I was as proud of myself as if I’d jumped out of an airplane, ridden whitewater rapids, or undertaken some other daring endeavor. Instead, I’d applied makeup for the first time in thirty years. I bought makeup in 1983 for my fifth high school reunion but then not again, (except for lipstick) until 2014. I finally caved and bought some because I needed professional photos for my website to promote my book, Living Well with Chronic Illness, and I thought I should put my best foot forward. And just like that, I stepped over the doorsill of my fears and did away with an entire lifetime of makeup aversion. I loved the photos for my website and blog. After the shoot, I did errands in my neighborhood in full makeup, and all the vendors I know complimented me, although they couldn’t put a finger on the difference.
The day of my shoot, I’d paid the makeup artist at my hair salon to apply the cosmetics. She’d written detailed instructions for how to apply it myself, but I hadn’t worn the makeup again. At the last minute, I needed more photos for my book. I have 20/500 vision without my glasses, but I gave it a go. It’s very challenging to apply makeup when you can’t see, but I did it, and the photos look great.
Sometimes when we’re sick, we have to get over our fears and dislikes quickly and face the issues imposed on us. Applying makeup reminded me that I could do what I need to. I can take care of myself and accomplish tasks I’ve avoided for decades. When my life requires action, I can deliver, whether it’s taking care of my medical needs or something more inconsequential. Don’t be frightened by unexpected challenges. Take a deep breath, say yes, and charge.