Entering my 20s was a confusing time. I was trying to find my place as a young woman. Midway through my 20s, I hit a rut. I wasn’t in the best headspace. I was working a meaningless job, barely making ends meet, and feeling stuck. Not to mention the weight of heartbreak on my shoulders. I was overwhelmed by all of it. It felt like I was failing in every area of my life. That belief led to me isolating myself from the world. When I finally came to, I remember feeling so behind. It was as if the world kept evolving while I was in my bubble. Everything moved forward without me, fashion, beauty, and time. It was then that I realized that I didn’t know my style when it came to a wardrobe. I didn’t know how to do my hair. I couldn’t even apply basic makeup. I didn’t know how to do any of the things associated with being a woman. As time went on, that realization started to take a toll on me. It began to shape how I viewed myself and gave me something new to beat myself up over. At the core of it was that I felt less of a woman. My self-image needed a boost.
I started to think about how I got to this point. How long was I under that rock of oblivion? I kept thinking that I should’ve spent more time learning how to put myself together and less time focused on gidgets and gadgets. The truth is I was the child you found in the book, stationery, or electronic isles. I never spent time in the clothing, makeup, or hair aisle. It just wasn’t of interest to me during childhood. However, it was now. I wanted to love every part of me and take pride in how I chose to present myself to the world. I remember an old friend said to me, “Putting yourself together is not for anyone else. Putting yourself together is the gift you give to yourself.” That has always stuck with me. I wanted to learn for myself. Not for a significant other, not for a friend, not for a family member. Just me wanting to love the parts of me that have gone neglected for so long.
Thankfully, I had friends that understood how I felt. They took the time out to help me learn how to do these tasks. It ranged from trips to Sephora, Ulta, and the local beauty store to pinning outfits on Pinterest. They covered it all! Some of my fondest memories are of my friends sitting with me time and time again to teach me how to do my makeup. The conversations and the laughs we shared to this day are unmatched. I will never forget how seen I felt through the whole learning process. The confidence and the happiness I felt every time we would reach the end result made the little girl inside of me beam with pride, and it was just the permission she was waiting for to bloom into womanhood. My friends never shooed me away or directed me elsewhere. They validated my feelings and made time to teach me how to tap into those avenues and feel sexy again! Those memories drive me to do the same for other young women.
This past weekend I did just that. I decided to take my younger sister and little cousin out for a girls’ day. I taught them how to do their makeup. I emphasized how they are already beautiful, but there may come times when they want to feel a little more special. We also spoke about the importance of having a skincare routine. One of my goals was to equip them with the tools they needed to make themselves feel extra special. I want them to be excited to go out. I want them to know how to uplift themselves. I want them to know how to put themselves together as a gift to themselves. Most importantly, I want them to feel seen.
We spent the day grabbing makeup supplies from various stores, singing Doja Cat, and enjoying each other’s company. I enjoyed every single moment with them. The excitement on their faces when it all came together will be engraved on my heart forever. The truth is no matter where you fall on the makeup spectrum, whether you believe in a bare face or a beat face. The fact remains that there are lessons to be learned from both. The one here is that you hold the keys in your hand to paint your canvas the way you see beautiful. It is with your own hands that you have the power to edit and delete what you don’t like and try again and again until you get it just the way you envisioned. Focus on your canvas, not the person next to you, because their vision, their path is different and tailored specifically to them. Are we still talking makeup? I think we are speaking life.
I hope that when the seasons of self-doubt come, you remember to put yourself together and face those obstacles head-on with confidence. I am still learning myself, but being able to equip them with the tools I am learning is truly a gratifying feeling. I thank God for blessing me to be able to bless others. For those who think that they don’t have anything to offer anyone, I will leave you with this quote by Edward Everett Hill:
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”