I wanted to share my story about powering through your own self-doubts, and redeeming yourself, to yourself…
In makeup artistry school, there was a day that made me question my decision to start a new career. All the doubts came flooding in. That day and those doubts like to hang out in the background of my mind, trying to undermine what I am doing. But recently, the universe conspired to show me that I am indeed on the right path, giving me the unexpected chance to redeem my skills and confidence. So let me share those two opposing days in the hopes that they encourage you to stick with what you know you love, even when it isn’t perfect!
Since I decided to get my makeup artist certification in my late 40’s, I had been putting off the recurring voices in my head whispering “What are you doing? Who do you think you are, doing this now? There are so many people out there that are more talented, more experienced, just better. You are too old” But I allowed the more confident voices to power through, the side that got joy out of the younger people in my class being surprised at my age, or at the age of my children! It was a fun conversation, and I did enjoy being told that they were “proud of me.”
With this age difference between me and the other students, I was so excited for the mature model day, as I was sure it would be my best day. I was thrilled to be a part of a process to help make a “mature” model feel more beautiful that day, and maybe to even show the instructors and my classmates that this is where my talents could really shine. But let’s just say, that’s not exactly how it turned out – at all. It was hard. So much harder than I expected. Colors and textures show up differently on mature skin, and challenges such as a lack of eyebrows are common, as they were with my model. I was so defeated that day. The look did not turn out how I wanted at all. My model wasn’t impressed. My instructor had to fix my work. And the voices were loud in my head that night that I should just quit, that I didn’t have the talent or abilities after all. I really wanted to just go home and cry my eyes out for a while. But I went back to class the next day, and set those doubts aside, and just kept going, but with that day on repeat in my head. I researched on my own about the various things that needed improvement. I studied others’ work. And I did wonder how and when I would do a mature model again and how it would turn out.
Fast forward to a recent experience. The unexpected opportunity to work with a 90+ year-old former model presented itself. I jumped at the chance and immediately said yes. The opportunity to use the experiences of my time since finishing school, and that day of feeling like a failure, and all of the research and learning that I had done since then to understand what went wrong, was exactly what I wanted and needed. I had the chance to redeem myself to myself! And the universe gifted me exactly that. The photos included in this post are from that day (Photography by Jennifer Schuman, Horizon Photography). It was a success in my book.
What did I learn in this process? Well, here is the thing about those voices. Some of those doubting thoughts are true for me: there are more experienced makeup artists, more talented makeup artists. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for me. That doesn’t mean that my talents aren’t exactly what a specific client needs. There is always room for more. For more creativity. For more sharing and giving and teaching. For more transformations. And the lovely gift from the universe is that, if you ask, you will usually find yourself in a position to be matched up with the right clients, the right people, and the right situations.
So I just felt compelled to share this story of sticking with what you love, even after a failure. That failure was a great lesson, and a great motivator to learn more. Refine my craft. Respect the process. And don’t give up. Get back up, and do the work. So whatever you want to go after, whatever you want to give, whatever whispers in your head to try, know this: there is room for you. The world wants to see what you have to give. And it doesn’t matter how your gifts or talents compare to others in that industry or space. It matters only to the receiver of your gifts. And to yourself.
So take the chances. Enroll in the class. Be the oldest in the room, or the youngest in the room. Put yourself out there. As for what you are afraid to ask for. And you might just be surprised at what you get back, who loves your work, and what you are capable of doing. Even on a day that feels like a failure, know that maybe it is just a way to give yourself the opportunity to get better, and to redeem yourself – to yourself. Which is really one of the best gifts you can receive.
The journey is the purpose.
You are not too old. And It is not too late.
I named my business “Sass & Grace Beauty” because I want my clients to feel a little bit of both after sitting in my chair. I want them to walk away with a little sass in their step and grace in their heart. After this photo shoot, I am pretty sure my beautiful model felt that way. And the biggest gift of the day was that I did, too.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any experiences of redeeming yourself to yourself that you’d like to share? I would love to hear them! Or does this motivate you to try again on something you put aside? Please share your story below, too!