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.