Tied to Perfection, Freed by Aging

August 19, 2016

I grew up with a mother whose answer to nearly everything was, “Go put on your makeup, you’ll feel better.”

“Mother, I feel like I’m getting sick.”
“Go put on your makeup, you’ll feel better.

“Mommy, my boyfriend broke up with me.”
“Go put on your makeup, you’ll feel better.”

“Mom, I’m so depressed.”
“Go put on your makeup, you’ll feel better.

Through the years that simple advise helped me through many a crisis, a bad cold or a pity party. And while I agree that I always feel better if I take time to put some make up on, and that there are is nothing like a new tube of lipstick to put a smile on my face . . .Lee_0106

I confess that emphasis on looking good enabled me to ignore essential core beliefs that needed to be addressed and that all through my youth I used makeup to mask insecurity.  My womanhood was expressed in my femininity which I emphasized and not my strength which I hid lest it scare you away. I became what I thought you wanted instead of finding out who I was.  Approaching sixty five has become a deliverance of sorts. I have come to a dètente with time spent on my looks. No longer am I tied to perfection. I care a bit less about how I appear and more about who I am. I am no longer  strangled by what were impossibly high expectations. I have arrived at this day, this time of my life and combined sensitivity with femininity to grow up.  How wonderful to be here.

(First published 12/23/14)