I have never viewed myself as a risk taker and yet when I have been evaluated at work or via my financial planner the results indicate a high tolerance for risk. From my perspective I don't feel I take risks as most things I do I have thought about therefore a choice. These choices often come with well thought out contingency plans coupled with a mindset to fail fast and course correct. This simple word swapping from risk to choice has served me well both at work and my personal life allowing me decide to take roles outside of my expertise, move to new cities, travel alone when I could not find someone who wanted to go along, or embrace the gray .
Now onto the rub: I do have an admitted amount of OCD and control freak in my DNA therefore the options need to be choices that I can see as advantageous to the situation - not necessarily my idea or original thought - but the choice must follow my values and have some logic to it. More rub: I, as most women do, have a certain level of vanity particularly as I spend most of my time in a male dominated corporate environment. My 'reality' says that not only do women need to prove themselves more often we are also expected to maintain a different appearance standard as our male counterparts. Yes, this is my perception I admit but as I look around at all my color treated female colleagues I do not think I am alone. I don't believe any of my male colleagues would dream of spending countless hours and dollars at the salon adding color to create the appearance of youth.
So where am I going with this? Until I met my man Gunner I had three choices:
- Color my hair indefinitely: original color or lighter,
- Cut my hair short and let the gray grow out,
- Keep my long hair and let I grow out.
WTF - Are You Kidding Me!! I chose the first for the past several years as the other two were not options I could face. I love my long hair. I have cut my hair short before but keep going growing it out. I like to pull my hair back when I exercise, in an up-do for a fancy occasion, or just a messy knot on the weekends. That said outside of the first week or two after a color I would not pull my locks back in public due to the multitude of glitter beneath the surface a.k.a. vanity. Choice #3 letting the gray march down the length of my hair - I shudder at the thought but have seem some women work through this process only to call uncle and revert back to a color or cut it short part way though.
Now I have choice #4 and one that works for me. You will not have to probe deeply to see the control freak peek out. Choice #4 is to have my stylist expertly weave the gray color into my hair matching my natural color palate. Don't you love instant gratification! By process but not plan we are moving gradually which has been helpful as I do not have a center of attention or shock value personality. To suddenly go full on gray may have been too much and all the questions - yikes!! My stylist is on this journey with me and if you decide to take choice #4 you need to find someone equally as committed. Gunner and I both find it interesting that he is coloring my hair but instead of covering up the gray we are letting it out and in turn letting me out.
As we discussed in my prior blog I took my first step to embrace the gray last weekend. I just spent my first week post gray-day travelling for work, meeting some new people and visiting old acquaintances. Anyone who knew me as a solid brunette was surprised and the women were very intrigued with the journey, curious bystanders for the time being. Coincidentally on the plane I heard a woman ask a fellow female traveler in front of her, who had a really cute short gray cut, how she made the switch to gray. As the gray lady shared that she made choice #2 the quizitive traveler shared that she just could not part with her longer locks to go gray. I wanted to stop and give her an amen and Gunners number but the isle way of a plane during boarding was just not the time or place for a high-five. I have to admit choice #4 has been liberating to me and so far met with positive feedback most importantly by me but the support of others is helpful. Now let's see how I feel when we peel back more of the onion and let more sparkle shine through. Stay tuned sisters.