I just could not wait to turn 18. I could get my driver’s licence; I could get my national ID and I could wear makeup and any colour of nail polish. I grew up in a rather conservative family with clear rules about make up and there was no option but to abide. I had my ears pierced when I was young, but the rest of the beauty regime was for adults, so I had to wait. Yes, it was time to change, and I was so excited.
Despite a long-standing journey through acne, I so desperately wanted to be beautiful, and to me wearing makeup was beauty. So I learnt the art of makeup and became a diligent user, putting on a full face of makeup from foundation out, even in the hot Athi River sun and dust. It meant I built an intense facial routine to keep all matters steady. There were limits though…I would not wear red lipstick or nail polish colours like black or red because they were not for quiet girls and I considered myself a quiet one. (Laughs silently).
One day, life ground to halt, I broke, I changed, and left the makeup world abruptly.
In time as I dealt with the difficulties of life, I found myself judging others because of their beauty regimes and their choice to do makeup consistently. How foolish was that? It was really a defence mechanism that would allow me to calm my ruffled feathers and hide the pain within me by being critical of others behind their backs. It was so easy to hide pain behind lots of work and many accomplishments but one day it will all fell apart, no longer worked and oh my…it was ugly.
I could not stay down because what kind of life is that? I had to get up and even if I dragged myself, I was determined to be whole one day. The road of healing was the only way out of that rut. Life refused to be easy rather it demanded a lot of deep thinking and dealing. A recent conversation with my coach helped me understand that part of growing up is understanding and accepting my part in things, dealing with my contribution to things, finding the things I can change and letting go of the ones I cannot change so need to walk away from. It is understanding that just because I have known people for a long time does not necessarily mean we are close or that they are in my life for long or that they are instrumental in my process.
Where does makeup fit with all this? Read on!!
My journey of healing has led me back to the makeup counters as a school of life albeit on a much smaller scale but still significant. I received a couple really nice lipsticks in colours I would never wear before as gifts and I bought the more sedate colours I would normally wear. I looked for ways to brighten my usual colours and dampen the new brighter colours without allowing them to lose their full glory. One colour I never thought I would wear is…yes, you got it…red. On my own I would never have bought it but alas. I was given the option of picking lip colours and I chose what looked like a deep red but when it came…mayooo…it was bright red almost like Marilyn Monroe’s red.
At the start, I used it under a deep brown or maroon or mixed with a gold shimmer to dim the brightness of the red and ensure I was comfortable. It also really helped that we are in the Covid era and I always had a mask on when I went out but I had no excuses when in virtual meetings. I dreaded the day I would need to go out with that shade visible because I expected people to talk about it and call me out.
Can you see how foolish and self-absorbed one can be?
It so happened that one day, I could not find all the lighter or deeper lip colours and I had to wear the red on its own. Maaaayyyoooo!!!! You should have seen me stare at myself in the mirror; you would have laughed. Initially I felt that the image in the mirror looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car at midnight…statue and staring. Then I blinked and looked again, and again, and agin. Finally, I saw how beautiful the red really was and how it actually complimented my skin tone. I looked again and saw how it brought something out I had never seen before.
It brought a glint to my eyes and loud peal of laughter as I realised that indeed I looked really good. As the laughter bubbled to the surface, it brought a revelation of the music that is in me to compliment the beauty of God’s creation. Of course, I was more self-conscious in my meetings but I was also a heck lot more confidence because finally, I could see myself as my Father had been saying to me for a while…I saw Beautiful Kyesubire, with twinkling eyes and a ready laugh.
I would never have appreciated the depth of beauty hidden within.
You see…I am evolving. I am changing. Nothing about me is static now or ever will be, so I must embrace the change. I must:
- Seek to understand therefore ask myself lots of questions,
- Help others understand by never telling them what to do just ask questions,
- Pursue clear communication and ask clarifying questions,
- Be unashamed of emotion because they help bring clarity to situations; therefore, walk through and deal,
- Encourage others to walk through and deal with their emotions for greater clarity and balance,
- Always process to understand and change therefore always move forward and grow.
Growth and evolution is not easy and is often nerve-wracking especially when I don’t want to really deal with the matters at hand, but I must learn to push through because it the greatest key to my growth. I can now see that the red lipstick did not show up suddenly. It started the day I added a floral red and black top in my wardrobe two years ago. I increased in January 2021 when I polished my toenails bright sparkly red. The change began slowly and quietly and took time to fully manifest.
It is said that ‘hindsight is 20:20’, and I really understand it this time.
My growth and change has been gradual and a lot of it went unnoticed because it was shrouded in small steps in seemingly unrelated places and processes over time. Are you tracking the little things that are changing in you? They could be good or bad changes, and they need to always be tracked no matter what because they are building up to one big thing that will blow your mind when done and bring great attention to your assignment and calling.
Whatever you do, never forget that when you stop growing, you start dying and that death or life is a very personal choice. Always challenge yourself to see more, read more, hear more, understand more, share more, grow more, and become more so that those around and behind you have a path to follow and precepts to learn. Let the legacy of your life be a transformational example of walking with God in obedience and honestly.
Off you go to evolve!!! Shalom.