Loneliness Taught Me Today That…

no makeup

Here I am as I am, wearing no makeup. In full disclosure, I never wear makeup ~ but that does not alter the fact that here I am wearing no makeup. I offer this photo of myself with no makeup today as I think of a young friend who posted a photo of herself on social media; revealing a part of herself to the world that she usually keeps to herself and her partner.

She posted a closeup of what she looks like when working from home, self-quarantined during a global pandemic. No need to dress up her face. No standing in front of the bathroom mirror separating lashes and drawing a black line of demarcation at the border of her bottom eyelids. No color added to her cheeks. No nothing. Au naturel.

“Here I am as I am” her photo seems to proudly, quietly, proclaim. She revealed a part of herself that until then had remained concealed. The photo also revealed her as bold, defiant and proud. I could see it in her eyes. The photo also revealed a shy trepidation about having posted the revelatory photo. I could see that too in her eyes.

This revelation of identity reminds me of some young parents-to-be who host Reveal Parties at which they announce the gender of their child. It also reminds me of people gathered in parks and museums in front of statues covered in cloth. They wait until lofty words offered by dignitaries finally end and then the cloth is released, and it falls to the ground and the finished product is revealed. “Here I am as I am” the statue seems to proudly, quietly, proclaim.

Loneliness hosts a reveal party also. It wipes away the way I wish to be perceived and allows people to see me as I most often am. Loneliness releases the cover I drape over myself and reveals what lies underneath. “Here you are as you are” it says to us.

Loneliness has taught me today that I need not makeup or coverup parts of myself to appease or please you. I confess that sometimes, particularly in the morning, I look in the bathroom mirror and am startled or disappointed by the person I see there. “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”  Sometimes I look in the mirror and see the face of loneliness. Sometimes that is not the face I want to see, but it is the face I reluctantly see.

Sometimes people do look better when adorned with makeup. Maybe I should try it. Sometimes statues do make people seem taller, bolder, and better looking than they are. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as I do not fail to see and accept the person behind the mask and under the things I drape over myself to manipulate my identity.

Loneliness humbles me as any great teacher and friend would. It helps me to see and accept myself just as I am.

My latest book is “Loneliness Book of World Records” and it is a lighthearted, yet serious look at the curious gifts that loneliness can provide ~ it invited, welcomes and accepted. Here is a link by which to order through Amazon in kindle or paper:

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