Tuesday, March 16

Lent: Part 2

So i've been working on my Lenten resolution, which is to give up my grievances, since Ash Wednesday. Quick summary: it ain't easy!

My first mission was to explain to a relative why I don't see her as often as I once did and to apologize for what must look like giving up. She laughed at me and explained that she understands that i'm young and i'm welcome whenever I want. Well, that was a piece of cake.

My second mission is to part ways, emotionally, with a former best friend. I'm not exactly sure why we lost touch, but we did. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't upset about it at one point, but I have since realized that we were going into different paths and our friendship was becoming all about the upkeep, not the relationship. I would her to know that I don't harbour any resentment for the lost friendship and that I wish her well in the future. Easy peasy, right? Wrong! I cannot get that message out to save my life! I've tried a few times and each one failed miserably. It would be easy to say that it failed because I secretly don't want to let go and all that jazz, but I honestly don't think that's it.

I'm going to try my best to get through this one, but I may just have to let this one go on my own.

Sunday, March 7

The "Pretty" Project

Lately I've been working on two projects. The first is my acceptance into grad school. The second is building my makeup collection. While one could immediately argue that the first is more important, I've actually found reason to believe that they may, in fact, be of equal importance.

I plan to enroll in a master's program in Mental Health Counseling (and, God willing, a PhD program shortly after). The program is based in psychology and certifies you in the state of NY as a clinical therapist, meaning you can work with patients and be compensated by medical insurance companies. As a counselor, I would pick a specialty. I'm leaning towards marriage and family counseling, though I could be swayed into forensics or even something related to children and teenagers. I would work with patients to discuss their issues and teach them how to deal with them. It's not that old stereotype of lying on the couch and talking about feelings. It's a patient telling me what is bothering them and then learning how to take that issue and think of it in a different way. I would allow them to see their differences in a new light, to reinvent themselves. In some cases, I may help to modify their behavior, changing the qualities they dislike and want to eradicate from their personality.

Now, after all of that, who can argue that what I would be doing is much different than the allure of cosmetics? After all, aren't I just trying to make people prettier? Now, it may be a stretch, but I'm starting to feel that counseling is to personality what makeup is to faces- a way to be pretty.

We have always been told that beauty is on the inside. There is much virtue in that statement, but, unfortunately, not enough people believe in it. I know this because of my second project, my makeup collection. My project began when I was given a makeup palette from a higher end brand for my birthday. I realized that the products were easier to work with and the results were much more flattering than when I use the drug store brands I had always purchased. I decided to rid my cabinets of cheap products and start building a higher quality (and high priced) collection from scratch. In the beginning, I felt so intimidated by the sales people and makeup artists working the stores and counters. I felt like they were wondering why this Maybelline girl was lost at the MAC counter. So, I took action. I consulted websites, reviews, and even turned to expert tutorials on YouTube- my counseling. After some practice, I mastered a few looks. Now, when I go in the stores, I'm not intimidated. I know the lingo and even look the part. They respect that I'm 'pretty on the outside.'

I would like people to think of counseling like makeup, a way to make you pretty on the inside. Your old habits and issues are the cheap drugstore brands, while your future is the pricey makeup counter- better quality, better results. You may have to throw away some old things, but what you'll get is better results in your life. I'm not saying that your everything will change, but maybe, with practice and care, you'll learn to let your inner beauty shine through.