For the last couple years Mary has asked me to write a blog just for her. Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes the “struggle is real” as she would say. (This is over 6 months overdue). How do you possibly put all the wisdom you want to share in one little letter? How do you possibly tell her everything about how much she means to your family? How do you possibly tell her how much she is loved by so many?! You can’t. Heaven knows in the 17 years of her life I have made mistake after mistake, and had to explain things that now she understands about some of my difficult choices. But, I will never be able to give her all my lessons to prevent her from making her own. In fact, I am learning one of the only things I can do is let her also learn some lessons the hard way, and love and support her when she does. But I know the material ways to my daughter’s heart… food, music, and makeup. I understand the whole food thing. I did not earn my beautiful curves by eating too much lettuce. I get the music because there is an amazing feeling when I get in the car and the perfect song comes on the radio. Sometime it is a song that speaks to me through word and sometimes it brings back a memory of a younger life. Sometimes it is sitting at the piano and playing and thinking of Mom and Grandma… But, one of the areas I don’t really get is Makeup. However, when your child loves something, it is important to learn about it and not judge them…. Or they will take that passion to someone else to share. However, over time I think there are many valuable lessons that can be made in relation to makeup
Some makeup is seasonal… so are relationships. Through my life I have been blessed with some amazing lifelong friendships. I also have been blessed with relationships that were just for the season. People/friends have been planted in my life for me to bless them, or for them to bless me and fill a gap I needed. However, relationships often change, and that I believe is by God’s design. Sometimes the circumstances change and your friends fit differently because of the change in priorities. Sometimes their presence is less, but resumes in another season of your life. Sometimes they are present only for a brief season to reveal something from God. The biggest piece is loving and savoring the season you are in – even the hard winter seasons. There is always something to learn, and it may not be noticed until later down the road. I have noticed how when a new season on the calendar comes, so does makeup. (And God bless the salesperson who knows we are from out of town and hooks us up for the season’s specials before they are ever on the shelf – another lesson to follow!). Mary can’t wait to score some of the new specials, but at the same time, she loves her tried and true products. God has also blessed me with new friendships that have poured deeply into my life. I would have once tried to hold only onto the ones I knew and were comfortable with, afraid to try new friendships and trust them with my life. How I would have missed out! I am so blessed with my tried and true that even if I can’t see them, they are a text or Facebook message away to ask for a prayer, for wisdom, etc…
Makeup is a great disguise to cover up physical blemishes. In life, I have used many things to cover other problems. I have used food to cover the hurt I was feeling. I have used little words like “I’m fine” to cover up what I am really feeling. I have used over working to cover up my insecurities as a wife, mom, friend, etc… Makeup allows you to apply as many layers as needed to hide the blemish, and so does life. I have put layers and layers of projects, to do lists, commitments to hide behind my insecurities, etc. But at the end of the day, the makeup comes off, and the blemishes are visible. At some point, I eventually crack and all my inward blemishes are revealed – my weaknesses, my insecurities, my pain, my fear, my hurt. Learning who you can trust to see you without the makeup… see all the outward (and inward) blemishes… is life changing. I love that you have “found” some amazing friends that are exactly that to you!
Do not be afraid to ask questions… a lesson I have watched you overcome in the makeup section. We do not have all the answers in life, but often another person does. We have to ask questions sometimes to find what we are looking for. Without the asking we may miss out on something. The perfect example was recently when we went into a new store and you had a wish list of seasonal items that you could not find. I asked the clerk and she knew exactly where they were. They were not even on the shelf yet, but she hooked us up with them. A simple question changed everything. Don’t be afraid to ask… and also be willing to help someone find an answer if you can (and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know but will try to help).
Not everyone will understand your passion, but look for those who at least listen. In life, some people are not going to understand your passion about make-up, and this can become quite frustrating, I am sure. However, I have learned that the key is when someone is at least willing to listen to your passion (even if they will never understand it or be willing to try it). Find the ones willing to go on the occasional excursion to find that one makeup product you are missing, even if they think you are crazy. They will be the one who will be there for other crazy adventures. They will support you, even when they don’t understand. They are the ones who accept unconditionally and don’t ask you to change. You also be that one for your friends too… the one who may not understand the friend’s passion, but accepts them. Supports the difference as long as it does not compromise your morals (and preferably does not land you in jail – and if it does, as always, call me no questions asked – lol).
Try new thing… just like makeup, some items you enjoy may one day not be a good fit, and other ties you become so comfortable with them, you don’t try new ones. That is true with life. You may think a certain career path is a good fit (and it may be for a season), but that may change and you may need to try something new. Can you imagine all the things you would have missed out on had you only stuck to one brand of makeup?!? (I would have saved a fortune, but you would have missed out on colors, and pigments, and all the products that can make you smile. Enjoy life like that… don’t get too comfortable that you won’t try new things, just think if you would have not tried a new setting spray, you would be missing out! Don’t’ let fear get in your way to try new things either. You may miss out on an amazing experience or beautiful view.
Makeup has also taught you the value of different things. There is a purpose in life for the basics (like from NYX or Elf) and other times high-end are the best to choose (p.s. just because you love Too Faced makeup does not mean you are allowed to be – lol). Life also mimics that… there are times where McDonalds will do, and others a good filet from a high-end steak house is a better fit. There are times when your wallet will support a low end product more than a high-end product. But there are some areas of life you should not “settle” for lesser things. For instance, friendships should always be high-end (I mean high quality not costly). Do not “settle” with “friends” who beat up your confidence, who you cannot trust, who go behind your back, etc…. Do not “settle” for a job that steals your joy, criticizes your skill, tears you down, etc… Look for higher-end, because you deserve them!
