It's just after midnight on Sunday. I've been trying to figure out what to write for this post for days, weeks. I have written and re-written this post so many times I can't even count. But here goes with what I have for you tonight...
I've always been self conscience about myself. I've never thought of myself as pretty or thin or stylish. I was never the popular kid in school and I never really fit in. I had my good friends which is all I really needed, but it never stopped me from wishing I had more. But, I am not sure what "more" I was looking for.
As an adult, I carried this baggage with me. I wanted a nice car, I wanted nice things, I wanted to be skinny and pretty and stylist. And the truth is, I never was. I have spent year, YEARS, trying and wishing and hoping to be all these things I am not.
But in April of this year, all of those feelings and issues in my head changed. Some of you might remember when I was hospitalized for pancreatitis. Reflecting back on those 15 days I spent in the hospital, there were times when I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Seriously, I was in some bad shape. When I left the hospital, I was 25 pounds lighter than I was when I first went in. My face was sunken, my clothes didn't fit...I wasn't skinny, but wasn't chubby like I had been two weeks prior. I had lost so much strength that walking to the mail box was a struggle. I couldn't lift my kids. I had lost all desire to write, to create.
Now, almost 6 months later, I have gained 10 lbs back and I haven't been more comfortable in my own skin. I feel funny saying that because I am still not skinny. I am still not stylish and I still don't feel pretty. But I am comfortable with myself, finally. It took almost dying for me to finally feel okay in my own skin.
I was having wine with my friends tonight and somehow during the conversation I said something like, "oh it's ok, because I don't care what people think of me. There have been times when I've had one too many glasses of wine and have said some stupid things and have stressed about what I said all night. And I have panicked thinking that my friends would disown me. But the truth is, I have to stop worrying so much what people think of me, because this is who I am. Chances are, the next bunco night I will have one glass of wine too many and say something else stupid. And if you decide not to be friends with me anymore, then that's fine. But I am who I am, and this is who I will be." This was not in context to anything bad, it was just me throwing out a random fact.
It took almost dying to realize that. I am loud and sarcastic and cynical. I unintentionally monopolize conversations when I am nervous or overly excited about things. I sometimes interrupt people when I remembered what I needed to say 20 minutes ago. I don't do this to be rude, I just don't think sometimes.
But that is who I am. And this is who I am going to be. And I finally like me.
Make up or not, I finally like me for me.
I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend, Megan of Brassy Apple, wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I decided to joined in! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "
Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.
Myself, along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes, have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag your picture with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!
Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.
1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories - Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl
21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode - in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper - in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive
39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That's What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals
59. Let's Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo's Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling
74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me
94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa
104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe - in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!