Hey, I found my first grey hairs! I looked in the mirror recently, and there they were, just a couple; tiny slivers of silver amongst the dull brown. [Aside: I say dull, because I’ve been dyeing my hair henna-red for a few years now. I hadn’t done so for a while, and so I was back to “dull” brown. I make no value judgement on brown hair generally. Just sayin’.]
And you know what my first thought was? OK, my second thought, after a brief pause to blame them on Christmas. My second thought was “I didn’t think I was old enough to get grey hairs?”. But I don’t feel sad about it, quite the opposite, I feel awesome! It’s like when you hit 18 and you realise you’re old enough to get into pubs using *real* ID, not fake ID (not that anyone fakes ID, of course, certainly not). I look around at women I know who have grey hairs, and they’re all, like, grown-ups. With, like, proper jobs, and real lives, and stuff. Am I one of them now? Am I a grown-up?
I see growing older as a gift, as an adventure. I love living, it’s amazing. It’s bloody hard too, sometimes, and believe me there have been times where just looking Life in the face and carrying on has been so damned hard I just wanted to curl up and cry and sleep until someone made it all better. But there have also been times where the sheer wonderfulness of being alive, here, now, has all but taken my breath away.But as for growing older? I think for me it’s about confidence. I’m a stronger person now than I was five years ago, and more so than five years before that. And when I was a teenager? Well, let’s not even go there. Wow, I knew NOTHING. The more you live, the more you learn (hopefully). I’m getting older, and I’m getting wiser. And it’s GREAT.
I have the confidence now to say yes, this is me. I may not conform to your norms of “mature adult” – I don’t have a regular salaried job, a mortgage, a car, a pension – but screw you because I have grey hairs. I have been told I live an irresponsible lifestyle, I am a thoughtless parent, that I’ll never get anywhere if I “insist on dressing like a student”, that I ‘obviously have too much time on my hands’, and that I should ‘get a real job’ (yes, I have people in my family who still see it as their given right to tell me how to live. Gotta love being the youngest!). But I have grey hairs now, so you can back right off. Mother Nature says I’m mature, and she’s given me the badge to prove it.
So yeah, I don’t feel old, far from it. And that’s because I’m not old. I’m mid-30s, that’s really not old by anyone’s standards (unless you’re a donkey I guess, then it’s pretty old). I feel young, and excited to be on this amazing journey called Life, and pretty darned cool about the fact that I’ve got grey hairs. They’re red now, by the way, but I know they’re there. Respect me, for I am Mature! Hahahaha.