Absolute strangers will walk up to me when I’m out and about, and comment to me about my hair. It’s the weirdest thing and though it’s been going on for years, it still surprises me.
What do they comment about?
Well, it used to be how long and full my hair was lol
but those days are long gone, now it’s all about the gray.
Young women ask if it’s “natural”, which is hilarious and older women tell me I’m “brave.” “Bold.”
One lady said she wished she had my “courage to go natural.”
“It doesn’t take courage”, I would say with a smile, “you just do it.”
I was in a home decor group on Facebook awhile back, trying to help some of the ladies who had design questions. There was a lady in particular who I could see was really struggling and seeking input. Over the course of our ‘conversation’ I kept gently urging her to think outside of the box and pursue what she really wanted to do in her home.
In the end, I didn’t succeed, she sadly typed “I just don’t have your courage.”
I realize we are all at different stages in our lives but I still have to ask,
Why does it take courage to be ourselves?
I know its commonplace to blame the bombardment of social media on our tendency for comparison, but I don’t buy that. We’re all adults here. We can turn it off. We can unfollow those who are pushing a perfectionistic standard. We are in charge of our feelings.
I wish I could somehow give you the courage you need to pursue what you really want for your home.
And I wish I could stress to you the importance of taking the time to figure out what you really want instead of following trends or doing nothing at all.
But these are all decisions we have to make for ourselves. We have to decide we’re going to decorate our home for us and not for the feedback of friends or family members.
We have to decide that all the work is worth it to be able to come home to a place that feels comfortable, inviting and cozy to us, to heck with everyone else’s thoughts on it.
When my gray hair first started coming in, I was pulling those suckers out left and right, I hated them and I did it for years. Thank God I was born with a ton of hair and you couldn’t tell. Lol
I grew up in an environment where youthfulness was king. Aging was not celebrated. So I was ashamed of my gray hair.
It was never an option to color it because my hair grows like a weed and the upkeep would be very expensive.
I can’t tell you exactly when I stopped pulling my grays out but I do remember that I just stopped thinking about it after our family suffered a great loss.
Suddenly, it was just ridiculous.
And I realized what a great gift it was to grow older. Including all the outward signs that came with it.
Tragedy has a way of snuffing out what is meaningless and giving rise to what’s important.
I can also remember many years ago when a close friend came to visit. This person walked around my place and critiqued every design choice I had made. I was young, poor, doing the best I could, but I found myself making excuses for everything they found wrong. That incident burned a hole in my mind and crippled me for more years than I want to admit.
I can’t remember when I stopped trying to please others with my home decor, it was quite awhile ago, but I do know that the more I was willing to be completely honest with myself if I liked something or not, the better I felt in my own home and in my own skin.
And that tiny shred of confidence bred more confidence.
It only takes one small step in the right direction to alter our course.
Please know that this isn’t a slap on the wrist of those who lack confidence in their choices, my heart just breaks when I see women stunted with indecision and desperately seeking the approval of their peers.
Over and over, I want to ask- What do you want? What do you like? What do you think looks best in your home?
If I could give you anything it would be self confidence, confidence that spills over into your choices for your home.
But I can’t do that, can I..
You have to find your way, just like I am. I only hope you won’t stop trying, it’s a worthy pursuit, friends.
Well, I’m off to get some work done, me and my gray(ing) hair. Lol
When you are faced with a design choice in your home, whether its a piece of furniture, some paint or a small home decor item, I encourage you to ask yourself:
Do I love this? Do I really love it?
Push aside what you think anyone else would say about it. If you love it, I’m a firm believer that you can make it work in your home. Those homes that so many of us admire, are filled with pieces that the homeowner loves and that tangible comfortability in one’s own home is priceless.. and attractive!
May we all have the courage to be ourselves and create the home we love,