Mid-life Crisis and the Kool-Aid Dye

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I’m sitting here trying to sum up my latest identity/midlife crisis into a succinct paragraph and I’m at a complete loss for words. Remember when I used to write daily and the words just flowed out of me like rainwater out of a downspout? I miss those days. I want them back but I don’t have a clue how to get back on track.

I can share my latest hair news however. That’s kind of exciting and it’s also a tiny bit symbolic of what’s going on with me. I always change my hair when I want change in my life.

This big change wasn’t really planned though. It just happened.  Bug had Crazy Hair Day at school last week. We thought it would be fun to dye her hair with kool-aid again. It’s semi-permanent but we live in an age where it’s perfectly acceptable for eight-year-olds to walk around with green hair.  It’ll last a month and compared to the dreads of summer, it’s really no big deal.

Then, without much thought at all,  I jumped on the bandwagon and dyed my hair right along with Bug and her friend next door. They chose green. I chose red.

Who am I? Crazy, punk, middle-aged, gray-haired, mom-lady?

Part of me loves it. It’s like a rebellion against old age saying, I’m just as cool as I was back in the day! Hear me roar! The other part of me is freaked out  by the juxtaposition of my gray hair against this bright, vibrant, youthful color that just doesn’t look very classy at all.

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This half-and-half, old-with-new state of my hair kind of encapsulates my struggle with myself right now. I’m young and I’m old at the same time. I don’t belong with the hipsters who shop at Whole Foods and get tattoos all over their bodies (though I could if I tried a little harder and made a lot more money) but I’m not really ready to wear a track suit and play shuffleboard either.  I’m still beautiful, dammit! Let me hold onto my youthful good looks with every claw I have…

I am forty-one and I’m determined to love being this age. I’m not riddled with arthritis, I can still run and jump. I have a kid who makes everyday exciting. I don’t hurt in the morning when I get up. I just don’t always love who I see in the mirror. And don’t even get me started on how challenging it is to take a self-portrait without the use of instagram filters. Sheesh.

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So this is me looking myself right in the face and saying, I’m okay with being middle aged!!!  I can make it cool. I can embrace wrinkles and gray hair.

There is no going back, only forward.

Or maybe I should find a way to dunk my whole head in that pitcher of kool-aid…