Today I wanted to talk about a topic that’s been on mind. Only recently was I forced to face it and be tested without the ability to avoid it—Aging
For most of my life, I have always been mistaken for being younger. I’m 36, and most of the time, people tell me they think I’m 27-years-old tops, sometimes even thinking Sinjin is older than me. I never really cared how old I looked because I only cared how young I felt, but having a chronic illness that ravages your body can bring about a massive level of self-reflection and revelation while truly testing your self-love meter.
When I first got sick, I thought I could still wear makeup and dye my hair. As time has passed and my sensitivities grown I had to embrace my natural self. And not just here and there around the house or running errands or the occasional “no makeup Monday” post in good lighting. For once I had to watch my gray hair peak through in larger amounts, find ways to express my style without colored lip stick and eyeliner; had to find that space where I could feel confident in my ever changing body no matter it’s size or the marks left behind from time and trauma.
Oddly, I have never felt more alive than being able to feel beautiful without all the cover. As I had to spend more time with a broken body and new changes daily, I had to grow closer to God to remind me of my worth and light and something changed.
"Let your hair go wild, skip the makeup more often and see who starts to shine from within." -K. Scott
Yesterday we were out listening to music and driving. Sinjin asked if I wanted to stop and take photos and I immediately said “Ugh I don’t have makeup on and my hair is a mess.” but quickly said “You know, it’s been a while, let’s do it. I need some more authentic photos for my site anyway.”
What came next was amazing and exciting and motivating. We ended up having the best time taking photos at a Subway shop with cars passing and messy hair and no formal outfit plan. Just documenting this phase of the journey. And they ended up being some of my favorite photos from the past years because they are me. Not some contrived version thrown together based on what style I think would work for my business marketing or IG trends. Just a girl, in $5 Walgreens shoes and cheap Amazon jeans—feeling beautiful and alive wearing only homemade lip gloss and dirty hair with gray showing.
Many of us have the opportunity to have these moments early but we wave them by. I know I have. But yesterday, I opened my arms and gave this one a huge hug. Welcomed it like a long lost friend.
I’m not sure where my journey will lead, and I know I’ll wear makeup again, likely dye my hair someday but I am in love with this phase. And I am so very thankful it’s a happening right now. It helps having the most supportive partner and friends but it really comes down to having myself. To be able to look in a mirror daily not to see what I’m presenting to the world on the outside but to look at my inner self every moment to see what is naturally shining from within.
I’m thankful for this process and what it’s teaching me to let go of. I never thought vanity would be one of those things for me but I’m better for knowing and learning this lesson now. Thank you to everyone who made it through this novel. And if you are going through something similar, I implore you go take a few days or weeks to get to know yourself. Let your hair go wild, skip the makeup more often and see who starts to shine from within. I think you’ll be surprised at who you’ll become on the other side.