I admire the girls who show up to class or work with the perfect hair and makeup. Really, I do. I’ve never been super into doing my hair and makeup, or keeping up on the latest fashion trends. But these girls always look so put together even when they don’t have to (or when they’re halfway through a grueling shift)…it used to make me jealous. Why couldn’t I be like them?
Truth is, if I had perfect hair walking into class or work, I would probably worry about it staying nice-looking for the rest of my shift. That’s just how I am.
One thing that undergrad nursing school exhaustion taught me is that no one truly cares what you look like when you’re working (and if they do, they’re either self-conscious and use critiquing others to mask it, or they’re looking for someone they’re attracted to).
After years of needing to look just right, I finally gave up. I have enough to worry about (finances, grad school, work, family) without adding the need to look like a model every day on top of that. If I throw my hair up into a loose ponytail or messy bun, I know it probably looks ridiculous and my mind lets go of the expectation that I’ll look great and need to “work” to maintain it.
I know by now that my makeup will probably wear down and my imperfect skin will be showing through by Hour 6 (especially if I have to wear a mask at work for droplet precautions).
I feel the same way about my room (much to my mother’s dismay). I know where the important things are in my room, and it’s not a total safety hazard, so I don’t keep it impeccably clean on a daily basis. (I will, however, clean it thoroughly when I need to do a large amount of schoolwork… 😉 )
By letting go of the insane need to control having the perfect hair, perfect makeup, instagram-perfect room, I feel…better. Less stressed. There are less little things that don’t really matter on my mind and it allows me to focus on what really matters. I make sure that I look appropriate (and professional) when I leave the house every day, but model-worthy I am not. And I am okay with that. I had to go through the stressful breakdown of admitting I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, when in undergraduate studies. Since then, I feel better about what I am and what I can be: I am a daughter, sister and aunt. I am a girlfriend, a student and a nurse. I am an avid reader (which almost never happens during school semesters) and I love yoga pants (and LuLaRoe, I must admit). I love being comfortable, warm and happy.
When I realized all of this, I was able to fall into easily becoming more organized without even trying. I feel more confident in my abilities and my decisions, which is something I struggled with before. I don’t panic about school assignments or exams, which used to be a major source of panic attacks and nail-biting. (I am also proud to say that I have not bitten my nails since June 11, 2016…this is huge for me. I bit my nails for around 18 years and it became my horrible nervous habit. But it is no more 🙂 )
Once you stop putting pressure on yourself to be perfect (in appearance, work, school, social situations), life beings to fall into place because you can see more clearly. It is an enlightening moment, as cheesy as it may sound.
Try it. Let your ponytail lean a little to the left tomorrow. Go makeup free while running errands and out to lunch. Give yourself a break if you don’t clean your house on the same weekly schedule you’ve always held.
We are not perfect. But that’s what makes this life beautiful.