recently found an amazing group of like-minded women (and men!) here at the Grey and Proud facebook group. So I'm hopeful that in my own small way, as I share my journey of transition with you, I might also be an inspiration to anyone who is considering shedding years of chemically treated hair, and embracing "nature's highlights".  

While I'm very excited about this transition, I also know it's not going to be an easy one - I'm still not decided on whether I'll tough out the "demarcation line" and attempt to keep my shoulder length hair through all this - or whether I'll just reach a point where I say "F this!" and chop it all off in one fell swoop.  But again, that's what this is for - a place for me to vent, and celebrate, every step along the way - even if I'm all alone here in blogland while I'm doing it.  

I know there is no point in doing this without photos - and I promise you, there will be many - but tonight I just wanted to tap out these thoughts while I'm motivated to do so. (My profile photo is only a few days old, so that's pretty much my baseline at the moment).   So stay tuned folks!  Grey matters!! :)

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