This time last year I was removing the final remnants of my false lashes. I tried to hang on to them for as long as I could, however, as they began to fall off cluster by cluster, I looked like I was winking when I was actually struggling to see. Left feeling like a bald eagle, I wondered if I would look strange wearing my sunglasses everywhere because I felt absolutely hideous. It was all the norm for my lash girl to call me every 4 weeks and ask if I needed to have my lashes touched up. "Hey Lisa, do you want to come in today?" That is like asking me if I want a free Gucci bag. "Yep!"
The first time I got falsies I blinked unnecessarily and vowed I would never do it again, until I woke up the next day, looked in the mirror, and felt as if I had just slid clean off the page of a magazine. "Oh, it's like that?" Ok, well I will just wear these puppies until they fall off and that's it! Fast forward 10 years later and it had become an addiction. Without them, I felt as if I had no power. Adding and removing lashes only caused stress for my natural lashes which left them non-existent, and also gave me an excuse to proclaim I needed extra hair on my face. Determined to quarantine and stay in, I had to deal with it. I ordered false lashes online but it wasn't the same. They looked as bad as my car does when I attempt to parallel park. So, I gave up.
From the fullness of my lips, and the slant of my nose, to the countless moles on my face, I can't say that I grew up feeling the most attractive. Watching television and seeing what was portrayed, girls didn't really look like me. Not sure if that caused my shyness or if it was because of the teasing I endured in grade school. Whatever the reason, hindsight has become a familiar friend. As a woman, there are many accessories and 'extra' things I can adapt to and add whenever I choose. Somewhere between my early to mid 40s I saw myself. For who I was, without the extras. Not how the world viewed me but how I viewed me. I could finally say I was comfortable with the skin I'm in. As important as adding cheese to a burger, this ranks in the top 10. Every person has a moment of awakening, a time when what once matters simply does not, anymore.
I took this picture about 2 weeks ago, so let's rejoice in the mighty growth and comeback of my natural lashes. The moral of the story...
To discover what is beautiful, embrace my flaws, love me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, I had to let go of what I thought perfection meant, what others think of me, and accept myself 100%. So, if that means on Wednesday I want to wear fake lashes then so be it, or if it means on Thursday I'm scheduling my next tattoo appointment, so be it! I'm me, and no one else can certainly do me better than I can.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman