Tuesday, 3 February 2009

There will be no mirrors in this house...

Before I can create my 'Tag, You're It' post, I need to transfer my photos from my old laptop to my new laptop. So whilst they are transferring, this post will have to do.

I am sitting quite comfortably with my lovely new laptop on my lap. The sun is streaming in through the window which means that all I can see in the lovely widescreen is a reflection of myself typing. And I was managing to look past the reflection and read the screen until a bright burst of sunshine lit up the side of my head and illuminated my grey hairs.

I have always considered myself to be fairly blessed with respect to my appearance. My skin is - for the most part - smooth and well-behaved, and my hair is the kind of colour that doesn't tend to go grey. I take after my Mum on the hair front, and my Mum's hair isn't grey. My sister, on the other hand, takes after my Aunt who started to go grey at the age of eighteen. So I always made that assumption in my mind: Sister's hair grey, mine not grey. And so I never looked for grey hairs.

Until last year, that is, when I decided to start growing my hair out from its usual cropped status. I was using a brush to blow-dry my hair for the first time in years, and noticed a couple of grey hairs. So I pulled them out (surely the myth cannot be true that two grow in each hair's place?) and forgot about them. Job done. And then the next day I discovered another two. And then the following week, more appeared.

I am still thankful that a) I have a lot of brown hair on my head and b) the grey hairs don't tend to show, but what fascinated me was the fact that the more I looked, the more I would find. I couldn't understand how a new fully grown grey hair could appear from nowhere, the day after I had 'cleared a patch' so to speak. Where were they coming from?

My question was answered when my friend GBM heard my plea of "I just don't know where all of this grey is coming from" and offered his grooming services to extract the ones that I couldn't see at the back of my head. "Man, there's loads! Look, here's another one!" he said as he slowly (and rather vindictively, I thought) pulled each one out by the root and lay it on top of the ever growing pile. "Hey, look at this one - it's half grey and half brown!"

Aha. Mystery solved. I thought that grey hairs were born and not made. I hadn't even considered the possibility of my lovely brown hair slowly losing its pigment - a reminder that despite still feeling perpetually young and stupid, I am 38. 38, single, jobless, no kids, renting a house.... boo hoo hoo.....

But I think I have found the answer. GBM rang yesterday and was telling me about an understanding on how the brain works from his NLP book. What you see, apparently, is what you are. Pretty tricky, given that we tend to look in the mirror and form an association with what we see. I think it's quite important to know what you look like, especially when looking through photo albums or trying to find your way out of the maze of mirrors on Walton pier.
GBM then went on to tell the story of a young man who suffered from very bad acne and had used every lotion, potion, chinese and prescription medicine to no avail. He was at his wits end, as you can imagine. Then he was sent away on holiday for two weeks and was banned from looking in mirrors for that time. The only mirror at the holiday location was securely tucked away in his mum's makeup bag. Do I need to tell you the outcome? Once he stopped checking for the update of his spots and stopped confirming to his brain that his face had acne, his spots then ceased to be...

So that's it for me. I will be blow-drying my hair and applying my makeup and getting dressed without the aid of a mirror from this day forward. Heaven only knows what everyone else will see when they look at me, but in my mind, I am a Goddess.......

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