Friday, November 11, 2016

Ode to a Grey Hair

Today my hairstylist pulled my one rogue grey hair out of my head.  It was so coarse, she could have played the violin with it.  She was trying to blow dry it straight with the rest of my hair, and it wouldn’t soften.  It just defiantly stayed curled, a silver rebel against my blackish hair.  I’d been aware of that hair for a few months now.  Sometimes it would get lost in the jungle that I rarely attempt to tame anymore, but it would always reappear.  But now, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, it’s gone, and I’m oddly mourning the loss. 

I shouldn’t worry.  My future, I’m certain, holds a whole scalp full of grey hairs, and then I’ll be wishing for that day when the only one I had was more of a novelty than a reality.  In that case, maybe I should worry.  But age is inevitable.  It doesn’t matter how many grey hairs you pull out or wrinkles you hide; there’s no amount of face cream that can keep us from getting older.

Tomorrow I’ll be thirty.  Not sure what that means.  Maybe I’ll lose that little twinkle in my eye when people ask me my age.  No more getting away with things for being cute.  Am I supposed to change my wardrobe?  Get longer shorts?  Polos?  I just started wearing crop tops.  I’m not ready to give that up.   

I don’t know who makes up these rules in my head. 

I always have these preconceived notions about the next chapters in my life.  I thought that being a mom would mean short hair-cuts and an even shorter social life.  I thought getting a job outside of a restaurant and working at a desk would make me boring.  Thirty brings the same fears.  As if no one else has ever done any of these incredibly abnormal events (having a child, getting a real job, aging) and remained cool.  But it turns out I’m pretty good at growing up.  My daughter is only the appropriate amount of asshole for a four-year-old.  Mostly, she’s spunky and smart and kind.  Yesterday I walked her to her class, and all the kids’ names were on the door next to what they were thankful for, and hers said Mom.  It still sometimes takes me aback that my name is Mom to someone.  Honestly, I think most parents probably feel this way, but we just keep on loving our children and it’s the coolest thing anyone can really do, short hair, long hair, red hair, blue hair.  (Also, being a parent means speaking like Dr. Seuss at any given moment).

The day I was offered my job in a law firm, I cried my eyes out.  I have spent my entire life preparing for life, and when the preparation ended and the life finally came, it was like being told that all the development I had completed as a fetus was over, it was time to exit the womb, and be a human.  Now, I’m thriving.  I’m succeeding.  I’m enjoying myself. I’m living!

I like to believe that life is full of a whole bunch of little births.  And just as we enter this world crying the first time, it’s okay to cry each new time we are born.  This year I had my heart broken; I died and I came back to life through choking sobs, gasping for air, grasping for growth.  It was scary as hell; I was alone and looking at the world through a new set of eyes.  I grew anyway.

So tomorrow I’ll be thirty and I’ll grow a little more, maybe cry a little less.  Maybe I’ll enter this decade in honor of my fallen grey hair.  I’ll be untamed among the calm.  I’ll blend in when I need to.  And even when I’m uprooted, I’ll know there is still so much more to come.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I've been looking for a way out for quite some time now.  Something to say, somewhere to say it.  All these jumbled words and phrases roll around my brain, lingering in my mouth and finger tips, begging me to let them out, to make some sense of them.  I suppose creating a blog is like releasing them out into the world silently.  It's sort of liberating, like screaming at the edge of an empty canyon, to someone, anyone, no one.  But at least putting it out there.

I'm stir crazy.  At the cusp of twenty-five and six months pregnant, this is supposed to be "the most exciting time of my life".  Becoming a woman, growing up, entering this new phase in my life, so much to do, so little time.  The reality is that my life consists of waking up, going to work, where I kiss the asses of unappreciative foreigners in exchange for a ten percent tip, and then going home to watch sitcoms.  I start with Friends which turns to The King of Queens which turns to Seinfeld which turns to The Big Bang Theory which ends to me falling asleep in front of the TV to more Seinfeld around eleven o'clock.  This time last year, eleven pm would have meant getting out of the shower, beer in hand, figuring out in which bar I would most likely leave my debit card behind for the third time that month. 

But I guess that's how life progresses.  Sometimes I'll look at where I am at any point in time, trace back to a year, and compare just how big a difference 365 days can make.  Just like in a year from now I'll have a small person in my arms, someone I'm completely responsible for, someone who I'll love unconditionally in a way that I do not comprehend today.  But until then, I remain bored, even a bit bitter about this thing growing inside of me, keeping me locked up away from the world I know and love.  And I think that's okay.

So now I'm in this "nesting" phase.  Our second bedroom has served us faithfully as assurance that we are not completely trapped together in a luxury prison cell, regardless of the fact that we're usually in the same room anyway.  Having it there gives us a a sense of security, a sense of escape, and a place to store all of our extra crap.  I've been trying to get it organized and cleaned out for the past month but I think our stuff is multiplying.  I've been toting around the same useless boxes of pictures and notebooks and 8th grade love notes from apartment to apartment.  I know I'll never use them but like the second bedroom, I just like to know they're there.  Nesting.  It's cool because it's what all creatures instinctively do.  It's like I'm becoming a part of the large scheme of the natural world: procreating, jumping on Mother Nature's bandwagon along with every female pigeon and sea turtle whoever lived (without, thank god, nosy beach goers shining a flashlight up my ass just to get in on the action of the miracle of life).  So every couple of days, I go in there and try to make a dent.  I gather all my dirty sticks and leaves and twigs and try to make a home for the egg I'm about to lay onto the population.

For years, I've been writing about looking for a purpose, finding a passion or something to care about.  I've looked for that in all the usual vices, in people, in hobbies, religion, community service, political stances.  And all of these things have served me well in their appropriate times.  But they have rarely lasted or held much substance beyond something to cling to while waiting for the next big change.  Life is an evolving energy, constantly moving forward.  Sometimes I feel like I missed some opportunity.  Like I wish I'd listened to all those voices in my head telling me to do things differently.   I wonder if this is really where I want to be.  Twenty-five with little life experience beyond my own mini dramas, the world my oyster that I never got to taste before being forced to settle down, becoming a mom, and living for someone else.  But beyond that doubt and hint of bitterness, I have faith that this passion I've been looking for is right under my nose, literally.  She has a heartbeat, a name, and ten fingers and toes.  And somehow, I know that every decision I've made, good or bad, has led me here.

So consider this my last opportunity, at least for a while, to be a little selfish, to have something all about me and me only.  Maybe you'll read this, maybe you won't, maybe you'll get bored after the first paragraph and move on to a blog about dogs who look like their owners.  It doesn't matter.  I'm doing this for me, but if you'd like to join me, feel free.