I got dressed up all fancy-pants tonight. I wore a red dress. I wore heels for the first time in a year, straightened my hair for the bi-annual occurrence of doing so, and wore contacts. Oh. And red lipstick.
The last time I wore lipstick was 5 years ago. I bought it for a Halloween costume. And that’s the same lipstick I wore tonight.
The good news is, at this rate, I will own this one lipstick for at least two lifetimes.
The other good news is I don’t seem to have aged much. THANKS, SOBRIETY AND HEALTHY EATING.
The bad news is I liked my eyebrows better back then, when I paid good money to have a Vietnamese woman “named Helen” apply hot wax to my face and rip it off. And each time she’d be like, “YOU HAVE HUSBAND?” And I’d be like, “No.” And she’d say, “WHY NOT HAVE HUSBAND? YOU NEED TO HURRY. NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER.”
She then she’d tell me I had a mustache, and I’d feel so deflated that I’d pay extra money to have that ripped off, too.
That Helen… Such a salesperson.
I don’t know if you can see a difference in the eyes of 25 year old Jen versus 30 year old Jen. I can see it… But then again, I was there for both of these times.
Here’s how it looks to me. The younger version of me seems distant, and maybe a little empty. The now me seems present, and full.
Does anyone else see this? Truly. I’m curious.
I remember the Halloween night when I was 25. I was at a bar… I don’t remember which one, because I was severely drunk. (I did just have a flashback of a guy wearing one of those unicorn head masks. So. That happened.)
I also had a horrible night. I was in an incompatible relationship where I never spoke my truth, and I constantly tried to be a certain way. I tried to fit into the mold of what I thought was sexy and good and right. The night ended in a heavy fight, and me driving home drunk. Even being at the bar was uncomfortable for me, because being around people was overwhelming.
Fast forward to tonight. Tonight I went out for a girls’ night with three fabulous women. We went out to dinner, ate yummy foods, and then all decided to go home. While heading back from Atlanta toward Marietta, my friend and I made a spontaneous decision to head to a new collection of bars.
These bars were PACKED. And 92% of the people were sloshed drunk. And guess what? I was unaffected. People bumping into me, spilling beer on me, or even trying to nonchalantly touch my ass… I didn’t care. I was so fucking proud of myself for being OUT (especially because I’d spent the past three days in a sticky depressive episode), and for being sober, and for being myself.
And this brings me to the freedom sexy part.
I got to see a ffffriend’s band play live tonight. And it was 80’s music, which means I knew mostly wrong lyrics, but they sound/look similar enough to be okay unless someone’s close enough to hear me. And I let myself go. I danced however felt right, bouncing and spinning and shaking my head. This resulted in profuse sweating, which resulted in my hair saying “EFF YOU 400°F STRAIGHTENING IRON. I WILL BE CURLY.” By this point in time, I’d tossed the contacts for my glasses, and traded the heels in for flats.
In my logical mind, contacts+heels+straight hair+sweat-free is sexier. So is doing a controlled+calculated back and forth sway-dance to the music. But there I was, jumping and twirling and bopping, sweating, hair with an ever-increasing poof-factor, and feeling sexier than I have in… I don’t know how long.
I noticed the same thing with the musicians. There were two (one in specific) that I loved watching, because it was clear that they were having fun. There’s this state of allowance that coincides with fun, it seems. At least, for adults.
Kids give no shits. Their natural state is fun-land.
For adults, though, it seems to be… Harder? Less popular?
A fear of looking stupid, maybe. An attempt to fit an idea of sexy, perhaps. At least, that’s what it was for me.
Folks. Here’s the thing. And maybe you’ve heard this before… As I know I’ve heard it countless times and tend to shrug it off. Stepping into and embracing vulnerability, whether it’s to share heart feels or to dance like no one’s watching, brings more freedom than I can possibly explain.
It’s like, by doing what we think we should be afraid of doing, the fears lose their power. And on the other side of that fear? Is this sexy, expansive state of freedom. Of allowance. And of fun.
And oh my goodness, it tastes and feels better than any drink or drug I’ve tried.
Going to sleep on a rockstar schedule after a night of sweaty fun,