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Twelve Years of Eyeliner

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It's been almost a month since I posted last, so I'll give you a quick update: food, tea, my husband makes the best margaritas, much binging of the Great British Baking Show, much needed days off, lots of time with people, lots of time sitting in a dark and quiet room to recover, so many emails when I got back to work after the holiday season, I got a weighted blanket, and of course I spent about 20 hours drawing botanical studies of the potato plant which I will share soon.

Now we're all caught up!

If you're on Facebook, I am sure you've seen the profile Pic challenge going around, where you share your first profile pic and then your most recent. It seems like it's been a great opportunity to show off the fact that newer phones have really good smoothing settings, and of course it's provided some more product stories from everyone you know who sells skincare (no judgment, I just know a LOT of you...)

I decided to play along. I don't think I am doing this right, but who cares.

A woman in a brown-gray coat standing on a walkway under a rock outcropping, holding a dog leash. A small child is standing in the background.

2007

The younger me could certainly put on a brave face (powered by eyeliner and lipstick, of course), but she was already beginning to struggle to hold it together. This pic was taken on an autumn walk with my family shortly before the first really bad spell I remember which indicated my future with orthostatic intolerance. I don't think I even told anyone about it, I just sat down on a rock where I could look out over the gorge and pretend to ponder the mysteries of the universe while I waited it out.


This version of me feared she would never accomplish everything she wanted to do. She was also at about year 15 of really believing she could take charge of her health concerns with the right supplement and a big dose of positive thinking (which honestly didn't get her very far as she had almost no skills at thinking positively) and she never went anywhere without makeup. She genuinely believed that she was an ugly person.


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2019

Me today, taken after a very long but awesome week. I had a REAL Cadre session on Wednesday, and a board meeting on Thursday, along with all of the usual work in my week. Introverts have a hard time with a lot of group work y'all, and sitting for so long in conferences is really painful.  This is Day 2 of sitting right there in that chair and resting (I did take a brief break yesterday, and sat on the couch instead, cause #circuittraining).


The lighting really highlights how my yellow undertone has a yellow undertone when I need recovery time. My eyes are squinted because that's what I look like and I didn't put on eyeliner, and also I think someone knit tiny weights into my eyelashes on Thursday evening. My lip piercing is out as when the inflammation is bad literally everything can hurt. My hair is so unwashed that instead of having curly hair, I have one single curl.

My apologies as I did not think to move the table beside my chair for the pic, which is holding the beaker I use sometimes to measure my fluid intake. I am at 1200ml of the 3000ml I need today, thank you for asking. My brows were somewhat zealously waxed the last time I had them done and I did not fill them in before taking this picture. My grandmother who died while wearing red lipstick is probably rolling in her grave right now, but what can you do?

This me is also on more meds and supplements than I plan to recount for you, and is on year 10 of having far more doctors than she once thought was necessary. I don't worry so much about perfectly positive thinking anymore. I used the time I saved on such futile efforts to learn how to laugh at myself when appropriate. 

This me thinks she is pretty dang stunning.

By the way, fuck people telling you how you should age and what face you should show. Show your eyeliner face and your red lipstick face (or your equivilant) and your recovery face and all the other faces you wear, because if all goes well, no matter what you think of yourself today she will only be a memory.


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I am currently investing in some laugh lines and I have stopped dyeing my smattering of grays in hopes of encouraging more to show themselves, as I have a friend with the most beautiful silver hair and I want to be just like her when I grow up.


See, I am aiming to be "really, really old" some day, and if I can't make it that far, I hope to at least achieve "well-seasoned." I'll never earn my spot in that chair if I give up now. Setting long-term goals is important, but doing so can be terrifying. Especially when you've spent a long time believing you might never achieve them. But surrounding yourself with people who inspire you along the way can help you keep going when the going seems impossible!

My connective tissue disorder is ensuring that I look younger than my years, although when people say they want to look young I feel like they probably mean they want to look 22 again, and I am currently headed towards a look I call "elderly for 15." When I see my loved ones beginning to wrinkle I am inspired to keep reaching for my goals! But regardless of how I turn out, I plan to continue celebrating each day for what it is. I'm fairly new at this so sometimes I fail spectacularly, but you can always start again where you are, right?

Here's to another 12 years!

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      You are welcome! Thank you for the response. I am grateful when the stories I share inspire others.

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