Cast Your Care

Lost in everything and nothing, this time blends together like a Delaware gradient sunset and I’m left turning the calendar pages and wondering how we got here so quickly. How disappointing to live to impress others, when the ones you really want to impress have loved you all along.
This afternoon I was talking with two of my girlfriends…we were discussing the role of makeup in our lives, and their daughter’s lives. Their daughters are both only 11, and seem to be wise beyond their years (homeschool, thanks…) and eager and ready to grow up and look more feminine like their own moms. But why? What does wearing makeup actually DO for us? Does it serve us? Or are we trying to impress people we don’t even know, or trying to impress people we don’t even like? It’s a scary thought, especially in today’s haphazard, unpredictable world. I related it back to myself, hoping to help these girls see that proving your worth is difficult as well as confusing, and in the end, not worth it to “need ” to prove yourself.
I started thinking about it one day after I was applying a full-face of makeup. I’m talking under-eye concealer, foundation, eyeliner, shadows, the works. As in, all of it. War paint. A mask. Is this usual for me? Um, no. You’d actually be hard-pressed to find me in anything more than liquid eyeliner and two swipes of mascara. I don’t like wearing makeup. I prefer myself with a tan, oil on my eyes and lips and…that’s it. Seriously.
I know, I’m Italian and I’m supposed to look like I’m going to the opera (or IN the opera) at all times, but I’m not. Don’t even get me started on the chemicals that are lurking into all the things that you’re slathering on your face…that is a whole ‘nother story. Ugh, anyway.
I was trying to illustrate a point where there was an event we were going to, and I put on my “war paint” and spent quite a bit of time plastering my face with skin-tinted mastic, trying to hide every blemish, trying to make myself look the part.
I thought to myself–what if I just showed up looking like I do every other day of the week? I could do that but then I tried to rationalize the makeup frenzy of:
* I never see these people so I have to look good
* I need to make a good impression on the people I haven’t met yet
* I need to look good so that it will reflect that my husband has a pretty wife
* I want to distract him from looking at other cute girls (duh)
* I want to (try) to be the most put-together-looking girl there (false)
* I want my husband to show me off because I’m so GD cute
* I want to feel “ready” and not intimidated by anyone (read: left alone)

What if I left this alone for a day. Or even a month. What if I showed up to any event, big or small, family or professional, with just my real-live face? No hiding, no wishing, just real authentic me, with a new outlook on how I’m to be perceived. Not proving. Not showing off, not giving you a visual resume.
For someone that has been wearing makeup alllll her life, and has enjoyed the ease of genetically applicable liquid eyeliner, this might be challenging.
I’m not saying that anyone shouldn’t wear makeup, especially if it’s her fun thing, or if she loves doing it, especially if it’s something they’re talented at. I know quite a few girls (and dudes!) who have made a lucrative career from applying makeup. That’s not what I’m getting at here.
I’m having my own issue with authenticity. If I don’t wear this every day…why should I on certain occasions? Is this another all-or-nothing deal? Is it real and authentic if I wear makeup say…seven days out of an entire year? Or am I fooling myself? What exactly am I trying to prove? Why can’t I just present myself the way I am every day of the year? What am I afraid of? What more can I bring to the table that people will like other than blemish free skin with smoky eyes? It’s just not me.
It’s not my fun thing, my hobby, or even a remote talent that I’m good at. I have to admit, my smoky eyes make me look tired, and I can’t apply blush to save my life. Contouring? No thanks dude…I cannot handle all the blending. Bronzer? My lucky Guida skin can sit in the sun for one hour and get a bronze. I cannot, however, live without chapstick.
I’ve made more steps to live more minimally and authentically. I’ve given away almost all my makeup to my girlfriends simply because it wasn’t being used. You know that stuff has a shelf life. It was also taking up precious space in my bathroom that I need for my 10 bottles of Infusium 23. I want to be done, but I know this process won’t happen overnight. I only want to prove myself to me, but that’s not an easy thing to own. I want to stop wasting my time.
If you have to try hard to prove your worth and show someone what you offer, you don’t need them in your life. What do you bring to the table? You ARE the table. You are a human, with life, with value, in and of itself. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have put you here.

