My hair is gray. Not 90-year-old-woman gray, mind you, but more like "13-year-old girl first gets her boobs" gray: Even if it isn't trumpet-blaring obvious to the world, its still upsetting and apparent to her.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky, since most women in my family have a full head of silver by age 28. I found my first few strands by 23, but they largely held off on proliferating until the past few years.
At age 26, I blamed my PhD thesis.
At age 27, I blamed my mom's death.
At 28 years, childbirth was the culprit.
At 29, it was the terrible twos.
At 30, clearly my disaffection was to blame for the 15 extra gray hairs I plucked in one week.
But at 31 I realize, there is no excuse, other than age and genetics.
As a teenager, I honored women who wore their gray with confidence. I thought my mom and aunts were foolish when they used box dyes to cover the evidence of wisdom, sprouting from their noggins. Even as a young adult, I had immense respect for a woman in our ward who wore her "GA's wife" hair with pride - at the age of 35.
But when 23 presented me with these same locks of wisdom, I, too, went to the mattresses.
In my 20s, blond streaks were generally sufficient to trick the casual observer, and altogether stylish. But I have now reached a point where nothing but low-lights will likely do the trick. And so I must decide - do I stick to my earlier decision to mature naturally? Or do I try to reverse the tides of age?
I like the look that the gray lends my hair; it makes me look older, more mature. As someone who, at the age of 17, was once "carded" at the AMC 8 for a PG-13 movie - I have no problems with the idea of looking a little older and wiser. That is, so long as those evidences of maturity stay far, far away from approaching the level of frown lines or "chicken neck".
On the other hand, I don't like the texture of these hairs. They seem alien, rough, crinkly. They aren't soft, they don't naturally wave and flow like the rest of my hair, but kink up in frustrating ways. I'm not convinced even a dye would fix that foreign sensation, the feeling like someone else's hair has been grafted into my scalp.
Is this what it is like to mature, then? Your body moving forward with time, while your mind still feels like a child? Just when I start to understand and respect my body's goddess-like fullness, the elements change and shift.
Perhaps my body is like the moon, waning from full to crescent, and I only just realized that I have ceased waxing gibbous.