Friday, April 21, 2017

Thoughts on 30: Who Was that Woman in the Pictures?


Eight years ago I was in full-on wedding preparation mode. With just a couple weeks left until our wedding, I got my first professional makeover. I walked out of Sephora with products I absolutely loved, new techniques I’d never heard of, and a lot less money in my bank account. As years went by, I finished grad school, started a new job, then eventually had two babies and became a stay at home mom. With so much going on, makeup (and hair and clothes) became a much lower priority and I stopped putting much thought into what I was buying and instead just grabbed whatever was quickest and cheapest. 

But then a weird thing started to happen. When I saw photos of myself, I would have this moment of surprise and disorientation almost every time because the image didn’t look like how I felt. Anyone ever had this moment? At the time, my kids were 3 and 1 and I hadn't taken much time for myself since starting our family. And the thing was, it wasn't that I was having a pity party over the way I looked. It was just that I would look at the photo of that moment, and I would remember exactly how I felt and what I was saying and doing, and those feelings were never frumpy or lost or forgotten like the way I often felt I looked. Inside I felt young and bright eyed and like my life was full of wonderful surprises and joys, and it was bizarre to feel like I didn't seen that in myself in a still shot.

So I decided to make a change. And hear me say this: I truly believe your physical body is not what defines you. Even at my most out of shape or least trendy, I was always witty and smart and kind and no amount of exterior change could take that away from me. But I also decided there was nothing wrong with enjoying the fun things that come along with being a girl. I was confident in who I was because I was confident in who made me, but now I was ready to look in the mirror and see the girl I felt like I was inside, the girl who had been lost while focusing on everyone else but herself.

So I got more serious about having a healthier diet and regular exercise. I went and got a new haircut and started researching makeup. I had no idea what contouring was or a beauty blender sponge or even what shade I should pick in anything. And it bears repeating, the hair and makeup were not what made me me, but I was having SO much fun learning and playing around with the options and doing something that was just for me.

I went back to the basics, and in this case, that meant a lot of Google research and Youtube videos (which is so fun, but you will get sucked in for DAYS watching those makeup tutorials). I wrote all about the products that were a part of my beauty evolution here, you can read it to see all the ones I love the very most. But most importantly, I realized this journey was only a little about the products and a lot about taking the time to invest in myself and the things I enjoyed. My makeup looks better now, but more importantly, when I see pictures of myself I see the joy and energy that I am experiencing at the time. The photos feel like me, like how I see myself.

So take heart, my friends! It's never too late to start over and it's never selfish to spend a little time on yourself.




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