Spring fever

The weather is warming up, flowers are starting to bloom and the birds have begun to sing in the mornings again. It’s spring, and with it comes the relief from the dark, cold winter months.

My birthday is right around the corner, in just a few days, and as I did last year the urge to groom myself more than usual is strong. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve begun wearing makeup again. Not to please the eye of anyone else, but for the routine of applying it, the routine of taking it off, and feeling like a slightly different me and being excited to discover new things about myself.

I know makeup is often vilified as a tool to ‘deceive’, and for some it is a tool to hide who they really are out of shame. In my life, I consider makeup a method of accepting myself and building upon who I am, rather than to hide or change myself. In order to apply makeup, I need to accept my face the way it is. I have hooded eyes, and no amount of applying makeup the way everyone else does will make it look good on me because my eyes are shaped differently. By saying “Okay, what can I do with makeup that complements my hooded eyes instead of forcing techniques that don’t look nice to me?” I encourage myself to see my body positively. In order to stick to the routine of applying makeup, I need to truly believe that I’m doing this for myself, that I’m worth the gussying and that I deserve to feel good about myself. For the longest time I felt like I didn’t deserve to wear makeup because I didn’t think I was pretty enough. Now I feel I am.

Sometimes I see comments rolling by (particularly from men) who tell others “You don’t need to wear makeup, you actually look prettier without”. Well intended or not, you have to realize that nobody is dressing up and wearing makeup for you, and unless it is specifically asked for your opinion on a person’s makeup and appearance is very unwelcome. Maybe a few people are doing it for those reasons, but a majority do it for similar reasons to mine. It is a method of self-caring, like taking a shower and brushing your teeth. To create routine is to stabilize your mental well being. To groom yourself is a reflection of feeling worthy of taking care of yourself. Makeup is also a hobby, the act of applying it and discovering new ways to use it is just fun and makes you feel good.

At the end of the day, most of us look into the mirror with bare naked skin and consider ourselves attractive and pretty. Most of us don’t wear it to lie to others about our appearances. We don’t invest a lot of money into products just to hopefully appeal to someone else – this is for us.

The comments I’ve received recently are not “you look so much better with makeup on”. They are “You look so much happier and brighter wearing makeup” – because they understand I’m doing this for myself, not for them, and it makes me happy to do things for myself.

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Sheer elation

In stark contrast to yesterday’s depressing post, today I feel nothing but giddy and excited with a touch of emotional bursting. He finally had a chance to email me. His first words were “Baby I’m so tired“. My stomach kind of flipped over and my heart melted on the spot.

They’ve been doing unarmed and baton self-defense training for the past couple of days and today he’s getting pepper sprayed. That was unsettling to read, but in his follow up email he explained it’s part of the training. Which makes perfect sense: it’s so they know what it’s like first-hand so they don’t use it unnecessarily. They may end up getting sprayed but still have to perform adequately. Doesn’t mean I’m very thrilled to imagine my poor baby getting pepper sprayed. (It was bad enough that one time I accidentally rubbed my eyes after handling hot peppers!)

He ended his second email with a confession that made me bawl all over again. The day when they left, he spent the last 10 minutes texting me to say goodbye. While I confessed I was a bawling mess and wished he didn’t have to go, he insisted on being reassuring and loving with every message so that I wouldn’t feel so bad. Apparently he was really struggling himself.

Also I never told you, but I got choked up after the last time we talked. ‘Cause I love you so much.

Please excuse me while I go bawl some more. (This time they’re happy tears though.)