Ah, perfection. That can be a very dirty word for me. I am very hard on myself about my work. I can always seem to be able to fix a bit more so it will be “perfect”. And what is that exactly? Whose version makes it perfect? My version? Their version? I am in the arts so it isn’t so easy to determine the outcome. With math, you have an equation that’s clear. But people’s idea of what is creative or artistic is a much broader area and so you can be at the mercy of so many opinions.

I would dress according to what I would be doing. I determined what I would look like by what the job was going to entail and then I would labor over what was appropriate for that job. Then I realized I felt uncomfortable sometimes because it wasn’t who I really was. I was trying to look the way everyone expected me to look like a professional. Ever got dressed for a party and every one said to dress formal and you show up and everyone is in jeans? Life is a lot like that. As I got more experienced in my work I started to really develop my style. And surprisingly enough people started noticing and asking my advice. I say surprisingly because I didn’t believe in myself to know that my style was really me. What I was saying about myself. How I viewed the importance of my work and how I respected what I was doing. And when the job wasn’t making me feel valued I dressed accordingly. Not the same makeup or clothes. I would wear less makeup ( I don’t wear that much, to begin with) and allow my weight to creep up. My clothes would get a bit sloppier (never unkempt or unstylish) but never really showing how I care about myself. And I was in the business of looking put together.

I have looked at myself in a mirror for many years changing and aging. And not just in my bathroom. In front of countless mirrors in makeup trailers and makeup rooms all over the world. I have looked at some of the most beautiful faces in those mirrors and then looked at me. And for a long time, I would go home feeling I needed to change to be like that .…whatever that was.

I still struggle with those moments but they are becoming more fleeting and now I really do feel good in my own skin. It doesn’t mean I don’t get angry or frustrated at things that I see happening but I really am trying to go with what I got. I would be lying if I said I always feel comfortable with myself on every job. That pit in my stomach has never completely disappeared when I walk into some rooms worrying about how I will be judged. But over the years I have softened to allow myself to not always be so critical when I look in those mirrors.

Are you looking in your own mirror and wondering what you see? Is there a hidden someone in you that is waiting to appear? I encourage you to do something for yourself even if it is something small that no one else will notice. Something or someone that you secretly would love to be. It could start out to be as simple as a manicure. You are taking time for you and how you feel about yourself. I promise you everything around you will seem brighter for taking the time for you. Now that’s perfection.