My 33rd birthday was several days ago, I'd long begun the usual questioning of my innards. What have I done lately that makes me proud? Where am I on the goals I've set for myself? What can I do to be a better me, for me? Am I happy in this skin, or am I just comfortable?
While most of these check out alright, I'd answered the last question some months ago, and realized that I am just comfortable. Which, in itself, is not bad to be - it took me so many years just to feel comfortable and then confident in that comfort. But, I buy my clothes from the same places I did in junior high, not just because I know my sizes there, but because I'm used to it and branching out scares me. I wear the same color, brand and type of eyeliner that I started using at 16 years old. My style is dull, I've got all this hair and it's in a single ponytail, down, or in a bun, I am so uncomfortable wearing makeup because it just doesn't feel natural to me, and I want to explore these facets of style and experiment a little. Do something different.
So - I've been looking into making changes. In a mug exchange I was given a gorgeous red lipstick, I bought these unicorn makeup brushes impulsively, I have not ever cared about the shape of my eyebrows and got them waxed, I have a full set of acrylic nails on my fingers right now and an appointment made for another, I stopped straightening my hair.
I crowdsourced some ideas from Facebook, and my family, being my family, showed concern towards my wanting to try new looks, stores, etc - because they know my comfort, they immediately assumed I was unhappy and swooped in with "You don't need to change!". Well meaning, of course, but I'm in no way unhappy with me, I am my number one, and that's exactly why change is necessary. If someone does the very same thing for years, eats the same foods, from the same restaurants, for years, reads the same genre for years, listens to the same music for years - and one day decides they'd like to experience something new, maybe something uncomfortable for them, it's more likely that they'll have support, and be encouraged. Because life should include new experiences. But if someone says they want to lose a few pounds, start to wear makeup, or do something different with their hair, it's not covered under "exciting life experiences". Why?
When we get beyond this, I'm asked "How does Antonio feel about it?" I haven't asked, am I supposed to? "He has to look at you. Don't you want him to like what he sees?" Does he ask me if he can change his beard? Or if he can wear tank tops outside of the house, even though he knows I hate them? Does he consult me when he adds a new tattoo idea to his ever growing list? He doesn't, because my opinions on his appearance aren't important to him. And his on mine, aren't important to me. Additionally, "Don't you want him to like what he sees?" NO ONE has ever asked me that in regards to him. So my eyes are just supposed to regard him, and his ridiculous Minions tank top and horrendous track pants with adoration, while his MUST see beauty? Hard pass on that shit.
From me to you? Want to change something, and can make the change? Do it. You don't need anyone's approval, their permission, or even their understanding. You're allowed to feel happy with yourself, you're allowed to be confident in your skin, even when that means experimenting until you get there.