Yesterday it happened. It came out of nowhere. And it was big.
I was driving and looked at my reflection in the mirror. Something caught my eye, but the light turned green so I had to tear my eyes away. When I stopped at the next light I flipped open the visor mirror with impressive speed.
My fears were confirmed. There it was, smack in the middle of my head.
A white hair. An inch-long, coarse, white, Alfalfa-style hair was sticking straight up. How it arrived at its length is beyond me. It popped up like a weed signaling that I’m rushing through my 365 days til 30.
Of course I’m being a touch dramatic. Just a touch.
There is a dreaded moment when that shiny, white hair is discovered, creating a stark contrast between your locks and the imposter. There are hundreds of shades to dye your hair if you choose to, but the dread deals more with getting older but, hopefully, wiser. I felt wise for a moment until I ripped it out and a chunk of brown hair came along with it. Then I was just old.
I would take white hair any day over balding. My dad always laughs that the years when he kept a buzz cut were “the best hairs of his life”. Now, like so many men, you can find hair anywhere but the top of his head. There are just a few lone rangers up there refusing to give up. The hairs migrated to his ears, neck, and nose. I’m sure he is thrilled that I’m sharing this.
Aging is such an interesting process. Wrinkles deepen, white hairs creep in, muscles tighten, bones shrink, etc. You pay for all the unintentional neglect from your “invincible” days of youth. Since I’m still in my youth to some degree, my thoughts comes from family and friends kvetching and reflecting about the indignities of the aging process. And tonight I get to join the ranks and kvetch a bit.
As my dad would say, “it takes a long time to become young”, his favorite quote by Pablo Picasso. The gifts of youth are often missed by the young. We lack an understanding of our future selves and take for granted how easy everything is. We complain about white hairs without stopping to be grateful for all the ways we are youthful and healthy. It is only as we age, deepen, and grow as people that we learn to see the world with childish wonder, appreciation, and humor.
I will try to see my youth through older eyes. Since I will never be this age again, I should start to appreciate all the beauties of youth. I won’t stress out about the white hairs. Worry only breeds them. They are like roaches. Where there is one, there are hundreds soon to come.
And when they come, bring it on! White looks good on me…