I got a message earlier this week on Facebook:
"I have to tell you. We may not ever really know each other except from FB, your sister and I were friends in HS but you have a strength and kindness about you that I don't fully understand. I just wanted you to know that your positive energy and love of who you are makes me feel like the way I view things sometimes is okay. So, I just had to say thank you for being a spunky Painted Mistress that I love commenting about:)"
This totally made my day. It also made me think deeply about what it means to be authentic and express yourself in an honest, joyful way.
Realizing that almost 15 years has passed since high school for me, but some things have stayed the same. I never spent a lot of time trying to fit in. More of my energies were dedicated to cultivating looks that I liked. My style ranged from anime school girl, gypsy hippie, to fetish goth girl...and that was at 16. As I entered the job world, I always skirted the dress code and tried to express myself in any way possible. Pink hair at Best Buy until fellow coworkers complained. I ran a bakery for a while and colorful looks were an asset. The more corporate jobs lured me but I always managed to retain my personal style. Meetings with McGraw-Hill-- I had blue hair, 1" ears, and a lip ring. Now, my most recent job has been awesome. Neck tattoos, crazy hair color, and even telling me that I'm bringing and edginess to the company that they need! I wear tutus, furry leg warmers, and cat ears. I own practically everything Hello Kitty, I wear kid's light-up shoes and I frequently go out shopping in my dinosaur kigirumi.
I've always tried to be me. I feel more me with rainbow hair and lots of tattoos. Plus, giant glitter bows and kitty ears ;D
I'm frequently told at work and with friends the following statements:
In general, each day when I get dressed, I pick out things that make me happy. If it's a workday, I know my constraints but I'm still going to find a way to make the most of it. If it is a weekend, then I get all excited to really go all out- wigs! contacts! wild makeup! face paint! full costumes! I can't wait to go out and get all the smiles from kids seeing me go by. I'm a princess! I'm a unicorn! I'm magical! I love it!
Here's what I don't do:
I'm not always super confident- hell, I'm human. I question whether it's "too much," if I'm going to lose respect, and if I'm getting too old. However, I can say with confidence, that most of the reason people hold back doing things is that they are scared and that truly is a waste of time and life.
That's when I grab my rainbow tutu and say frak it. I'm dressing my age! I'm a 33 year old magical rockstar! Pass the glitter and hand me my brushes. I've got one life to live and I'm not letting anyone else take away the joy in my life.
<3 Painted Mistress
If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.