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This Week I’ve Learned | Pittsburgh Photographer Weekly Post

And it seems like these weeks are flying by…and we’re already two weeks into summer vacation and that’s pretty crazy! Even though at the moment I’m pretty frazzled, I still have the need to write at least a little something about my week to center myself.

  • I’ve learned that writing really does help me collect my thoughts. Like meditating.
  • I’ve learned that through the notes I’ve made about pieces I want to write, that I have developed a love of writing–something I thought I dreaded doing!
  • I’ve learned that this week didn’t feel like summer at all–through the wind and rain and wearing pants and sweatshirts everyday…I’m ready for some heat.
  • I’ve learned that a storm doesn’t necessarily “ruin” your evening family walk. It was actually really nice to sit in a church doorway and wait until the storm let up, and dodge in and out of all the public covered areas until we got home. That’s one good thing about living in town.

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This Week I’ve learned | Personal Weekly Post | Kate Stutz Photography

It’s a late start for the day, but I’ll gladly take it! I let my kids stay up late last night to watch their favorite show…and they were behaving so well and getting along that I wanted to make it last as long as it could! I was pretty impressed. It was a double win because they slept in until 7am! That is extremely late for us! So it’s been a long week and I’m glad it’s Friday! Here’s what I learned this week:

  • I’ve learned that my oldest is actually starting to develop his own style.
  • I’ve learned that even little boys can care what their hair looks like…if it’s spiky and messy enough, and…want a blow out! Sheesh!
  • I’ve learned that I’m secretly very proud when my kids walk into their classroom and have all the other kids running up to them to say hello.
  • I’ve learned that I’m probably the most distractable person I’ve ever met.
  • I’ve learned that one phone call can really brighten your day.
  • I’ve learned that I’m a pretty good baker…when I can pay attention to the recipe…
  • I’ve learned that even just a short time spent with girls and milkshakes can do wonders for your spirit!
  • I’ve learned that when my best friend gives me a ring she got for me in Sicily, I cry. She is so thoughtful and sweet! I can’t get over her!
  • I’ve learned that I’m absolutely dying to travel. We missed out on a lot of vacations and semesters abroad because we were trying to get on our feet. The world is getting smaller and I’m dying to take advantage of it!
  • I’ve learned that I’m incredibly sick of green salads. Pass the panzanella, PLEASE!
  • I’ve learned that finding new hobbies can be really exciting–even if they are presently limited to notes in my notebook for future reference. Everything I do is done piecemeal because of time constraints, but I’ll take it! One can’t hurry art.
  • I’ve learned that beautiful weather can really improve your mood. Is this why everyone in California is so chipper? I’d totally move there if it weren’t so expensive!
  • I’ve learned that giving up caffeine (third day in a row!) can do wonders for your skin. It took a long time to wean myself off, but it was worth it! No migraines!
  • I’ve learned that when my husband isn’t home, it really throws my days off! I’ve been thinking it was Friday for two days now. So much for calendars. I go by routine!
  • I’ve learned that I’m really, really, rillyrillyrilly looking forward to hitting up the farmer’s market this summer! Juicing vegetables is so much better when you begin with flavorful veg…not the waterlogged celery you get at the big box stores. Oh and the raw honey that is so complex and thick that you can practically chew it!
  • I’ve learned that I should never make chocolate chip cookies “for the kids” because truthfully….they end up being “for me”. And it doesn’t count as a cookie if you eat the dough before it’s baked…right?
  • I’ve learned that the simple things are the best…my lovely boy brought me this red tulip he picked for me outside…it looks so pretty in a glass on the windowsill!

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