Today was no different than any other day. I woke up, got dressed in my workout gear and pulled my hair back into a ponytail. I washed the sleep off my face and looked into the mirror. That is when I saw them. Two gray hair follicles on my left side. But instead of pulling them out, I left them. One has a slight curl and it stands out from the rest of my relaxed hair. The other straight and it glistens in the light as a turn my head.
I didn’t pluck them. It wasn’t long ago that I would deep dive into the dresser drawer in search for the tweezers as soon as I found one. I would extract the unwanted hairs faster than a Hillary supporter at one of 45’s rallies.
But today I let them stay. Today I saw them as a symbol of experience, a symbol of how far I’ve come. I imagined sitting in a meeting with my fellow colleagues, listening to a straight-out-of-college account assistant tell me how I should do my job. I would turn to her flashing my two gray hairs like a badge and she would instantly get it. My gray hairs were the badge of experience and I knew what I was talking about. #winning.
Today I let them stay because they are the only thing I physically have that shows my experience. I am blessed with youngin’ genes (thanks, Dad). The kind that keeps you looking young even though you are growing old like everyone else. I won’t go so far to say it is a curse because I wouldn’t want the later.
When I got married some of my husbands’ side of the family thought my Dad didn’t show up at the wedding. Because the man that I was walking down the aisle with looked too young to be my father. When flying I would choose the exit row on the airplane and would always get carded. This happened well into my twenties (the allowed age is 15). My husband and I got stopped by the police for a “curfew check” when we were over 21. Even today, what we wear and whether we are sans kids will determine if we get carded for purchasing adult beverages.
Youngin’ genes do have their drawbacks. When I walk into a meeting, people forget the “senior” on my title and assume I’m fresh out of college. A young buck that is just getting started. I feel like I have to wear my resume on my blouse or provide a quick bio before we get started. Hello, I’m Stephanie and I have 16 years experience in web development and user experience…
So I let them stay because it’s the only validation I have without sounding like I’m bragging or boasting. It’s like street cred but for your career. Work cred?
There will be a time that I won’t need them, but for now, I will let them stay.
Side note: Why two different spellings for the same word? Now I have to go make sure I spelled grey or gray consistently throughout this article.
Originally posted on Medium.com.