My Make Up Free Miami Trip: Letting Go of Baggage
I HAVE BEEN MAKEUP FREE FOR ABOUT A MONTH NOW.
When I initially started my #FlawsAndAll challenge, I told myself that I would do it until I got to Miami, because surely I would want to wear make-up in Miami. What woman goes to Miami without dressing to the nines and pretending they're flawless? Definitely not me on my last several trips to Miami.
But this time had to be different.
I realized that this trip was the perfect opportunity to put my challenge to the test. I felt a bit hypocritical saying that I wanted to learn to love all of me and not be so preoccupied with my image if I couldn't stick to this commitment when it was most challenging. After all, if I could get through Miami #FlawsAndAll, I figured I would be several steps closer to reaching the level of wholeness I set out to accomplish to begin with.
AND IT WAS DEFINITELY CHALLENGING, BUT I ROSE TO THE OCCASION.
Leading up to my Miami trip, I did not buy one single thing. I usually go on a mini shopping spree because somewhere along the lines I convinced myself that I wasn't enough as I am: I would claim that I needed new outfits, new accessories, new swimwear, cover ups, flip-flops, or whatever else my preoccupation with my image had me believing. Not this time. I am proud to say that I did not buy one single item leading up to my Miami vacation.
As for the make-up, I was so tempted. I kept trying to negotiate with myself. "Rima, at least bring concealer to cover up your blemishes on your face. Come on. For the pictures." "Okay, fine, no cover up. No hiding. But at least some mascara. Just a little bit. It will still look natural but it will just accentuate your eyes." "Okay so you decided to leave the whole dang make-up bag at home. Good job love. Go get some pretty lashes to reward yourself."
I swear this is how I was talking to myself lol. While I was in Miami, I almost bought some concealer from CVS, but refrained. I'm so happy that I was this strict and extreme about my #FlawsAndAll challenge. Here are the lessons I learned after this make-up free (and no new clothes) trip to Miami.
I CARE WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT ATTENTION
I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with wearing makeup or dressing to the nines. Let me just clarify that right now. I love looking good. I love looking pretty. I love clothes. But the important thing to ask ourselves is "why?" I can be transparent and say that I am not yet at the point where I only want to look good for me. SURE, I HAVE MY OWN UNIQUE STYLE, BUT I CARE A LOT ABOUT BEING ATTRACTIVE IN THE EYES OF OTHERS. I WANT TO BE AT A POINT WHERE I DON'T EVEN NOTICE WHO DOES OR DOESN'T NOTICE ME. WHEN I GET READY, I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK OF MY OUTFIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN MOST OF MY "AUDIENCE" is PEOPLE I DON'T EVEN KNOW!
This trip taught me that at the very root of this preoccupation and temptation to cover-up, accentuate, and embellish was feeling like I wasn't enough as I AM. I found myself walking along South Beach, looking at all of the gorgeous women, and feeling like I needed to keep up. I'm not a competitive person by any means, but I was CONSTANTLY comparing myself. I kept having to remind myself why I COMMITTED TO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE. I felt better every time I corrected my thinking, because if anything, those thoughts highlighted the exact reason I STOPPED WEARING MAKEUP. After the second day, I stopped caring so much about the attention I was or wasn't getting and started FOCUSING MORE ON THE INTERNAL WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
IF I STARTED, I WOULD NEVER STOP
Until I truly get to the root of this insecurity, I plan to stay make-up free (except for very special occasions like weddings). I realize now that this is a need, not just a fun, motivational challenge. I need to get to the root of this issue for myself. The thoughts and temptations I was having leading up to and during my trip made me realize that if I allowed myself one exception (i.e. lashes or concealer), I would keep trying to make allowances AND KEEP FEEDING INTO THE EXACT ISSUE I AM TRYING TO RESOLVE.
