Gray Hair… I Kinda Care

So once again, I have made the decision to stop dying my hair, even though my vanity is begging me to reconsider. I have several reasons why I decided to stop. First one being, my scalp stopped tolerating the dye. After each dye job, my scalp would feel itchy for days. My hair would also feel greasy.  I would just feel uncomfortable for days, weeks, like my scalp was being taken over by vindictive, invisible bugs.

Until I recently reconnected with favorite hair dresser in the world, I was going to a salon in the mall every 6 or 7 weeks and paying $120 for a cut and color. For a brief time after I reconnected with my hair dresser, I was paying half of that every 6 or 7 weeks. The cost added up, but before the bad side effects happened, the cost used to be worth it to me.

Now, it’s not worth it. Nothing is worth me itching my scalp and feeling physically uncomfortable for large stretches of time. If I could, I would still dye my hair for another solid 10 or so years. It breaks my heart (okay, pride) because I love how I look with dark hair, and felt super cute and confident.

Seeing these white/grey hairs slowly take over my scalp has been a mind fuck, and making me feel strangely emotional. On one hand, I understand that being able to grow old is not a luxury afforded to all. I have known so many amazing young women who have died from metastatic breast cancer in the previous year. They would have given anything to be able to grow older.

But I’m not working with this abundance of self esteem to be barreling toward 40 (a little over 2 years from now, ahhh) and seeing an “old” lady looking back at me in the mirror. I see my hair and I feel old, defeated. I don’t know how to reconcile with what’s going on the top of my head with how I really feel.

Why is getting older so hard to accept? I used to think I was going to be dead by the time I was 40, just like my mother. I was certain that breast cancer was going to kill me, too. Now, I’m only a couple of years away from the my mother was when she died, and frankly, y’all, I’m starting to look more like her. In my mind, I’m lookin’ like a woman who’s been dead for 30 years.

Also, why is it so hard for me to accept the fact that people are going to stop thinking I’m not in my 20s or heck, even in my early 30s? I simultaneously don’t believe people when they say I look 10 years younger than my actual age, but  I love it. Not going to lie. I know that’s going to stop when more of my white hair comes in.

I know it’s okay to accept that my pride and vanity are taking a beating. I’m not a bad person for seeing my white hair coming in and wish that this wasn’t happening for another 10 or 20 years. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and taking pride in my appearance.

I think this will take time to accept, and I will just adapt with however this turns out. I know what I look like with red hair, blonde hair, black hair, and dark brown hair. Now, I am just going to find out what I look like with a combination of white hair and dishwater blonde hair.

Well, at least my glasses and wardrobe is going to be fly AF.

Hey strangers!

It’s been awhile since I have updated anything on this blog, and I blame the new job. I’ve been there for eight months now, and I’m just now feeling a little more sure-footed at the same company. I definitely did not realize how hard and difficult it would be to switch careers at my age, but I am glad I did, despite missing investigating now and then.

Sometimes, it completely blows my mind to think about where I was three years ago and where I am today. Three years isn’t that long of a time period, but it feels like five or six lifetimes ago. I was at a job I grew to hate for a manager and supervisor who had me convinced how bad I suck at the job and life.

During my time at that job, I tried to move up or move to another department. Several times, instead of just promoting who they thought was best, the company held “try outs.” If I recall correctly, I tried two out of three times they held these tryouts while I was there. I even “tried out” to move to a preliminary researcher position, and once again, told I wasn’t good enough.

While I understand that I wouldn’t have gotten my last job (which resulted me in getting my current job) if it hadn’t been for the first one, I still think back to that time of my life and feel wonder. I resigned so easily to a position of mediocrity and allowed myself to believe that I couldn’t achieve more. It might take several more years for me to forgive myself for that.

I have had the absolute privilege working for companies who believe and encourage career development. They send their employees to trainings, so that these individuals can improve in their skills and abilities. I have worked with mentors at my last job. I have learned so much in these last three years, and confidence in your abilities radiates in the work that you produce.

A January 2013 Forbes article entitled “Why Employee Development Is Important, Neglected And Can Cost You Talent” stated:

Good talented people naturally want to advance, and appreciate meaningful support in the process. As the HBR study showed, capable ambitious young employees want training, mentoring and coaching. They want to gain skills. They want to become more versatile and valuable to an organization.

This could not be more spot on. Sure, not every employee wants to be an asset to a team and wants to collect a paycheck. I’m talking about those who want to gain skills and become a valuable asset to a company. Right now, I am studying to become a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. After this, I want to become a Certified Fraud Examiner, and after that, it’s time to rule the world.

I wish it didn’t take me until recently to learn not to accept that I am how others perceive me. I did extremely well at my previous researcher job, even though my previous company had said I lacked the skills to do basic research. They weren’t right about me, and the only person who was hurt by all of this was me.

I didn’t believe in myself and my abilities, and it cost me greatly. The only thing I can keep doing is to move on, and never make that mistake again. If I don’t believe in myself, then who will?