Ever have one of those days when you look at yourself in the mirror, and I mean you really look…you sit up on the bathroom vanity, with your feet in the sink, you lean in a little closer, pull at your skin, examine each eyebrow, your teeth, each new line, every sun kissed freckle, scrunch your face, unscrunch your face…
And then you spot a hair.
A grey hair.
No big deal, right?
I’ve actually stopped dyeing my hair, and I’m all kinds of good with a few sprigs of grey on my head. But this bad boy is sprouting from what was once an adorable Cindy Crawford-esque mole on my cheek!
Yes, it’s a mole hair. And it’s about an inch long.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER!
How in the name of all things holy did I not notice that mother effer before? Every day I stand in front of this huge bathroom mirror to do my hair, brush my teeth, put on my eyebrows, moisturize my eyes, face, neck (because forty five, bitches, forty five). Did it just appear overnight? What kind of evil sorcery is that? I initially hoped it was unattached, perhaps actually belonging to the dog. Possibly stuck to my face with last night’s French Mint Laura Secord chocolate bar remnants. Surely, I could just flick it away.
What the actual f*ck?
It brought back a memory of the time I was pregnant with my oldest child; I couldn’t see the bottom of my belly anymore, and the (ex)husband panic whisper-yelled to me after my doctor finished her exam: *Cough, cough* “You have a BIG DARK HAIR GROWING ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BELLY!” He was horrified. At the time I thought, jeez man, couldn’t you just ignore it? Maybe discreetly yank it out while lovingly caressing my ginormous belly, which houses YOUR CHILD, and an obscene number of Hershey’s Chocolate Hugs? Tell me I have never looked so glowingly beautiful, even with a new gross hair, and my belly button freakishly sticking out (it went back in, don’t worry). I am very busy and important, growing your child up in here, doncha know? I don’t have time to worry about the underside of my belly! Pffft.
But, now, to the ex husband I say, thank you. Thank you for telling me. Because who knows how long I have been walking around thinking that I was the bees knees, with my grey mole hair, just hanging off my cheek, flapping in the wind. And no one said, “hey, Moley H. McMoleyton, you better check yourself. And what really gets me is that I didn’t see it! I’m like those men with spidery leg nose hairs peeking out from their nostrils. The ones they seem completely oblivious to (okay, that gave me the heebie jeebies just typing it). I’m now sorry for judging you, fellas. I will still completely judge you, but with much more empathy. Because, now I know, hair happens.
I’ve actually been working really hard on embracing getting older. On accepting myself, just exactly as I am. With the exception of facial hair, that is. That bastard is long gone. But the rest. I’ll take it. The grey hair (on my head). My not twenty five year old boobs. Stretch marks on my hips from growing two perfect babies. The paunch above my c-section scar. All the new wrinkles. Yes, please. They’re from a life lived full of laughter, after all. And I’ve even come to accept the fact that my underwear keep sliding down inside my jeans. Because perhaps I’ve laughed my ass right off. Or my ass has morphed to a front bum and explains the paunch? I’m unsure if this is actually related to being in my mid forties, but it’s a new development, and I am blaming it on aging. Or poor underwear manufacturing.
Forty five is a little weird, yo.
Thankfully though, most days, I feel younger than I am. I’ve finally reached that stage where I’m more content in my own skin. Every scar, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, everything that is this vessel that I’m lucky enough to exist in, it tells a story. And each year that passes is a chance to add more to that story. To deepen the lines around my mouth from smiling, because I’m lucky to have the life that I do. And I’m hopeful that the best is yet to come. I’m hanging my hat on it.
Or on my mole hair.
“Aging is an incredible process, where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie