Where Would You Like To Go?

July 28, 2014

Ponytails & No Makeup

Life here is hard, dirty, hot, ugly, uncomfortable...and beautiful.  I've learned so much this first term and a LOT of it has been about changes that needed to happen inside of my own life.  It's interesting how stripping away who I am isn't always a metaphor...sometimes it's quite literal.
There's a hole in my favorite green skirt.  It may or may not have been there for over a year now.  By the time I remember that it's there, I'm already out at the market and when I come home I have forgotten already.  No one I see, even my friend Luxia, will ever point it out...honestly, no one probably even notices it.  I've never once seen a Malagasy person check out my clothing.  They are too busy just visiting with me.  There's something freeing about wearing the same clothes every week.  No one will ever say, "didn't you have that on the last time I saw you?" because more than likely they are on their 3rd day in the same clothes.  Clothing just isn't the most important thing - and hey for some it's even optional!

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I ever went out in public without makeup on...over the past three years that number is reversed.  It was almost a part of who I was.  Not that there is anything inherently wrong with makeup but the dependancy of it could be.  I'll find this really neat tip on how to do my eyeshadow but by the time I actually wear eyeshadow again, I can't even remember what it was.  I can remember waking up those first few months of marriage and Steve would tell me I looked pretty and I would laugh and say, "but I haven't even done my makeup or fixed my hair!"  That seems like a lifetime ago, since over the past three years, makeup is rarely worn and my hair is normally pulled up the moment I get out of the shower...that's just life here.  While we were in South Africa, Ryleigh came up to me one morning and said, "Momma! You need to wash your eyes!"  I asked her why, to which she replied, "there's something on them!"  It was pretty funny.
I think I'm starting to find a different definition of beautiful.  I go and hang out with our best friends for pizza and game night in pj pants, a tshirt, and no makeup...and honestly haven't really ever thought twice about it.  They have seen me at my worst and hopefully have caught a glimpse of me at my best...and they don't care.  Our relationship is so much deeper - we're not there to give fashion critiques...we're there to fellowship, wrangle kids, usually eat a dessert and just live life together.  Sitting around their table and laughing together...I find myself realizing how truly beautiful those moments are.  We are all truly comfortable around one another - there's no need for false pretenses.

Now, in light of being truly honest on here, as I type this I am wearing makeup and have my hair fixed.  It's my birthday and I wanted to get "dressed up" for the occassion.  There is no judgement here towards any of you who are reading and are wearing makeup or have your hair fixed or have on a new outfit.  I will go shopping when I get to the States this September...and when you see me, I'll probably have on makeup & there will be the Sunday morning when I'm late for Sunday School because I can't get my hair to "do right".  However, who I am will not be defined by that anymore.  I will be continually trying to remember that those things are not the most important and that who a person is should not be defined by such.

And do me a favor?  When you see me in the grocery store with a ponytail and no makeup, remind me of just that.


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