The Red Lipstick Dare

Andrea from Fox in Flats dared us to wear Red Lipstick every day for a week.

I have never participated in one of Andrea’s dares before – but I hardly ever wear lipstick – in fact I don’t usually put on make up very often at all – so this felt a little glamorous and a little fun.  On some of the days I even found myself putting in a little extra effort  – putting on foundation and eyeliner as well.

I have never been really happy with my lips – I always felt like my top lip was too thin when I smile.  But taking pictures of my red lips every day was interesting – I have developed a new appreciation for my lips.  I guess I kind of do like them after all – and now know I like wearing lipstick too.

A confronting thing about the red lipstick dare was to actually take photos of myself – just to put on the internet for others to see. I have never really been confident with my body image and right now I need to lose about 20 kilos.  I usually spend most of my time taking pictures of the rest of the family and dodging getting pictures taken of myself because I usually feel that (due to my appearance) I ruin the photo just by being in it.

But I actually began to look forward to taking the pictures / getting Miss O to take a shot of me for the challenge – even though there I would be, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for everyone to see, flaws and all.

A negative person could argue that perhaps I have become more narcissistic, however I like to think that maybe, just maybe, thanks to this challenge, that I have become a little more comfortable in my own skin, flaws and all.

The best thing about the red lipstick dare was getting to buy a new lipstick and lipliner seeing the creative ways everyone took pictures of their lips and it was uplifting to see how encouraging and supportive everyone who participated in the challenge was of everyones photos.  Want to see more? Head Over to Instagram or Webstagram to check out the #redlipstickdarefoxinflats pics.

Without any further ado, here are my photos from this week’s Red Lipstick Dare.

Day 1. Wow. I have never really looked closely at my own lips before #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 1 – Hubby asked why I had lippy on. When I said it was for #redlipstickdarefoxinflats he shook his head, mumbled something about being insane & went back to bed. But it kinda feels nice to have nowhere to go & have lippy on “just coz”.

Day 1 – On the couch, watching tv, with lippy on. Pic courtesy of Miss O. #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 1 – Thank you little Avon sampler! #redlipstickdarefoxinflats This got me across the line today : )

Still Day 1 – Any excuse will do for mummy-daughter selfies : ) #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 2 – Ready For Work #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 3 – Playing with Instacollage and Splash of Colour #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 4 – Brand New Lipstick. I never thought I would like bright red as I usually go for more deep colours. But I was surprised that I like it. #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 4 – Silliness just to amuse myself…. #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 5 – Today i am accessorising with a necklace made for me by Mr J at daycare. #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Day 6 – Stepping outside for a photo. I am really having fun with the #redlipstickdarefoxinflats Photo courtesy of Miss O.

Day 6 – Smiley Close Up #redlipstickdarefoxinflats Photo Courtesy of Miss O

Day 7 – A quick selfie before work coz everyone else is still asleep #redlipstickdarefoxinflats

Thanks to Andrea for setting the dare – and thanks everyone else who participated in this week’s dare.  It was a lot of fun.
Linking up with The Surprise Beginning for Simply the Best Saturday!

Pop over and say Hi to Lauren! She is gorgeous!

The Surprise Beginning

Student of the week

Miss O has always struggled at school.

She also often struggles with her self confidence in her abilities.

So its really wonderful to see her to beginning to put the pieces of learning together and particularly exciting when she develops new skills.

Miss O has always been very creative but lately she has been learning about poetry and it has inspired her creativeness even more.

Today Miss O got a student of the week award, and I could not be more proud.

The award was for producing emotive and meaningful poetry and improving in written English and Maths.

I took time off work to go to assembly to see her get presented with the award and she was super excited that I was able to make it.

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After the assembly I told her how proud I was and asked one of the teachers to take a photo of us together.

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I am proud of you my girl!

You are beautiful inside and out!

Barely There

Today was World Suicide Prevention Day. I started thinking about when I attempted suicide, many years ago and thought that I would share my story.

I was 15. The year was 1990.

This means that my scars are 22 years old.

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The scars are really faded now. They are barely there. You can only see them if you inspect my arms quite closely. Even then, most of them just look like creases in the skin.

But I still vividly remember how much I struggled Every. Single. Day.

Confusion. Desperation. Hopelessness. Worthlessness.

I had no future. I just wanted to end the pain.

Every day for months, it was all I could think about.

Would I cut myself so that I could bleed to death?

Would I hang myself? Work out how to tie a noose?

Would I find a way to get drugs so that I could OD?

Would I throw myself off a building? Or in front of a bus or truck?

These dark fantasies constantly plagued my mind.

At first everyone was oblivious to my pain. My life was in turmoil but on the outside it seemed like I was coping with it all.

I had good friends at school. My grades were excellent.

So of course it was a shock to everyone when I cut my wrists the first time.

I did it at school. It didn’t bleed properly and the cuts kept clotting too quickly. In frustration I went to get first aid.

I went to hospital. The social workers said it was a cry for attention. They didn’t understand that I just wanted the pain to be over.

The pain continued. I tried to fight it. I hid it well. But eventually I succumbed to the numbness. I wasn’t strong enough to go on. If I could just be finished. Done. Dead.

Without the pain.

I still didn’t know how else to die. I took panadols, and aspirin with coca cola. I didnt know how many I would need. (I didnt take enough). I cut myself again. I tried to cut a lot deeper. I made more cuts to bleed as much as possible. I soaked my hands in the basin so it wouldn’t clot. I laid down and waited for death to find me.

But death didn’t come.

I was found and an ambulance was called. I was taken to hospital.

After that I decided that maybe I wasn’t meant to die. Maybe I was meant to survive. Maybe I was meant to live for a reason. Maybe my life could be worth living. It could mean something. One day.

And for the first time in a long time, I felt a flickering of hope.

I was sent to stay with a foster family for a couple of weeks. They had four children yet they had room to take me in. Their hearts were bursting with love and kindness, generosity and a freedom that I could not even begin to understand.

On the last night of my stay they took me to their pentecostal church. I found it strange but I could not deny the feeling that surged through me when they prayed for me. As a Catholic this scared me so I closed my mind.

But a seed was planted that night. A hunger for something more.

It was time for a new start. At the beginning of the new school year I moved towns to live with my Dad. This did not turn out well and after 6 months I went back to live with my Nan.

The seed began to grow and after quite a while I began to attend mass every week.

But I was hungry for something more.

I began singing for Mass.

But I hungered for something more.

I got involved in the youth movement at the church.

But I hungered for something more.

Eventually an old friend from another school invited me to go with her to a pentecostal youth church. I agreed to go, skeptical yet expectant at the same time.

As I walked down the stairs into the room the youth band was playing a song that just enveloped me. I could smell the most amazing aroma and as I entered the room my heart felt warm.

Alive. Loved. Worthy.

My life had meaning.

Of course, Jesus did not magically fix everything in my life.

I have made many mistakes in my life since then and I still make mistakes every day as a wife, as a mother, as a person and I cannot be held up to any kind of uber-christian standard. I swear way too much, I like to have a few drinks and at the moment I rarely go to church because I am just too darn tired after working all week and dealing with my kids. I am also pretty intolerant of those Christians (or otherwise) who don’t have love and acceptance for views other than their own and I can’t stand it when people blindly follow what other people say about religions without checking the facts for themselves.

But that day my life gained meaning.

And I gained a kind of freedom that I can’t explain or begin to understand.

My road has been long and hard and I still have a long way to go. Life is hard. It always is. Sometimes it feels like you can’t go on.

But you can go on.

It takes time and it takes courage and sometimes it takes a lot of people to help you along the way.

But you are worth it.

You are loved.