This is it. The new hairstyle. Complete with new foundation in a better tone that does match my skin tone, a bit of make-up and the clothes recommended by the personal shopper in John Lewis. I’m aware that this all sounds very materialistic but it’s about much more than looks. It’s about my self-esteem. At times, it’s even felt like a spiritual quest.
I often ramble on about being your authentic self. I like that analogy that Paul McKenna uses: we’re all born as wonderfully unique creatures – diamonds he calls us. Then school and parental tellings-off and our peers and other people in general make us feel we’re not quite good enough. We stop seeing ourselves as “good” and we start seeing ourselves as imperfect: not good enough. Our diamond is then covered with a layer of horse manure. Then we try to cover up, to hide our imperfections from everyone else by covering it with a false self, a self that is better than the “bad” person that we believe we really are. It’s like trying to hide the horse manure, Paul says, with a layer of nail varnish, rather than just chipping away at it to reveal the diamond underneath.
If you want a really good spiritual book on becoming your true, wonderful self, I suggest “Becoming Who You Are” by James Martin. The Jesuit priest not the celebrity chef.
Anyway, this makeover is about becoming who I am.
I once recall reading that some women stay fat because they are afraid to be slim. As long as they are fat, they can blame their lack of success on their overweight bodies. They can say, “Well, I haven’t met the right man because I am fat” or “I haven’t had much success at work because people don’t like fat people”. They never have to consider that they haven’t met the right man because of some other reason, that might be more difficult to face. They don’t want to think that they haven’t met someone because they aren’t a nice person or that they haven’t been promoted because they aren’t good enough at their job.
Perhaps I’ve been afraid to show my best side. Perhaps I go out sometimes in baggy clothes, wearing glasses and no make-up and barely having run a brush through my hair let alone got the straighteners out because then I give myself an excuse. I can say, “Well I wasn’t looking my best so no wonder I didn’t meet anyone at that party!”
I’m not sure if all this has any truth in it or if I really should get out more and stop reading self-help books. But it doesn’t matter. The truth is that I feel great in my new clothes, with new hair and with make-up on. It doesn’t matter either if this doesn’t lead me to the man of my dreams. It’s about feeling good about myself. I can’t think why I didn’t do it before.
The next challenge – watch this space – is to clear out my crammed drawers and wardrobe and get rid of all the clothes that I don’t feel good in. That’s proving really difficult. I’m finding it hard to let go. I’ll be writing more about this when I’ve actually managed to do it! In the meantime, here’s a few more pictures of the “new me”.