GIVING MYSELF A NO-EXCEPTIONS RULE MADE IT IMMEDIATELY CLEAR TO ME JUST HOW MANY OF THESE THOUGHTS I HAVE THROUGHOUT THE DAY. EVERY TIME I SEE A CUTE ACCESSORY OR "LOOK" ON Instagram, AT THE STORE, OR ON AN ACTUAL PERSON, IT'S LIKE MY BRAIN WOULD AUTOMATICALLY DOCUMENT IT AS SOMETHING I "NEEDED." I AM STARTING TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO HOW OFTEN I HAVE THESE THOUGHTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY, AND IT'S REALLY ALARMING. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING SOME FASHION INSPIRATION OR KEEPING UP WITH THE LATEST TRENDS, BUT AT WHAT COST? IF I LET IT START, IT WILL NEVER STOP, BECAUSE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NEW LOOK OR NEW TREND TO CHASE. AND ALL OF THIS HAS JUST BEEN DISTRACTING ME FROM GETTING RID OF THIS OBSESSION once AND FOR ALL.
THE WORST CASE SCENARIO IS NOT BAD AT ALL
While women were rocking their best outfits on South Beach, I spent the majority of my time in jeans, comfortable shoes, and a t-shirt. I was so apprehensive that I would feel uncomfortable, underdressed, unattractive, and a lot of other "un" words that were really just synonymous for the imposter syndrome I wrote about recently. WHEN I REALIZED THAT I COULD ALLOW MYSELF TO FEEL SO UNWORTHY SIMPLY BECAUSE OF A STUPID OUTFIT, I BEGAN TO REALIZE JUST HOW DEEPLY-ROOTED THIS ISSUE IS.
It turns out that this so-called worst-case scenario was exactly what I needed. I needed to purposely put myself in this position in order TO HUMBLE MYSELF AND FORCE MYSELF OUT OF THESE TOXIC THOUGHT PATTERnS. I ALWAYS ALLOWED THESE INSECURITIES AND THOUGHTS TO PRESSURE ME INTO FITTING A CERTAIN MOLD; THIS TIME, I needed TO BREAK THE MOLD AND START CREATING MY OWN. AND IT REALLY WASN'T THAT BAD. SURE, I WAS OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE, BUT THERE ARE A MULTITUDE OF UNHEALTHY HABITS THAT LIE WITHIN OUR COMFORT ZONES. I realIZE NOW THAT, SOMETIMES, THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH DISCOMFORT.
IT'S all UP FROM HERE
MOST IMPORTANTLY, I LEARNED THAT I NEED TO KEEP GOING.
THESE LITTLE CHALLENGES HAVE REVEALED TO ME THAT I HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO TOWARDS BEING WHOLE, TOWARDS ACCEPTING MYSELF FOR ALL THAT I AM AND ALL THAT I'm NOT. I PLAN TO CONTINUE WEARING 0 MAKEUP AND I PLAN TO CONTINUE WITH MY "NO SHOPPING" RULE. MOVING FORWARD, I WILL ALSO BE TAKING A LESSON OR TWO FROM MINIMALISM AND WEARING PRETTY LOW-MAINTENANCE OUTFITS. I WILL BE THINKING OF A CHALLENGE AROUND THIS, SOMETHING SEEMINGLY CRAZY LIKE WEARING 3-5 REPEATING OUTFITS FOR A MONTH STRAIGHT TO SEE HOW IT MAKES ME FEEL.
I'm NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT OTHER FUN CHALLENGES WILL COME OUT OF THIS NEW WAVE, BUT I DO KNOW THAT I FEEL LIGHTER. I AM LETTING GO OF SO MUCH BAGGAGE AND USING THESE WINGS TO FLY TO NEW HEIGHTS EVERY DAY. I HOPE THAT THIS POST CAN INSPIRE YOU TO COME UP WITH YOUR OWN CHALLENGES that help you get out of your comfort zone and at the root of your MOST DEEPLY ROOTED insecurities.
I WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT THE CHALLENGES YOU'RE COMMITTED TO.