Just Your Average Joe

Walking along the street or sitting in a coffee shop, you would not notice this man. Just your average Joe. Older with gray hair, sometimes a little unkempt, he is of medium/ tall height with a slight hunch of the shoulders. One would conclude that he is physically active, for his weight is appropriate to his height, and his strides are easy. He keeps his head tilted down, just enough to make others assume that he is deep in thought. Whether that is a learned behaviour or just the tilt of his head, or the fact that he is a bit of a hermit, I don’t know. The added facial hair, gray also, gives the impression of intelligence, with a touch of ‘silly professor’.

orange blue jester hatHis dress ranges from; plaid pyjama bottoms with a cotton Tee at home, to jeans with a nice shirt or sweater, when out and about. He has a beefed up scooter, which now, after seeing him decked out in helmet, sunglasses and windbreaker, makes sense. There is definitely a fun-loving side to him that may keep you on your toes. You can see it in his sky blue eyes.

Conversing with this man, you find out that he has the strength of character like that of an angry bull. His voice is quiet, unassuming, with a mild South African accent, even when raised to make a point. Filled with common sense, he is. Down to earth, no flash, sensible shoes. He has money, that becomes clear once you get to know him better. Not because he tells you, but because he has worked hard all his life, and he shows you his vast projects. You know how it is being used.

His compassion runs very deep. Learning from his own past, becoming who he is today, and reaching out to others in order to encourage and teach emotional, intellectual, and physical health as one. His stories are very interesting, his background, his challenges, and how he managed to grow from it all. Frustrated at times with the lack of openness in people, the fear of change, the fear of success really, he strives to reach them. However, in his effort to educate, he is not pushy, allowing his teachings to have their effect, or not.

He has an alter ego, the one who writes the stories, the one wearing the jester’s hat. They work well together, as author and editor, despite his dislike for the writer. The creations are a bit brash, bold, bottom-line, but if you want the truth, if you are open to the truth, you will enjoy it.

Writing 101         As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Advertisements

Gray Follow-up; One Month Down

I can definitely fit this daily prompt, into my post. GREAT EXPECTATIONS. This will be quite the transformation, and if I make it, when I make it, there will be a celebration to end all celebrations! Probably, just a glass of wine, at home, with my guy, or something like that. I’m sure this will take me into 2015, but, the end of the year, is a great goal.

So far, so good! I’m a bit relieved, when I see myself looking back from the bathroom mirror. It’s still early on, but the gray looks to be blending well. The final colour I chose to dye my hair was a good choice, it seems. Not sure if that will be the case when I have four inches of gray growth, but, one step at a time.

I'm okay with this.

I’m okay with this.

These are my roots now. I have trouble seeing it, but, I have been told by a couple of family members that there is some silver happening in there. Pretty psyched about that…’rainy day’ gray can take a hike!

Parted just above my ear, a little frightening. Good thing I don't normally part my hair here.

Parted just above my ear, a little frightening. Good thing I don’t normally part my hair here.

There have been no random comments, from any Peanut Gallery, so far…I guess it’s not too noticeable yet. One note to self; these pictures are taken in natural light…it looks less gray in the bathroom mirror. I’m still loving my shorter cut! Signing off until next month… excited, pumped, and smiling!

You can read about my decision to ‘go gray’ here.

Is anyone joining me? Would love to have some companions on this journey! It’s exciting! Really!

 

 

To Gray or Not To Gray?

 

It all began, at age 26, with a few gray hairs at the base of my scalp. Of course, it was someone’s brilliant idea to point it out to me, in a tone conveying horror. That little seed, planted in my brain, has materialized every 6-8 weeks, for the better part of 10 years. In the beginning, I dyed my hair for something different, but, as the gray continues to spread and consume entire areas on my head, I’m not looking for different anymore. It has become a battleground, and I am weary with the knowledge that I will not be victorious.

“It is also intense, like revealing a secret you’ve tried to conceal for years.” From, How to Embrace Gray Hair Glad I don't see this view!

Two little words describe the shade of gray that persists in pushing itself to the surface of my scalp—rainy day. What’s your shade? Salt & Pepper? White? Are you lucky enough to have silver? To clarify, I love, love, love the rain and how it trickles down my face when I look to the sky. It empowers, refreshes and replenishes me. The gray clouds above do not bother me; they are beautiful, grand, and powerful. However, they are distant enough to not drain my skin of what little natural color it has. An interesting side-note, gray is a shade I started wearing a few years back because I like how it looks on me. Honestly, I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. Sigh.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is fairest of them all?

Surprisingly, and happily, I’m finding much positivity around wearing our natural hair color as we age, and as I read more articles about this, I am increasingly convinced to go for it, excited actually. To finally be free from all that is, in reality, just the stories we’ve heard and told ourselves, about self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. A concept I should embrace completely and I’m working on it. I even made myself a table to demonstrate the abundance of negatives. I’m sure the list is much longer.

Negative vs. Positive Aspects of Dyeing My Hair
Costly Boosts self-esteem
Smelly Younger appearance
Time-consuming Choice of many colours
Standing appointment every 2 months without fail
Osmotic behaviour of the chemical-laden liquid? See definition below
Short-term boost of self-esteem
Everyone knows you do it
Becomes more difficult to attain a natural look

Definition: Osmosis is the result of diffusion across a semi-permeable membrane. If a semi-permeable membrane separates two solutions of different concentration, then the solvent will tend to diffuse across the membrane from the less concentrated to the more concentrated solution. This process is called osmosis. (So this is my reality: that thick, brownish, sludge pushing itself into my brain cells every couple of months, yet I persist.)

Gray Matters: Why and how to stop colouring your hair by, Barbara Barnes. In some cultures, gray hair represents qualities — maturity, responsibility, wisdom — that deserve to be valued by everyone. Jean Shinoda Bolen, in “Goddesses in Older Women”, cites the connection between aging and wisdom revered by these traditions…We can let our hair be gray and know we are as vital and full of potential as ever, which may be more attractive than anything else we could do. That is my favorite part, and why not?

You can also find 100+ reasons to go gray here. The title is great: Revolution Gray, it’s not just a hair color, it’s a lifestyle. It is a ‘Going Gray Blog’ with lots of pertinent tips, relatable comments and stories, as well as links.

I took a few minutes to visit with a hairdresser and discuss my future. Bottom line is; there is no easy fix. Everyone will have different issues and personal ways of coping. I have to find what will work best for me, and so I had about five or six inches cut off the back. That removed a lot of the darker color. My hair is now a little longer than shoulder length, and by the way, I love it! Cutting off that much has cut my grow-out time probably in half. It will take about a year, maybe a bit longer to complete the process. She gave me lots to think about, but I was a little taken aback by one of her comments, “Just know that it will add about ten years to your age, and you are still a young woman.” Why on earth was she trying to talk me out of it? She kept asking me if I was sure. I realize now that it was her own fear of showing her gray and my response to her comment: “It will be me, though. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of my hair.”

In essence, I am doing this to be more authentic. I’m tired of hiding my reality, and I do not believe for one minute that I will look ten years older. It’s about freeing myself…and that will only make me feel younger and lighter, letting go one burden at a time.

On that note, I have now immersed myself in this personal project, and when the “The Skunk Stripe” becomes too much for me to handle, I will decide how to deal with it then. As you noticed, I posted a photo of my newly, emerging skunk stripe, and will post an update monthly, along with tips I’ve learned and used, or not used.

Would love to hear from you, gals and guys, all ages, with opinions, your own challenges, and any positive encouragement you can muster up.

One more thingwho’s going to join me?? Be brave! You can comment below or visit me on Facebook and leave me a personal message.