This is a public announcement. I declare it’s only a matter of time before I go from a full head of hair to a completely bald look. It’s a future fact. I want to document my journey. Share why it’s important for me to go through such an experience.
I’m a consumer of hair dyes. Years of wearing different shades of colours. From lights to darks. I don’t know what sits beneath the products I place on my noggin.
About seven years ago I started to see specks of white coming through. In denial I put it down to living in a sunny state and having blond hair. The answer was now clear. The sun was naturally bleaching my wavy mop.
At the time I must have been more comfortable with failing eye sight. Rather than coming to terms with this colour starting to surface on my head.
Over the last two years it was obvious greys were starting to dominate. I could no longer fool myself. Being blond was a part of my history now.
The grey realisation had me shocked. I ignored it for a month. Or more like seven years and one month. I didn’t want to face it. White and grey were my favourite colours. Until they started to appear on my scalp.
How was I to consolidate aging? Was this where I was meant to start seeing myself as matured? What did that even mean?
When we age we shed many skins: ego, arrognace, dominance, self-opionated, unreliable, pessimism, rudeness, selfish, uncaring … Wow, it’s good to be old! – Stephen Richards
Always feeling like a child at heart. A sense of adventure in my veins and a youth like attitude were all starting to wither away with this new observation. There were tell tail signs that I was heading in an area that I had not given much thought.
I’m one of the most practical people I know. Age is a part of life. I won’t fight something that is naturally occurring. For me there is only one alternative. Face all the fears and embrace age.Age is a part of life. I won’t fight something that is naturally occurring. Click To Tweet
I don’t want to go under the knife. I’ve become fond of my wrinkles. Now it’s the make-up companies who will benefit. All I’ll have to do is tip the bottle of liquid foundation upside down and let it run into the creases in my face. Similar to that of a cement truck.
I refuse to feel burdened by age. I have plans. My neighbours will think of me as ‘that kooky old lady’ who wears bright blue or green eye shadow. Bursting into song at the most inconvenient of moments. I haven’t decided if I want to go as far as mumble to myself, but it is an option.
All this has come from seeing a few grey hairs that will never get the better of me. I overcome this is by going a step further. The new me will be a shiny bald head.
Preparation for my pending new style.
- I’ve been practicing wearing head scarfs.
- I have become quite good with a bandanna (I call it my Pirate look).
- I have croqueted a hat in preparation.
Once I commit to a scheme floating around in my mind, I go into free thinking. This is where I allow my brain to play with the idea.
I begin to contemplate what bald means to me. I come up with a number of possible scenarios that I may encounter. From the serious to the ridiculous. It’s brain storming. There are no limitations and no rules in this timeframe.
I have a thing for the Statue of Liberty. I’m known for calling her the Lib Lady. She always seems to appear in my mind when I am faced with a challenge. A symbol reminding me to stand tall in the face of adversity. Be statue like! While the storm is all around remain on your spot.
Once I see her and think about being bald I immediately feel liberated and empowered. The flip side to that is there will be days I may want to shrink away from society. Afraid to go out into the public until my hair has grown.
I felt nervous. Hesitation got a lot of attention. Wondering what I would think of myself. I got angry. I wanted to be more than just my hair. The idea of my outer beauty holding significantly more value than a caring and kind heart stung.
True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass. – Ellen DeGeneres
A surprising test run.
I want to observe the reaction of other people.
A day where I covered up. Wearing my bandana, I noticed people looking at me strangely. Yet when I have my hair in a ponytail away from my face, I am another person amongst the crowd.
I really noticed that people watched me with a head scarf on.
People with no choice.
There was a period of time when I felt for those who have no choice. Cancer patients losing all their hair. As if they don’t have enough going on. Losing their physical identity while fighting for their life on the inside.
I felt like I would be ripping cancer survivors off because I had a choice. I really had to do a lot of self-talk to right this in my mind. This was not logical nor positive.
My mind began a rant that I was all too familiar with. ‘Why are you doing this? You know you don’t have to. What lunatic would voluntarily do this to themselves?’
Yet some part of me has always known there’d be a stage in my life where I would be shaving my hair off for the experience.
- Am I scared? A little.
- Am I excited? The same amount as scared.
- Am I fascinated? I can’t wait for the experience.
What am looking at?
We’re emotional beings. The first three months I will be observing myself. I want to look in the mirror every day and examine how I feel.
- Will I feel lesser of a person on some days?
- Will I feel bigger on other days?
Bald is facing my own vanity challenge.
I put an effort into looking good. I work hard at it. I wear make-up five to six days a week. My appearance matters to me. How will I feel when I have no hair?
Questions I have asked myself.
- Have I planned for every emotion?
- Do I know what I am getting myself into?
- Am I prepared for regret?
- Will I have that dreaded feeling of ‘what have I done?’
- What will I think when I look into the mirror the first day of being bald?
- I wonder if there will be a period where I accept being bald and grow to like it?
- Will I go back to the same hair styles?
- What happens if I don’t enjoy any of the process?
- What happens if all my confidence is actually based on my appearance?
Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough. – Larry David
The emotions of it all.
I’m allowed to love it, hate it and be insecure by it. Adapt to it. I want my emotions to present themselves naturally. Experience all the feeling as they arise. Not all of them will be pleasant.
I have prepared for everything I can possibly think of. Yet I know there will be thoughts that I’ve not calculated. There will be the unknown factors.
This has not been an overnight decision. I am mentally prepared. Whatever pops up that has not been calculated, I’ll be ready to manage it. See my post on Risk Analysis – A Practiced Part of Project Management.
As I venture into the unknown, emotional turmoil surrounds my next step. I’m not afraid to feel unsure and wobbly.
It’s an undiscovered part of me that I want to explore. This is not something I take on lightly. I’ve traveled a lot of mental miles over the years to feel a sense of stable strength. I’m about to mess a solid foundation. That’s exciting.I’ve traveled a lot of mental miles over the years to feel a sense of stable strength. Click To Tweet
I’ve prepared myself the best I can. I have set a date to action my plan. The emotional outcomes are a mystery.
Fear exists yet it’s no reason to be deterred. There will be things I have not thought about. They will present themselves while I’m on this journey. Feelings I did not take into account. I have calculated the risk as best I can.
It’s only when I follow through and become bald will I truly know how I will feel.
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