When you try a new product and it “doesn’t feel right”, chances are it is a not a good fit and it needs to be changed. There will be life events that just don’t “feel right”. They may not line up with your life for that season, but may later. However, it may be due to your heart saying “danger”, or your gut knotting up because it goes against beliefs/ethics, or your brain screaming because you know it is not wise decision. If it doesn’t feel right (exercise excluded because it may never feel right), listen to the voice. Make sure what you experience / choose lines up with your beliefs, your morals, your ethics, etc… if it “doesn’t feel right” it likely is not. If in doubt, ask your mom (hint hint) or a trusted friend, who will not steer you in the wrong direction!
It is also true that even if it “feels right”, doesn’t mean it is. You may choose an amazing shade of baby blue eyeshadow, and it feels rights. However, it may not be a wise choice! Listen to your inner voice (and a mirror – lol), that baby blue may have gone out of style a long time ago! However, it is good to be confident and if baby blue eyeshadow makes you feel that it fine. But for big choices that can alter your life – just because it feels right does NOT mean it is. Sometimes it gets confusing about what “feels right” and what “is right”. Sometimes what “feels good” is mistaken to be what “feels right”. Surround yourself with people who can help you make the decision, or pull you out of the situation (or better yet prevent you from the situation). Chances are the ones who will lie and say the baby blue eyeshadow looks good to save your feelings, are not the ones to be trusted for the big things. Keep the strong ones nearby and listen to the strong moral compass you have inside of you!
Take a minute for the little things… like mascara and lip gloss. There was a day when your obsession with makeup drove me crazy. Now I am blessed to have a daughter who cares about what she looks like before she leaves the house. Many others could learn that lesson! It also amazes me how just taking about five minutes for you to apply a little moisturizer, power, mascara, and lip gloss can also help you face the crazy world. In life, it is often the little things that can make all the difference – a smile from a stranger, a text from a friend, a hug from your brother, a hot bath, a burning candle, a smell of amazing cologne…. Treasure the little things! When I started counting little things several years ago, it was amazing at the change in life perspective! Savor them! Sometimes they are the only things that can help you face the world!
There is a time and a place for drama. So true with makeup and life. For instance, if heading for a trip to Fayette County Walmart, you do NOT need smokey eyes and heavy makeup – lol! Just like makeup, some people add DRAMA where it is not necessary. Save the drama and the energy for an appropriate time – you will know when that is. There is enough drama… don’t become a part of it if you can avoid it! If you see friends in the middle of unnecessary drama – step up and save them if possible – but don’t get yourself sucked in trying.
A product you I hear you speak of is setting spray to hold everything in place despite the heat, the environment, etc. (that and waterproof mascara). It is important to have those sacred things that help you hold life together, no matter the circumstances. First would be your relationship with Christ. He is the one who hears all things, knows all things, sees all things, and can help you hold it together. When the world is crashing and times are tough, turn on the radio (your love language) and listen to his promises! Hold on to your dad and I and know that NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances we are there! We may disagree but will NEVER stop loving you! Hold on to your relationships that are the setting spray to your life – that help you keep it together despite the circumstances, etc.
Concealer is an amazing product… it can hide the dark circles under your eyes from the lack of sleep. There are times things should be hidden from the public. Everyone does NOT need to know your personal life. In this wonderful time of technology, too often, people forget to apply their concealer. They let the world see their “dark circles” and hear the whole story behind it. Only certain ones should be privileged enough to know those “dark” parts. People who will love and not judge. People who know your heart. People who will reach in to help. Call them, send a private message, a private text and conceal the sacredness of your weaknesses, troubles, etc… Few are worthy to have that close of view to your life – guard it well!
I love how you have evolved to do what you do because of who you are and not caring what the general population thinks (and at times your immediate circle). You follow your internal compass well! You love make-up because how it makes you feel confident (even though your mom rarely wears an ounce of it). You have learned to spend time on you, which is a lesson you learned from me not doing it. You have over time also learned to stand strong for what you believe, play the devil’s advocate, and defend what you believe to be important. I love that you have chosen your own path and loves, including makeup, despite what your friends do… what society does… what your family says you should do. I want what is best for you in this world, and to do that you have to follow YOUR goals, YOUR life, YOUR internal compass… keep going your direction… prove the critics wrong… you are an amazing handiwork that God created to be exactly who you are!
Brand names are important in the makeup world. They make a product special and often limited. They are of higher quality and cannot be substituted easily. People can try to make “knock offs”, but they are not the same pure blend. You have two brand names — Child of God and Wolfe! First of all you are a child of God! Secondly, you are our child – a Wolfe! You are a beautiful amazing mixture of some pretty crazy genes. The world cannot change that… people cannot change that… circumstances cannot change that… You are YOU… AMAZING, FEARFULLY, and WONDERFULY made. You are a one of a kind blend. Do not try to be something/someone you are not. You are a limited edition… and for that our lives are richly blessed.
Dear Mary, I am sorry it has taken me over 6 months, to slow my world enough to finish this… I am a work in process… every day I am amazed by your love for people (especially Sam), passion for your beliefs, and your wisdom beyond your yours. I am blessed for all of our talks and even when we agree to disagree. When my mom went to heaven, she did a great job to pick you out just for us… she knew exactly what I needed! Love you!