This month you have turned a whole One Year Old! How time flies! You’ve grown so much, from a tiny little smidge of a person to a lovely, funny and inquisitive little girl. You love toy rabbits, you love organising things, you’re becoming quite a bookworm and I’m so glad, you seem to be becoming quite the little Elvis fan!
Recently, you’ve taken to watching my morning make-up ritual; something I used to love doing when you slept a little longer in the mornings. You’re still so little, but I often wonder what you think – why the eye flicks? Why the eyebrows? There are people who think I over-do it, now I’m a Mum. But this little ritual goes way way back before you were even a twinkle in my eye and, whilst we are bombarded with images of ‘beauty’ every day in our media (Christ only knows how it will be when you grow up), my image partially serves to teach you a strong message. Image IS important, but not in the way you might think.
I believe that you should look at yourself in the mirror, every day, and see a representation of the person YOU want to be. If that’s made-up, dressed down, fashion-addict, goth, sports-luxe, following the trend, bucking the trend – whatever it is, OWN it. Far too often, in life, we look for justification in the opinions of others; ‘likes’ on social media, attention in an unknown place, the promise of notice from a brave stranger. The world, as we know it now, is a million miles away from what it was when I was growing up. Everywhere, the message seems to be about being beautiful – ‘DREAM this, BEST EVER that’ – striving to be better, on the outside. Don’t believe the hype. Stars and models are airbrushed and made-up to inconceivable levels; the lines between the real and fantasy world grow ever more blurred. These dream products don’t make you happy, they don’t complete you in any way. What these people should really be teaching is how to have a happy heart and a healthy soul.
I wonder if you’ll remember Mummy took a lot of pride in her appearance. If I have my way, I’ll be an embarrassingly cool old woman who will still be rocking a full fringe and a wing-ed eye well into my nineties. It’s taken me a decade to get there but I’m happy with who I am. I’ve learnt that the outer shell is just another layer guarding my little onion soul, and it’s your soul that needs to be nurtured the most. The people in your life; friends, family, future relationships, who will want to peel away at those layers, will be the ones worth taking with you on your journey.
The truth is, I don’t always like the little lumps and bumps, the dark circles, the telltale signs of long nights and early mornings. But I do like how my body will always bear the scars of you. I like how comfortable I am starting to feel in my own skin and how much I feel I can achieve in my new life, with you. I’m not afraid to stand out, to dress-up like every day has a special occasion waiting for me. Your image IS important because it should only ever say this; ‘I Answer to Nobody, I am Strong in Who I Am, What I Do and Where I Am Going. I Will Never Be Anyone Else and I’m OK With That.’
DREAM BIG, seek out your deepest desires and go forth in the world to get them. Let your outer shell bear the scars of all that you fight and conquer and never be ashamed to walk your own path. Listen without judgement, laugh whenever you can and love without consequence. Live the BEST-EVER life for you, not for anyone else and, most of all, learn to never compare yourself to a bunch of warped pixels that are just trying to sell you something.
And if you can live your life, with or without make-up, without justification or agenda, with a happy and fulfilled soul, then you will have learnt one of the greatest and toughest lessons of all.
Lots of Love x