Day 56: Kind Words

I'm grateful for the kind words - what amounted to a compliment - from the lady next to me at the checkout. Maybe she was just being friendly because I'd let her go ahead of me when she had one item and I had an overflowing basket, but she had no idea what kind of day I'd had up to that point and how very much her words would make a difference in my day.

I was having one of those ugly days: a day when I questioned why I am the way I am - why I couldn't be more like everyone else - why I had to look and feel like a freak. Because that was how this skirt-wearing long-haired-going-grey middle-aged (that's such an ugly word) lady felt.

I don't want to be the only one wearing a skirt in a sea of jeans and tunics-with-tights (and fashion conscious I may not be, but tights are not pants. Wear them with dresses, wear them with tunics, but please do not wear them with shirts regardless of body size) and I've tried to change. I've even thought of throwing out my entire wardrobe and starting all over again with a clothing catalogue as my guide. (I don't know how I'd afford it, but that's something to worry about another time.) But for some reason I just don't feel comfortable in pants ... and so I continue to wear skirts and feel different.

Then there's the hair. It's turning grey at an alarming rate; so alarming that soon I will have to describe it as 'grey' rather than as 'turning grey'. And it's on the long side. Especially by today's standards. Which might be okay if you're ten or twenty or even thirty but by the time you're my age, you're meant to have grown up and look 'grown up' - even if by the time you're my age you should have earned the right to do whatever you please without worrying about anyone else's opinions.

Thus I went out wondering why I couldn't be like every other female my age and want to wear pants and cut and dye my hair and feeling incredibly freakish because I can't and don't and then a lovely beautiful young woman (in pants and with shoulder length hair that may or may not have been dyed) said a few kind words and paid me a lovely compliment. She'll never know how grateful I am ... and I'll probably never forget.


Fox said…
While I guess I like to look fashionable... and not "middle aged", I am like you... I wear dresses a lot, skirts a lot... I have long hair. It's not graying, but then again, I like henna and I probably wouldn't know for awhile if it was! But my Mom is not really gray yet, so I am probably still safe there. I love my hair long though. My Aunt, who is turning 70, has long hair, with a tiny bit of gray through it. She used to wear it short years back, but I think it looks more beautiful and youthful long. There is something about long hair that is youthful to me. I have seen women who are "our age" that cut their long hair short and to me, it just makes them look older and like everyone else, but not in a good way. It's just like you've been run through the "look middle aged or older" time machine and now "fit" into that category. I'd rather just be me. I don't feel old. While I don't have perfect hair and hormonal changes have not been kind (shed city!) I still love my hair. I enjoy dresses and skirts because they are cool and comfortable and feminine. Sure, sometimes I stand out, but I don't really care. In that way we differ a bit, because it doesn't bother me. I think it's a good different. I think YOU are a good different too! You don't look your age. You don't look like you've had so many kids! I think you still look quite youthful, and I hope that you will remember that lots of us think so! I'm sorry the silvery hairs bother you. Other than coloring, which I know you don't want to do, the only other thing is to try to change your view of it. Highlights of wisdom. :) The Bible teaches silver hair is a crown of glory... a crown of splendor. Maybe if you think of it like that... of receiving a crown, it might help. I think you're amazing! You've accomplished so much, raised wonderful boys, and it's hard to believe you've done all of that and still look as wonderful as you do! We all pick on ourselves I think... we find every flaw, but for those of us on the outside looking at you... well, you're pretty amazing to me!
Jules said…
Hi Fox, thanks for your kind comments. I've pretty much come to terms with my grey and I guess that's because I've decided to accept the reasons why I won't colour. BUT I have not come to terms with being so different to everyone around me. Perhaps it would be easier in a big city where you can be anonymous. I don't know. I guess it's because I choose to swim against the flow on three separate fashion/beauty issues that makes me feel so different and, yes, even freakish. I'd love for my being different not to bother me, but it does. I'd rather just blend in and not be noticed at all but to do that I would have to deny who I am - which was exactly why I struggle. Why do I have to be this way?
Fox said…
Maybe God wants you to be noticed, Jules. Maybe it's His tool to allow you to shine for Him. When I think of the dreams I had, and how none of those were God's plans for me, it reminds me that my thoughts are not God's thoughts and my plans aren't always His plans either.

I wish you didn't feel freakish because you're not. I wish you could see the beauty of who you are and just embrace it, embrace the differences that make you, you. I wonder if your struggle might become part of your stories one day... and that some little girl struggling with self acceptance might read it and find help in accepting herself for the way God made her. Everything happens for a reason, even when we don't understand it at the time. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make you feel better about yourself, but of course I can't. Just know that you aren't alone and that people who care about you are praying for you as you struggle with these feelings. (((Jules)))