My birthday is coming up and I am turning 42. In some books and in code this might be the answer to the universe but what is 42 to me? What does a 42-year-old working mom look like?
Sometimes I forget how old I am and since moving up to Seattle and having kids, a lot of my new friends are also moms. Since our commonality isn’t high school, these new friends have a wide variety of ages and I am no longer surrounded by people who are born in the late ’70s, except for my hubby who is only 6 months older.
So when I look around what does 42 look like. It’s an interesting decade for a woman who is either starting to have kids since it is now or never, or wrapping up her family with what she has. She grew up in the last wave of analog as a child who transitioned to a digital world as it grew with her. For me this transition happened so slowly, so naturally, and I was so focused on my own golden egg that I didn’t stop to look around and see what I was doing, what course I was on, what train I had jumped on without even asking if I was onboard. I was doing stuff that I just did, since that is what everyone did, and never stopped to ask myself why. One of these whys was my hair.
My Mom owned her own hair salon in the San Francisco Bay Area and sometimes after school, I would be there waiting for her to finish, so why not get my hair done. I think I started coloring my hair around 10 with highlights and fun colors and just never stopped. Many years later as an adult, I noticed some gray hairs in my natural dark brown. Without thinking I just kept coloring.
My Mom no longer works and spends a lot of time out of the country. I work fulltime and have two little kids. I have very few hours to myself and coloring my hair became a chore. An expensive one! So I really thought about it. Why am I doing this? Because 42-year-olds don’t have gray hair? I won’t look attractive? I’ll look old? People will treat me differently? What will others think?
Well, you know what … I am doing it!
It’s only been 2 months of growth but I am excited to see what my natural hair looks like. I’m excited to embrace it and really own my gray hair. Own my age, own the fact woman don’t need to hang on to youth like it holds value when in reality, each of these gray hairs tells a story of life and the years of experience this body holds. Each sparkle of gray is an exhibit of my wisdom and strength.
In a way, it feels rebellious going gray.
So hello 42 and finally being old enough, to be strong enough, to be me. * L