This is a bit of a random post, we’ve had a hard week and weekend. We’ve all had a “flu” bug, we seem to be in the midst of a germ fest, I guess the weird weather isn’t helping. Small boy was sick all weekend, but thankfully is back to normal again. I hate it when my babies are sick, and we have been very lucky to avoid a lot of germs up until recently. I am glad to be back to normal.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a fairly highly strung person. I struggle with my emotions, trying to deal with them, and learning to let them rule my life and have an effect on the people around me is a work in progress.
I do take things quite personally, and can be over sensitive. I have learned through the years to take well-meaning, helpful advice, even if it has stung a bit (or a lot) and try to process it, and follow it, but I do sometimes over-react and “throw the baby out with the bath water” and not deal well with something someone has said to me or about me. I am a people pleaser, I want people to like me, I want to be liked, I want to make people happy, and I value the opinions of friends and family who mean a lot to me.
One example of my taking something to heart very badly happened almost 5 years ago, when Big Girl was almost a year old. I was in the depths of Post Partum Depression, so it probably hurt more because I wasn’t in a place emotionally to process what was said logically, or even ask someone else for their opinion.
I used to only wear red lipstick. Bright, bold, red! I didn’t wear it all the time, but for special occasions or when I needed to feel a bit “special” or just because I wanted to, I’d wear it. I’ve experimented with other colours, I whilst I know some suit me, I didn’t like them. I’ve been told I have “perfect” shaped lips and they are one of my good features, so I always felt confident when I wore red lipstick. I started wearing it when I was in my early 20’s, and LSH always said he liked it, both when we dated and after we got married.
One day, however, a friend of mine, who is fairly fashion savvy, very confident in her own tastes, always dressed beautifully, whom I admired and looked up to, told me she thought my wearing red lipstick was stupid, and it made me look like a clown. She meant well, I don’t think she meant to hurt me, but she did.
I took it to heart, I went home, rummaged through my make up bag, tried on my 2 favorite shades of red, cried, cleaned them off, then threw them away. I went and bought some new “muted” shades, browns, pinks, mauve, all which allegedly “suit” me, and I’ve worn them, but hated them. They’re boring, they aren’t “me”.
I’ve recently had a bit of a self-image crisis, I’m not the shape I want to be, having had two babies, my body has changed. Because of the arthritis and ongoing joint issues I have, I’m not able to exercise as much as I’d like, and I admit, that sleep deprivation and generally being busy makes me eat foods I shouldn’t or makes me more inclined to grab carbs and sugar, when I’m in a hurry. So I’m not loving my current image, but it’s a work in progress, I know what I need to do, and my body gave me two beautiful babies through two very difficult pregnancies, so I try not to focus on anything other than working on getting healthier and in better shape, I can’t let it rule my life.
On Friday, LSH and I went to a party thrown by our church, which required dressing up more than I usually do. I have a standard Mummy uniform for comfort and practicality, and it wouldn’t have done for this special occasion, so I rummaged through my wardrobe and found a nice outfit, and scrabbled in my make up bag for something other than foundation and lip-balm (my usual make up for every day) and I looked at the usual suspect line up of random lipsticks and thought, “stuff it, I’m going to go out and buy a BRIGHT red lipstick and I’m going to wear it”. It’s been five years, I am 36 years old, I know my own mind, I know what I like, and whilst what was said five years ago was meant well, I took it too much to heart, and I needed to grow up and do what I wanted to do for ME! So, off I trotted to buy a lipstick. I was delighted to find the brand I loved, still made the shade I used, and I even bought a matching nail polish.
I wore my bright red lipstick with pride, LSH complimented me, a few other people commented on how nice I looked, and Big Girl told me “you look so pretty Mummy”.
You know what? I am laughing at myself, now, for taking something to heart so badly, and not thinking it through clearly. I can’t believe I let one comment make me change something about myself so drastically, but at the time it really stung. I’m older, and wiser (well, not really, but it sounds good) and I think the red lipstick is here to stay for good. Sometimes we need to take what is said to us seriously and make a change, sometimes we need to take what is said, reflect, pray on it, or ask someone else’s advice, and then discard it. I’ve learned a lot about myself through struggling with Post Partum Depression, and anxiety, and I’m getting better at dealing with how I handle things but I do wish I’d not thrown away those lipsticks five years ago.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “no one can make you feel inferior, without your consent”.
She was right, I let this person’s comment hurt me, when really, I should have known better. The red lipstick is such a small thing, but it shows how easily damaged I was, and still sometimes can be, and how much I allow in from other people.
So, I will proudly wear my red lipstick, and I will grow.