I see you, single white eyebrow hair!

Yes, I see you. There’s no hiding from me. Not that you were trying to hide that much anyway. I mean, how could I not notice you? One bright white hair sticking up in the middle of all the black ones? You weren’t exactly trying to be anonymous, were you? No, in fact, I rather feel your flamboyant combination of stark white colour and blatant lack of respect for the order hairs lay in, was more of a giant fuck you, to be honest!

But that’s okay. I can take it! I’m a big girl. And you know that already don’t you? And anyway, I hate to piss on your party parade, little white eyebrow hair, but you were beaten to it by a couple of head hair a few years ago! So there! And there have been a few more since then, believe me. So you weren’t such a shock, I’m sorry to say. You looked sort of weird and out of place though, so I plucked you out and examined you, and I expect you’ll be glad to hear your brief existence as part of my body did encourage me to stand and consider the passing of my time.

But the white hairs on my head was a bigger deal. Because those little bastards crept up on me. They took me by surprise, unlike you. Those hairs got me in a right little spin. They had me thinking about age and death for weeks! But you, I’m not so sure. I feel like I will just shrug you off. You see, back then, I was a few years into my thirties. And let me tell you, shocking white eyebrow hair, your early thirties are a time of massive denial and self-delusion.

You’ve just come out of your twenties and you can’t quite believe you’ve actually crossed the threshold into your thirties. It doesn’t seem real. Or fair. Twenties sounds so nice, doesn’t it? No one really wants to be a teenager forever, not with all the angst and insecurity, but your twenties are fantastic. You’re still young. You look young! You feel young. Old age feels a million years away; something that can never touch you. Then you roll on into your third decade, and it feels like quite a beating if I’m honest.  Quite a shock to the system.

I remember when I was heading out of my twenties. Being thirtysomething distressed and confused me. As that big 3-0 approached, I started looking around at other women of that age. How was I supposed to dress? How should I act? I felt like I had to leave my old scruffy, student style clothes behind me and try to appear a bit more polished. I genuinely thought this!

Early thirties is a strange time. You tell yourself you are still young, and of course, you still feel exactly the same. We never really change much on the inside. But you are suddenly confronted with one hard, cold fact. Entering your third decade is the beginning of the end of being young. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t suddenly wake up with crows feet and saggy arms, thank God. You don’t suddenly turn grey or develop arthritis. But it’s the start…or the end.

And towards the end of your thirties? There is no denying it. You’re a woman now, not a girl. You’re approaching middle-age, something you never, ever, ever thought would happen to you. You see, we witness the changes of the seasons. We watch leaves turn yellow and brown. We see them twist and twirl in the air as they fall to the ground. We kick through them and watch them turn to mulch. We see their decay but not our own. The new buds start the process again. Another season. Another Spring. Followed by another Summer, and Autumn, and so on.

Realising the world sees you as an adult, is weird. I still don’t feel like one. I always think people are older than me and feel genuinely shocked when I find out they are my age. I mean, they’re old…I’m not? 

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Those first white hairs were amusing to me. I pulled them out and looked them over. I was pleased by them, oddly. I liked that they were bright white, not grey. And I feel the same way about you, white eyebrow hair. So funny how things go full circle! I was so blonde when I was a toddler, my hair was almost white. To think one day I will have white hair and white eyebrows and eyelashes is really sort of exciting. I can just about see myself if I stare hard enough.

When I stop to think about it, and yes, okay, I admit the appearance of white hairs like yourself, does inevitably cause me to ponder…I really think I am okay with getting older.

There’s something I always think about and that’s how lucky I am to be here in the first place. You know, out of all those eggs and all those sperms, and all those opportunities for life to exist or not, I made it through. I saw a video this week where a guy was saying you have more chance of winning the lottery 10 times than you do of getting a life in the first place. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I agree with the sentiment. It’s mind-boggling if you think about it.

