(Friday, July 6 – Thursday, July 19)
Let’s get one thing straight: if you have the bar set high for this post, go ahead and take it down a notch or two (or several). Nothing earth-shattering happened this past week in the realm of the fast, or rather, the most noticeable things that happened during this week of the fast are the things that didn’t happen. (Is that what people mean when they say something is Zen?) Let me explain.
This week is the third week of the fast, and, as habits are formed or broken around the 21 day mark, I do not think it is a coincidence that day 21 was a turning-point for me. Day 21 actually turned out to be a “cheater day,” because I was filming for work, and had to put my makeup on. Hold on. I should back up a bit.
I’ve been keeping pretty busy, you know, with the mothering, and the wife-ing, and the working and the writing and the and the and the… You get my point. I really haven’t thought much about the makeup fast at all. I’ve been so delightfully consumed with life, that not only am I no longer afraid to go outside without makeup on, but I’m actually liking my naked face better than my made-up face. How rad is that!? I might make myself a hot-chocolate to celebrate.
Okay, back to day 21: the cheater day. I had to put makeup on that day, for work, and after I finished applying it, I did not like what I saw. I mean, it was whatever. It was pretty, I guess, but who cares? This “who cares” mentality is completely new territory for me. I’ve been feeling validated so much more in my real life stuff, that I couldn’t care much less about whether or not my pores are visible from outer space (they are, I think). I don’t mean to say that I am becoming sloppy or anything. I still have excellent hygiene. 🙂 What I mean is that I’m not seeing the value in looking superficially pretty the way that I used to. I’m too much in love with my family, and too excited to be hearing from so many people that my writing has touched their lives in some way, and too blessed with God’s renewal and acceptance and peace to care much about how my face compares to the faces I see in magazines. I don’t think God cares all that much about it, either. And I think God loves me, regardless of my giant pores. I think he gave me giant pores on purpose, and he’s probably glad that after 28 years of life, I’m beginning to accept and be grateful for what I’ve been given.
Before you all think I’ve gone off the deep-end: yes, I still appreciate prettiness. Yes, I still see makeup tutorials on Pinterest and think “oh, I should try that someday!” BUT I don’t care much how my face compares to other faces, and that is huge for me. And honestly, I feel like I could carry on like this forever. I mean, technically the fast is over on day 43 (40 days, plus 3 “bonus days” to make up for when I’ve had to cheat), but I don’t want to go back to wearing makeup the way I did before I started this fast. I feel like a hermit crab* that’s outgrown its shell. I just can’t fit back inside that old-me anymore. At the point where fasting ceases to feel sacrificial, does it also cease to be a fast? I’m not completely there yet, but it’s fast-approaching. And then what? Where do I go from there?
Progress Report, and Looking Forward
What I was looking for, in beginning this fast, was to trade my ridiculous reliance on makeup (and all of the negative emotions and beliefs that come with it), for an honest-to-goodness identity in God, and while that will always be a work-in-progress, I feel as if I’ve cleared the biggest hurdle. And God has been so ridiculously faithful. I don’t know why I’m so surprised that God is showing up…I guess it’s just humbling to think that he cares this much about our relationship. That he doesn’t think I’m silly, or petty, or too needy or whatever. My tiny brain just doesn’t get it. How does he love me this much?
All that being said, I am really looking forward to the next 20 days of the fast. What an awesome journey these past 3 weeks have been! On a related note: are you at all interested in trying out the Fresh-Faced for 40 Days Makeup Fast? If so, JOIN US in our Facebook group! There are just less than 60 of us doing this together, and it is such a blessing to hear the other ladies’ stories and encouragement along the way.
And now, for photographic evidence that I’ve been adhering to the fast:
On a purely administrative note, we are moving next week (to Morro Bay, which is only 30 minutes north of Shell Beach, where we live presently), and unless I’m struck with some crazy compulsion to write something, I’m taking next week off from writing. We move a week from tomorrow, and I have packed exactly 2 boxes. YIKES. I’ll still try and remember to take naked-face photos, and I’ll still try and keep up with the social networks, but with the move, and Ellie’s 2nd birthday on the 28th, I’m not going to be around much. That’s all to say: Don’t worry, I haven’t died. (Unless I have died, which would be creepy and tragic.)
*Comparing myself to a hermit crab is unfortunate, but I couldn’t come up with a better comparison. Well, I could have compared myself to a butterfly, emerging from its cocoon, never to return to it again, but COME ON. A butterfly? Puh-leeze. I’ll call myself a hermit crab, thankyouverymuch.
For details on the “Fresh-Faced for 40 Days” makeup fast, check out this post.
If you’re interested in participating, join the Facebook group where we can keep each other updated on our progress, post links to our blog posts, and generally hold each other accountable. Obviously, we’ll all be starting on different days, so it’ll be fun to cheer each other on through the different stages.
Let’s be friends!