What Real Really Looks Like

It happened again today. I leaned into the mirror and noticed a single strandof the sheerest whitenext to my familiar auburn strands. Sigh. It has begun.

I can’t complain though. I’m closing in on forty and have yet to color my hair. This newest evidence, however, indicates that I won’t go gray or silver. No, I am going white.

My husband started turning gray in his twenties. So I guess we will match soon enough.

As I veer around this bend in life, moving from one season to the next, I am reminded of the wisdom once bequeathed by the Skin Horsethe aged toy who shared with the new velveteen rabbit what it means to become real.

Becoming real, he says, “takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly except to people who don’t understand.”

So my new-found strand of gleaming white hair testifies to this thing called real. Actually, it testifies to the fact that I am getting older, and I suppose it is up to me whether I will truly become real.

I pray that I will.

Has the aging process gotten you thinking about “becoming real”? Have you read The Velveteen Rabbit lately?

Excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco.

Today, I’m joining Lisa-Jo, taking 5 minutes to write about “real.”

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Comments

  1. isn’t this passage just the best? It says it just so, so well. And enjoy this new season, I’m sure you’ll rock it :)

  2. I loved reading this from the Velveteen Rabbit! Another blogger wrote from this today too! LOL!

    And I’ve had some of those straggly white strands too – but for now I am covering them with coloring or pulling them out! Yes . . . I know . . . I shouldn’t but I do! LOL!

  3. I haven’t read the Velveteen Rabbit. But…you don’t look anywhere near forty….for real!

  4. denise, i enjoyed reading your post today. i THINK i’ve read your blog before, but i’m not sure. i do recognize your face from some other blogs i read. my daughter’s sister-in-law and husband went to your same alma mater. they also still live in the area. (her husband is an olympic champion!)
    you are most fortunate to have white hair coming in as opposed to some of the other options:) until mine gets whiter, i’m forced to color it’s drabness for awhile.
    i love your quote from THE VELVETEEN RABBIT. delightful:)

  5. Oh honey… welcome to the club! Been greying since I was 21! I am silver – but I love a good bottle of anything-other-than-silver. The current favourite is Medium Ash Blond (because blonds have more fun!… not true – ash covers more grey!!!)

  6. I agree with Shanda, you don’t look like you could be NEAR 40!! Love the post, thanks for sharing!

  7. Just getting your first? Lucky duck. :)

    And I loved this passage . . . such a beautiful book.

  8. This was so good. And yes, the aging process is gradually becoming more evident here as well. I will join you in skipping over gray for white. I have three errant strands that spring up in the middle of all of my dark brown. They are white as snow. Ahh, well. And that story, The Velveteen Rabit– a classic. I have read it again and again. Thank you for sharing this bit of lovely.

  9. i loved this, and i love that passage! i think i need to go back and read the book again.
    all i can say is, “welcome to the club”, and i have a feeling that living yourself into “real” isn’t going to be a problem :-) thanks for sharing authentically this day.
    steph

  10. We picked the same theme today. I love the take you took on this.

  11. I like the way you did this, tying in the frosting hair with the Velveteen Rabbit becoming real. I’ll have to remember it next time I look in the mirror!

  12. My goal in life is to be gray and gracious…so I don’t know what I think about my graying process…I am thankful I am not as gray as most in the mid 50′s…but on the other hand…I have a long road to graciousness:)
    Blessings to you

  13. Great to meet you!
    Like your husband, I started greying in my twenties, or maybe earlier? It was in college. Then, I was 34 when I gave birth to our daughter, and someone asked if she was my grandchild when I was strolling her (she must have been less than 1)! So back to the bottle I went, but it was so messy to do it myself, if cheap. I said I’d color my hair until she was old enough that people wouldn’t ask that, and when she was 9 or 10 I think we agreed it would be okay now! She’s a love and she knows style so I depend on her quite a bit in that area. (Artist!)
    I used to be an English teacher too. Now I homeschool and we are loving History and Science. I have rediscovered Newberry Award books, especially The Wheel On the School.
    (Your reference to Velveteen was more accurate than mine, I was lazy.)
    See you next Friday?

    • Hello, fellow English teacher! I love, love, love the Newberry books. I haven’t read “The Wheel on the School” though. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

      And, yes, I’ll see you next Friday! :)

  14. What a great quote. The Velveteen Rabbit makes me cry! I will be 40 this year and the gray hairs have started. I really don’t care. It means I’m alive. It means I’m growing older. I want to live and not worry about those little things. :)

  15. Love your take on the Velveteen Rabbit! I like when you said: “I suppose it is up to me whether I will truly become real.” That’s powerful! We choose how real we want to be …

    God bless you!

  16. Yep, here we go! I am turning 40 this year but have been seeing gray hair for a few years now. Love, love The Velveteen Rabbit. So beautiful. Thank you for your lovely words here.

  17. “most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby”so my hair has been loved to grey, my eyes need glasses, my knees are stiff? and I am so shabby — must be real and learning to be real to the fullest.

    • I’m fairly new to this, so I’m not sure how to get a reply to your comment on my blog to you. (Does that sound convoluted?) Thank you for visiting and your kind remarks. I wandered around your blog abit before I left — interesting thoughts.

  18. Still thinking about your Hidden Heroes post and yes, the aging process has definitely got me thinking about being real. And I have more grey hairs now than a few random strands. Coming to terms with the changes is a journey in loving myself (like the Velveteen Rabbit and the way He loves me). Have a great weekend!

  19. If white hairs are the indication I am arriving at REAL quickly!

  20. I’ve got quite a few of those already, so I know how it feels. I do believe you’re on to something when you wonder about the aging process making you more ‘real’. I find that I’m moving more and more towards being authentic as I age. Love the quote too – it’s one of my favorites!
    Here’s my ‘real’ post: http://www.everydaygyaan.com/2012/02/real.html

  21. LOVE the Velveteen Rabbit. And yes aging, does make us think about being real because aging in an “unreal” way is the pressure. Yay! For being real.

  22. I love, love the Velveteen Rabbit. And I, too, will turn 40 this year. Becoming real for me has been about discovering my identity in Christ and letting go of false ideals, misperceptions, misguided religion and traditions. I am still growing :)

    (And I visit with my friend Loreal from Paris every 4-6 weeks to take care of those natural highlights)

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