Getting older, spotting wrinkles and white hairs, it does make you feel a little sad, a little bit nostalgic. Of course, I stare at my face in the mirror and try to see the younger me. I hear songs that take me back, I experience memories out of the blue, ones I had forgotten. I think, how nice it would be to go back to that time. To do that again. But I would never really want to go back. To go back would be to lose who I am now. The years that have passed have shaped and moulded me into who I am now, someone I mostly quite like!

I think the whole fucking thing is amazing. This life. Getting up every morning and placing your feet down on the floor. Feeling the rain on your face. Facing the dark. Watching the shadows. Catching the light. Feeling the endless earthy beat of the world beneath your feet. Knowing love. Holding tight. Inhaling embraces. Star gazing. Paddling. Holding hands. It’s beautiful and amazing that we have the gift to look back, to remember and feel the emotions of the past. And it’s exciting and enthralling that we have the vision to look forward, to dream and imagine and hope. And it’s breathtaking when you think about it, that we have this same, one moment that we live in perpetually. Just us. Inside our skull. Looking out. What do you see?

For me, life is full of small, perfect moments. Of bare feet on warm concrete. Sitting on the doorstep with a hot cup of coffee. Watching birds fly in and out of the hedgerow. Finger nails filled with dirt. The sun setting and rising. Listening to the rain at night. Getting lost in a good book. Falling asleep beside your child. Smelling their hair. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, least of all you. But you can wake and walk and sleep and dream and live and love, day after beautiful day, until it ends.

So, you don’t scare me little white eyebrow hair. You don’t worry me. In fact, you make me smile. There will be more of you along, I know. One day I will give up plucking you out and I will let the white takeover. And that will be okay.

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8 thoughts on “I see you, single white eyebrow hair!

  1. Great post, Chantelle. Wait until you’re in your late fifties and late thirties will seem like a dream 😀 But my grandpa used to say it was the next decade up that always seemed old. This carried up right until the end of his life, so he was fine with 70 once he reached it but it was then 80 that was old. He lived into his 80s so I guess 90 was the next scary milestone! I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you’re in your 4th decade!!

    But yes, as the youngest sibling I always grew up thinking of everyone as older than me because, well, they were. They were always older and doing things first. Also having a birthday towards the end of the school year I was one of the youngest in my year when that sort of thing matters. Then you go to work at 18 and once again you are the youngest. When I was in my mid teens I spent my life trying to look over 18 or 21 to get into clubs. Then suddenly I was 20 and felt old!! By the time I was in my twenties I started to look younger than my years and so on through the decades. Until now. I think I am starting to look my age and feel it! But I have always looked back and been nostalgic, even when I was young.

    But it’s hard to adjust from always having been the youngest and feeling the youngest. I mean, how do you suddenly behave like a grown-up when you don’t feel like one? I think this is why older people develop eccentricities and of course when you’re very old you have a license to behave as you want!

    Thanks for this stimulating post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so beautiful! I absolutely love how you describe life as being so full of wonderful moments. It took me a long time to see them, but yes – life IS amazing.

    I’m still waiting for the white eyebrow hairs – the white head hairs sneaked in at some point, and I didn’t notice until I had a good distribution on both sides of my forehead. I don’t mind – in fact, I kind of like them. They’ve got stories to tell. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, Kim! I’m so glad you liked this post 🙂 And I’m glad you’re also okay with your white hairs. Like you say, they’re part of your story!

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  3. This is such a lovely post Chantelle.
    I found it really difficult to accept when I turned 40 and a lot of crap hit the fan later than that. I can’t quite bring myself to tell you how old I am now. I’m still getting used to that one I suppose. Let’s just say I’m a bit past 40 now but certainly not past it! I don’t know about the saying older and wiser as I’m still as scatty as I’ve ever been, but I love where I live I love the people in my life, I’ve even managed to love myself. As for writing….well you know about that one 🙂

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  4. Ah thanks Debbie! I think that’s brilliant, loving yourself, your people and where you live are extremely important and things we all strive for as we go through life 🙂

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