When we went on holiday last month I had time to reflect and think about the life that I’m living and the kind of person I am. I have spent years not feeling that comfortable in my skin, having the usual hang ups with how I look and feeling awkward on beach based holidays for one reason or another. But this holiday something clicked and I learnt a few things about myself, and about life, whilst I was away.
I have got to nearly 32 having had no experience of Shellac before. But, having split one of my toenails just before we went away, I was advised to get Shellac on my toe nails instead of my typical pedicure.
A month later and my toenails still look the same. They haven’t chipped or worn away at all and I am in love! Anyone close to me will know how much I love a pedicure – I’m not keen on my feet but having pretty toenails makes it all so much better.
So, from now on I may have Shellac pedicures all year round. Having nice toenails all year round would make me a tiny bit happier and Shellac takes the maintenance out of painting my toe nails regularly, something that I would never commit to doing.
I have only had my eyelashes tinted once before, for our honeymoon. But, for this holiday I wanted to not wear make up during the day, to be able to go in the pool or in the sea and not worry about make up dripping down my face. So I had my eyelashes tinted again.
I feel so much better with brown or black eyelashes. My eyelashes are so pale, almost invisible, that a lot of the definition on my face is lost without mascara on. But with tinted eyelashes I have that definition and don’t have to wear make up at all. I look fine, not pasty, and I can just be me without having to cover up in any way.
I went a whole 11 days without makeup over the course of our holiday and annual leave from work and only put makeup on again when I went back to work. I’ll be getting my eyelashes tinted for every holiday in the future.
I wrote a post earlier in the year about the first time I thought I was fat. In it I promised myself I would wear a bikini on our summer holiday this year and up until we were there I had no idea whether I would or not – I packed one piece swimming costumes too but in the end we got there, I put a bikini on and I didn’t look back.
I always thought bikinis were reserved for young, toned, childless people but in fact anyone can feel good in a bikini and I felt fine walking around by the pool, in the water and laying on a sun-lounger with a bikini on. I am not the person I was before kids, my stomach will never be the same again, but I can still feel completely comfortable in a bikini. I think I surprised myself with that revelation and felt better in my own skin than I have done in a long time.
We each have our own comfort zones when put in different situations. For me, laying on a beach, watching other people do water sports was my comfort zone. I can’t swim very well, wear contact lenses and am only comfortable in water when I know my feet can touch the bottom. On the first days of our holiday I had no urge to get on a paddle-board, a kayak or on anything else out on the sea.
But then LP went windsurfing. LP went windsurfing and I cried.
I cried because I was proud and then I cried because she could do what I could never do. She could go out on the water, step out of her comfort zone and experience something I really wished I could experience but something which I didn’t feel I could even attempt.
But, right there on the beach I decided to make a change and the following day I went out by myself on a kayak. It was the only thing I could do and near enough guarantee I wouldn’t end up in the water but for me, rowing away from the beach, it symbolised so much more than just kayaking. It was one of the first times I had willingly stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to make a change. Next year I’ll be trying something different and before then I may even have swimming lessons too.
I have freckles. I have been growing freckles for years and they seem to be multiplying at an incredible rate – every time the sun sees me I seem to sprout more. Now the top of my back is a sea of freckles and my arms are covered in them, even getting new ones on my hands and feet this year. They’re also over my forehead and nose. I’m literally a ginger stereotype.
But, the thing I have realised about freckles is that when the sun comes out and my freckles start to show up more I always get this nice healthy glow. I look healthier and more alive in the summer months because of my freckles and I love how they show the summers that I have been through – from my teenage years when I had just a few, until now when I have so many. These freckles have been on a journey with me and I love how more come along for the ride each year.
Five things that I’ve learnt about myself this year, purely from a week in the sun. I wonder what revelations the rest of the year will bring?