Why I Believe in Eyeliner & Early Mornings (& Not Wearing Sweatpants in Public)
In my 23 years of living, it has come to my attention that people tend to justify putting less effort into things for the sake of convenience. While I love (and I mean LOVE) seeing men and women approach their days with an ease and confidence that is just about good enough to get what they need to do, done, I do believe in there is something to be said about getting up (early), dressing up (well), and showing up (in every sense of the phrase).
I believe in eyeliner.
In the past, I would battle against reasons why my confidence was so contingent on the amount of makeup I was wearing. There would be mornings where I would say to myself:
"Okay Jen, let's be more natural today. Let's not try so hard for your hour-long stats lecture followed by a study session in the library. No one actually gets that ready for days like this."
For a business owner who works from home, that scenario might look more like:
"Okay Jen, let's be more natural today. Let's not try so hard for just to go sit in a coffee shop for a few hours while you silently edit a video or two. No one actually gets that ready for days like this."
So, I would put on minimal makeup - I tried to look like I just casually woke up and laid on a couple strokes of mascara. I soon realized, though, that I'm not the kind of girl who just woke up, and who just rolled out of bed. I've been up since 5:30am editing photos for a client because I want them to have them earlier than they expected. I've made myself a healthy breakfast, which I most likely ate after a 30-minute HIIT workout. I've set aside quiet time to set intentions for the day, and I've set aside time to get ready. I believe in eyeliner as a tool and a metaphor. I believe in its dominance and its presence and its ability to say "Hi, my name is Jenna Renee, and I have my sh*t together" without a word. I will say, though, that while I myself believe in eyeliner, I also believe in those who don't believe in it. It just works for me, and I encourage you to find your own "eyeliner" that makes you feel boss-like and do or wear that thing every day.
It could be meditating, moisturizing, throwing spinach into your morning smoothie. Take care yourself in a way that's out of your comfort zone, but you know will benefit you in more ways than one.
I also believe in early mornings.
As you grow up, you realize that bedtime is probably the most magical time of the day. While I used to pride myself in being able to pull all-nighters and still fully function the next day, I now do everything in my power to make sure lights are off before 10 PM. Why?
I LOVE mornings. Like...love.
Don't get me wrong: hearing my alarm clock in and out of context actually makes me cringe, usually because I didn't stop working early enough the night before or because I planned to wake up early to work or go on a run. So, while sometimes I would appreciate a night of silence, the truth is, silence is there. It is yours for the taking. But, it's not always on your own time. I find my peace in the early morning, when the sun isn't quite above the hills but it still shines up onto the belly of those colorful cotton-y clouds. When most people are in bed, and I can run the streets alone, focused. When the air is cold and my energy is replenished. With the morning comes clarity, productivity, and mental preparedness.
Don't get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for athleisure wear, but again - it's the principle. I don't have too much to say about this except, if you're wearing sweatpants to class, I equate it to wearing them to work. If you're a student, going to class is your job right now. Yes, college students are paying to sit in that classroom, so one might argue that they can wear whatever you want. The way I see it, though, is my work ethic is expressed in that space. Would you wear your pajamas to your actual job? What if you have a guest lecturer that day who works for a company you would love to intern for? Did you bring your business cards in your backpack? Even if you did, would it be appropriate to introduce yourself to this person as a potential asset to their company while your outfit says otherwise? Or, if you're an entrepreneur like me with the freedom to work from home, what kind of impact does wearing sweats all day have on your productivity?
Get dressed. A little effort goes a long way. Look at every day as an opportunity. At the very least, do it for yourself. Really, appearance isn't everything. It's a metaphor. What you put into your self care routine says a lot about what you believe, desire, and hope for. It speaks of your self-confidence, and of the standards you set for yourself.
Get up, dress up, and show up!
Thoughts? What do you do every day (or maybe what goal are you aiming to set for 2018) that makes you feel like you have your shiz together?