Thursday, March 20, 2014

Feeling Good

Lately I have been feeling more like myself. I haven't been doing quite what the doctors want me to do, and it is amazing how good I sometimes feel.

If nothing else, I am less depressed.

At the same time, I have been feeling like I want to play with make-up. When I was doing chemo I would do it to make myself feel better.

It was difficult to look in the mirror every day and see a shadow of my former self. Whenever I would put hair on and do my make up I felt so much better about myself and life in general.

There was a young woman named Talia who used to say, "Make up is my wig." She was (I believe) 13 when she passed away from cancer. She had developed quite a following, and just loved playing with make up looks.

I have struggled a bit when it comes to conversations about make up and looks in general. I have struggled because it helps for us to be accepting and appreciative of who and how we are. At the same time, I think there is something to be said for the enhancements that we might avail ourselves of.

I look at the picture above and I see more of the me I have known myself to be. For years I would wake up, put make up on and go to work. It was a part of who I was. I enjoyed it and I liked the way I felt.

But then, as I worked from home, I had less and less reasons to put make up on every day. Overall I would say it is a good thing. The chemicals may not be so great for us, after all. But I also got more comfortable in my own skin. I was more able and willing to freely go outside without the enhancements.

Chemo, though, made that mostly impossible, as I felt I needed the make up so that I didn't look the way that those dealing with cancer look. I did not want people to look at me in pity. I did not want people staring at me. I did not want people feeling sorry for me or so uncomfortable that it made things even more awkward than they already were at times.

I posted this picture on Facebook and said that I was feeling quite peaceful - more peaceful than my circumstances would say I had a "right" to be. I don't know why, but it is wonderful, and I will certainly take it.

There are times like this I feel like everything is, and will be OK. I have no idea what version of "OK" that is, but I guess whichever one it is, it is one my soul feels peaceful about.

I also feel like I should add that the image is slightly photoshopped. I sometimes like using all of the enhancements available to me. For the heck of it, the original is also posted. I think Photoshop can certainly make things look nicer than they are. I think we all should be able to have a picture of us that we can look at and love. But it isn't always easy to have that in its original form. Sometimes the lighting and camera doesn't do us any favors. Who is to say that they should have the final say, and that we shouldn't use tools available to us?

There is a much bigger conversation around this, and I am in no way saying that the ridiculousness that happens in some magazines and ads should be OK - especially when it isn't made clear that the edits are not based in any kind of reality. But I believe there is a difference that can be quite healthy and helpful. I look at these images of me, and I have a lot more hope than when I look at images in which I look tired and drawn, and I would have to say that that is a good thing.

If you want any help in regard to enhancing yourself or your images, be in touch. Perhaps I can help. I have become quite good at learning how to take a good image, and making it even better. Maybe I can even enhance an image you already like. The difference between (perceived) gorgeous and hideous may be only the angle and the lighting.

People think I am photogenic. I really don't think I am. I am just patient enough to take many pictures and experiment with the lighting and make up and angle and look in my eyes and on my lips. When you see an image it usually was taken with several others at the same time. You just get to see the one I like best.

We are more than one dimension, but an image is one dimension. There is no reason we can't or shouldn't put our best dimension forward when we feel inclined. At the same time, it helps to have an acceptance of all of our dimensions.

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