Right now my hair is uber-trendy because I have salt and pepper hair, with an extra side of salt. People pay a lot of money for this look right now. Gray is where it’s at. Until it’s not anymore, and I will once again look like someone’s Asian grandmother because I refuse to color my hair. Well, I tried to dye it purple, but three stylists and one friend talked me out of it because the gray would never release all the color and I’d eventually be stuck with “muddy cat urine color.” What Pantone number is that anyway?
People tell me I’m brave to flaunt my gray hair. I tell them it has nothing to do with courage. Instead, it has everything to do with loving my life and self and getting older. I love getting older. I have experienced feelings and participated in events and met people I never knew existed when I was younger. I have gone places and done things I never knew possible. Oh how beautiful, oh how amazing, oh how magical the world can be!
If you let it. If you can see past the wrinkles and creaky knees and reading glasses, see past the tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrows. When I was younger, I steeled myself against the world, trying so hard to protect myself from these aches and pains. I tried to keep everything out.
I was telling someone today that for most of my life, my friends were mostly men. I thought it was easier and less complicated to be friends with men. They didn’t judge, they accepted me for who I was, they were fun. I thought that women tended to judge, they could be mean, they could be complicated. Women are taught to compete against each other.
And then I started to do some hard work on being vulnerable and authentic. Putting down my armor. Not posturing. Cautiously, slowly, being me in this world. Each day is ripe for opportunities to practice. Some days are better than others. And then one day, I looked around, and my soul was full. I realized that I had surrounded myself with a tribe of beautiful women who are good and positive and caring and flawed. Authentic, kind, strong, beautiful women. I love getting older.
I feel so blessed to be in such good company. I feel honored to call such amazing women my friends, my tribe, my sisters. These women who are patient and kind and creative and wise and broken. These women who inspire me to be a better person. I would never have been able to forge these bonds had I not done the hard work through the years of being vulnerable enough to show my cracks and bruises and brokenness. I love getting older.
And today I met another Tribe Sister. In an instant we knew. There is such a thing as love at first sight. Except we’re both heterosexual. And we haven’t actually met in person yet. These are but minor details. She totally gets this. An ex-boyfriend from college connected us. He is a unique individual with certain standards. So I knew she wouldn’t be your usual gal.
And wow, we speak the same language, the same fire burns within us, we share the same vision of how we will change this world. The force is strong in that one. So I want you to meet her. She is smart and fierce and talented and kind and good and inspiring and wow. She’s a poet, and I want you to know it. See what I did there?
Please meet Lisa Harris. Lisa, please meet my world.
Lisa is a connector, a raiser-upper, a healer. She is a cheerleader, a supporter, a be-loved soul. She is a sprinkler of kindness, a ray of light, a lover if there ever was one. She understands the true meaning of Sistering. We do the work of connecting, we talk about our brokenness, we talk about beauty, we talk about self-love.
Please check her out. Fashion Meets Poetry, LLC is her website (that will be updated by the end of the month to better showcase her workshops, videos, books, etc.) Her book, “Unveiled Beauty” comes out in September 2016. It’s a unique book of her intense, emotional poetry, mixed with fashion photography, using real women as models. The poetry, beautiful. The fashion photography, beautiful. The women of different shapes and sizes and ethnicities, so so beautiful. The book is a true celebration of women. Lisa’s tagline: “A celebration of women ~ All their beautiful differences ~ Whole and broken places” How do you NOT love that?
So this is why I love getting older. This is why I find my gray hair so fashionable even when the next trend takes over. Because I would never have imagined having this kind of relationship when I was younger. I would never have been in a place in my life, in myself, where I could have approached her, where I would have shared myself with her, where I could have held space for her story.
I dare say I would not have been able to have this dear tribe of sisters by my side, if not for the years past and the hard work. So my gray hair is testament to all these glorious years and each of my tribe sisters. I can’t have purple hair, so instead I’ve got a head full of sparkly silver and purple hair tinsel now. True story. Hoping my newest Tribe Sister finds this fashionable. But I know even if she doesn’t, she won’t judge. But between you and I, I think she likes sparkle just as much as I do.