By Kate Winebrenner, Chatham Hall, Chatham, VA
The dreaded gray hair: most people discover it after the birth of their first child or the start of their first job. I discovered mine at the prime age of 15, a sophomore in high school, childless, unemployed, and ultimately more concerned about Miley Cyrus’ whereabouts than a state of appearance which typically accompanies the middle of one’s life. It has taken me some time to realize what has caused this premature sign of aging – was it the way I wore my hair to bed for years in attempt to make it straight? What about genes? Could it be the mercury in the water?
People worldwide upon the discovery of this hair rush to the salon, the store, or the therapist to be rid of this sign of aging and the mental trauma that accompanies it. I however, have learned to wear my gray with pride. In the same way that scars can be seen as battle wounds, I view my gray hairs as a reminder of the attitude with which I have faced my life thus far. It would be all too easy to get an even 8 hours of sleep at night, meet the world with a laid-back attitude, and barely scratch the surface of what tasks I am faced with, preserving the rich brunette quality of my locks. However, throughout my time in high school, I have chosen to face my challenges with determination to do my best despite the trauma it may cause to my appearance.
Printing a newspaper is no small task. In fact, it is much like a performance where each move is choreographed and perfected before the final product is displayed. I spend hours in the pub at a time with the other editors editing articles, working on the layout, fighting with technology, and threatening the S Drive with death. On print days, I get significantly less sleep than I care to think about, going to bed late and waking up early to fold and distribute.
I do not share this with you for sympathy. I enjoy what I do immensely; after all, I am a performer and the paper is a show. It is a beautifully constructed dance of words and pictures which, once the kinks are worked out and the cues are perfected, gives me just as much satisfaction as being on stage; I would not exchange my time as editor for any other position. However, I have enjoyed my time as editor so much not because it has been an easy job that takes up minimal time, but because of the hard work that I put into it. I can almost guarantee that a good percentage of the gray on my head is a result of my time as editor. The dark circles under my eyes and the homework that I have to complete during free periods are all signs of the hard work that I put into the paper that I can and should be proud of.
Again, I do not share this with you to glorify myself or to seek sympathy for my sacrificed appearance, but rather to challenge you. Find your battle. Take it head on and conquer it with all that you have. With any war comes a sacrifice. Mine have been in the forms of gray hair and lack of sleep. Whatever the battle and whatever the scar, wear it with pride knowing that the mark you made on the battlefield far exceeds a scathe to the surface of accomplishment.the original article from Hsj.org, written by Mary Kate Winebrenner