The following disclosure may delight, surprise, or even dismay a few family members, friends, and acquaintances: As of Friday, I am sporting a hot pink racing stripe running through my dishwater gray hair.
When I told my mother, the first question out of her mouth was, “is this all about turning 50?” My immediate response was an emphatic “NO.” I want to strongly iterate this is not a mid-life crisis! Really! I have always hated my hair, even when it was a nice normal dark brown. My hair is a difficult, and in my view unfortunate, hereditary combination from my grandma, my dad, and my grandfather. Straight as a stick as my Gram used to term her own, clumpy around the temples (very thick, like my Dad's used to be), and very early gray (mid twenties for me and early twenties for my “Poppy” who has very little left at the age of 91). As the eldest child, I could have gotten the naturally curly thing, but that skipped a generation (you are welcome, MacKenzie) along with the male pattern baldness (sorry, Ian).
Again, you are asking for the connection, right? Here you go: I have been preaching about being comfortable in your own skin and choosing to be yourself, instead of following the crowd. With the exception of despising my hair, I have been reasonably faithful to that message, even as a teen-ager: if the herd (flock) was pursuing the latest fad, I was usually intentionally headed in the opposite direction. I won't go into detail, but the list is long and fairly impressive. I still don't even have a smart phone!
Why the hot pink? Along with purposefully choosing the alternate path, which would seem like a pretty daring thing to do, in contrast, I am also a person who would rather blend in with the crowd, or better yet work busily in the background, than be center stage. These two behaviors sound like I’m sending a contradictory message, right?
As mentioned in the title, this is an analysis. In fact, I am thinking this through as I write. Maybe my internal, non-cerebral, real self has been trying to get out. She has been yelling, shouting, and generally pitching some pretty awesome fits lately, and I have worked really hard to ignore her while deeply ensconced in my warm, cozy, non-threatening, and emotionally safe comfort-zone (see this post).
Well, it looks like she is having her way for the time being, and we are going to try this for a while. But, hot pink, really? What will come next: large hoop earrings, flowing gowns, and a tattoo? Now that she is out flaunting her awesome powers, no one knows where this will end up. The next 50 years are sure to be interesting—or, at the very least, fun!