It’s when I look in a mirror.
The me that looks back at me is not the me I know. I even introduced myself to the me in the mirror, but no meaningful connection was made.
I go to my default of reason. I say, “You are not a person that spends time in front of a mirror anyway” or “Your identity is not in your outward appearance” or “There’s nothing different except for the color of your hair. It’s not a big deal!”
Yet, somehow it is a big deal. I am writing in an attempt to uncover the hidden meaning in my response.
This change of hair color has been in process for a little over a year. It was then that I decided that I no longer needed or wanted to “highlight my blond hair”! My reasons were many. I understood that adding the chemicals needed to highlight hair is not good for your body. The salon visits were both financially expensive and time consuming. And, probably most importantly, I was ready and willing to be a grey haired lady, knowing it is the certain status of a woman who is free to reconcile her appearance with reality.
But now, instead of displaying a head of grey hair, I have dark brown hair on the top of my head and around my face. It has, of course, been gradually revealing itself, as such, over the course of this last year. But, it is this last haircut. where every semblance of the blond was cut off, that has left me with a self portrait that I don’t recognize.
As a little girl, I was Daddy’s blond blue eyed girl. As a teenager I had a blond ponytail. As a young adult, I visited the home of my Norwegian heritage looking like I belonged. Sometime later, I began highlighting my blond hair. Now, it seems that for decades I have been masking this occult transition from blond to brown.
I stand emotionally naked in front of the mirror.
It doesn’t help when friends, who have known me for decades, say “You don’t look like you.” They tell me I should go back to blond.
I’m not ready to do that. I want to understand why this is such a big deal for me.
Until then, maybe I’ll wear a hat.