Internets, if you don’t know her already, I’d like you to meet Katie Hardeman. I am certain you will love her. The first time I commented on her blog, it was on a post about boogers. The entire thing was about boogers. If I ever mention Katie’s name to my mother, I say “Booger Girl” and she knows exactly who I mean. Katie is Booger Girl and I’m quite certain she’d be delighted by that. Katie likes junk food, talking about barf, teaching, laughing at farts and making hideous faces in photographs. Clearly we are kindred spirits. Every Wednesday and Sunday, Katie’s posts have me laughing until my stomach hurts but then leave me thinking about some big stuff. This is why she is awesome. This is also why we would be great friends if we lived in the same place. I’m very excited to be hosting her today.
Without further ado…
I’m dealing with an issue right now that I never knew I’d have to deal with. I didn’t know this was a “thing” that girls my age face. I didn’t know this was a thing that girls ANY age faced. I knew the laugh lines would come. I knew the saggy skin would one day be inevitable. But this? No one warned me about this.
Naturally, I’m talking about chin hair.
Seeing as Amanda is pretty much an expert on all things related to facial hair, I figured she was the girl I needed to turn to for help. However, Amanda is younger than I am and perhaps has not yet entered this stage- this era when dark hairs (because we’re not talking about peach fuzz here) begin to sprout over night on the chin or neck or jawline. You never know where these prickly beasts will appear. And you never know how long they’ve been hiding before you finally see them.
I remember the first time I noticed one. It was on my neck. And it was long. Really long. Like, this baby had some CURL in it. Beyond mortified, I audibly gasped and ran to retrieve the tweezers. I spoke of it to no one.
I thought it would just be the one. I thought it was a fluke. But then, a few weeks later, with just the right lighting and at just the right angle, I found another one. Now I was pissed. “Hellooooo, body. What do you think you’re doing?” I plucked that one with a scowl on my face. This wasn’t amusing.
Pretty soon, I was daily scrutinizing my jawline for the hairs from hell that seemed to hide in normal lighting. I started carrying tweezers with me at all times since I’d occasionally feel an unnaturally long hair on my neck while I was driving. And there’s nothing more frustrating than sitting at a red light, trying to pluck a neck hair with your bare fingers.
Guys, I apologize if I’ve alarmed and disgusted you. But I bet your wives know what I’m talking about. Young girls, I’m sorry if I’ve frightened you. Consider this your warning of what is to come, and enjoy your carefree days of looking in the mirror without having to search for curling neck hairs. And Amanda, as one who has strong opinions about facial hair, I implore you for wise counsel. Any tips? Preventive measures? Secrets to zapping these suckers for good? Because I’m a little worried that at this rate, I’ll have a goatee by the time I’m forty.
Maybe there actually is no solution. Maybe dark chin hairs are simply a part of life, a part of “aging” that no one warns you about. I was thinking about this the other day, while scanning my neck for curling cues. Neck and chin hairs may just be another issue that people “my age” have to deal with. In reality, they’re not a big deal; as far as I know, no one’s ever died from discovering a long, dark hair on their chin or neck. And these hairs are especially not something to worry about before they start appearing. Each age brings its own stressors and “hairs” so to speak, and each stage of life seems to get progressively harder. Here’s what I mean:
When I was little, I never once worried about acne or curfews* or whether or not I’d get to asked to the Homecoming dance.
When I was in high school, I didn’t worry about roommates or rent or whether or not the awkward coffee dates would one day lead to marriage.
When I was in college, slowing metabolism, taxes, and whether I should use Geico or Progressive for car insurance, were not concerns of mine. Could fifteen minutes really save me fifteen percent or more? I didn’t know and I didn’t care.
When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t stress about wrinkles or my “biological clock” or whether or not I should sign up on E-Harmony. And I especially didn’t worry about dark hairs residing on my chin.
Looking back on each of these eras, it is clear that each stage brings its own worries and woes. We deal with the stage we’re in; we usually complain about the trials it brings; but then we move on to a new stage of life and find it’s actually much harder than before, filled with new worries and woes and hairs that we never imagined.
I think that was part of God’s design. Not the chin hair thing- surely He didn’t mean for that to happen; surely that was part of “the fall.” But I think part of His plan includes the whole “can’t see your worries in the future so you can’t worry about them today” thing. Can you imagine your 8 year-old self stressed out about student loans or wedding costs or mortgage payments? That would be absurd. At age eight, your only money concerns should be finding enough quarters in the couch or in your mom’s underwear drawer** in order to buy that rad poster at the school book fair.
Each stage of life seems to get increasingly more complicated, but God permits these complications and trials only to the degree that we can handle. And He provides the strength we need for whatever it is we’re dealing with today. I cling to this truth. I rest in it. I find hope in it. Because sometimes it feels like it’s more than I can handle. Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much, but it never is and He knows our limits exactly. He also knows that in order to be ready for the next stage, we must be stretched and strengthened today. We must grow and mature in this current stage so we’ll be ready for the next one which will inevitably be much harder.
Think back to your worries from college. Do you laugh now at how stressed you were about choosing a major and finding your spouse***?
Think back to your high school woes. Isn’t it pathetic how much you obsessed over your crush and college applications?
Think back to your younger years. How strange is it that you were so upset when you were picked last for kickball **** or got in trouble for eating the flowers at recess? No? Just me?
The point is that we can look back on many of our worries of yesterday and laugh. They seemed so huge at the time, so cumbersome and unyielding. But He gave us enough strength to endure them then, and in hindsight, what we thought were mountains, were molehills compared to what we’re facing today. Which begs the question: will today’s trial look like a molehill tomorrow? Will this stage of life, chin hairs and all, seem easy breezy compared to the next stage?
Will my thirties and forties hold trials that would terrify me if I knew about them now?
I’m guessing yes.
But if I’ve learned anything from my dark and dreadful chin stubble, it’s that I have no need to worry about the trials of tomorrow. He’ll give me the strength I need for tomorrow, tomorrow. Today, I need only keep tweezers in my purse and remember that God will continually provide the strength I need for today, today. And for that, I rejoice.
* I lied. I never actually worried about curfews because I never actually had one. I just said that to sound cool and because I figured other people worried about them. My parents were concerned that I preferred staying in on Friday nights with a book and a bowl of ice cream so they encouraged me to stay out late.
** This was a serious treasure trove of coins and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t snagged a few quarters even in recent years.
*** I went to a Christian college so if you didn’t get a “ring by Spring”, you were basically a failure.
**** Let’s be honest, I dominated at kickball. But I did feel sorry for those kids who sucked at it. They’re probably happily married now and not stealing quarters from their mom’s underwear drawer so I guess the joke’s on me.
Please leave any facial hair advice in the comments. Katie and I both thank you in advance.
Now go read about boogers http://www.crusadingwithkatie.com