Embracing The Evolution

It can be subtle, it can be brash. It can not be denied. Evolution happens. Ideas. People. Beliefs. Knowledge. It all changes…evolves.

When I was 39 I decided to get a tattoo. Now my upper arms are inked with pretty things. I have a penchant for having my hair colored in brilliant dyes not found in our genetic makeup. At 40 I am discovering a love for make-up. Not because it hides flaws, but because it is a form of expression. I love my given name and don’t plan on legally changing it. But I want to be called by a different name.

I have been told that I am going through a mid-life crisis.

I disagree.

The word crisis implies that I am in conflict.

I am not in crisis at all. I am evolving and I’m perfectly fine with it. It’s something we as a species do on a fairly regular basis, even if we don’t acknowledge it consciously. What makes this evolution of myself interesting is that it challenges those around me to re-examine their own evolution and how they interact with the world.

Here is are some examples:

  1. I was blonde as a child. Genetics gave me straw-colored hair that turned brassy over time and then darker. At some point I decided I no longer wanted to be blonde and began coloring my hair. At the age of 23 I branched out into a color that was clearly not in the human genome. This change was not well received by my mother. It challenged her perception of me. (And likely increased her worry about where I was headed in life at the time.) She did not agree with my physical evolution.

After that summer I didn’t color my hair again until I was 27. By the time I was 29 my hair was sporting multiple colors found in the human genome at the same time. At 35 I chopped my hair and took it to platinum blonde. Or as close as I could get it before diving headlong into the rainbow of color that I have become associated with.

The bolder and brighter my hair is the happier I am according to Matt. And he is right. Does my mother like what I do with my hair now more than the first time I branched out? Likely not. But she has come to accept the evolution of it. Has this particular aspect of my evolution influenced her in any way? Though I haven’t discussed it with her, I’m certain it has.

2. I decided to get a tattoo at the age of 39. Why? Because I truly find tattoos to be a beautiful form of expression. I also wanted to challenge my long-held debilitating fear of pain. (I truly dislike any and all types of pain and do much to avoid it, however having been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in my early to mid 30s gave me a new perspective on my ability to handle pain.) But mainly because I felt it was the right time for me to do so.

Do you know what the most common thing I was told after that first tattoo? “I’ve always wanted to get one but…” followed closely by, “I never pictured you getting a tattoo.” There were a lot of conversations that followed. And at one point there was another trip to the tattoo parlor as someone else embraced their own changes in perceptions.

These are all examples of my physical evolution. Every single change I have consciously and purposefully made comes with a set of preconceived ideas when society looks at me without asking any questions.  But even those ideas are evolving as society interacts with me.  It’s social evolution.

We are not static.  And I for one embrace the evolution.

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