I am very partial to a red lipstick.
If I was the type of person to put myself together every day, I’d probably like to be a regular red lipstick sort of person. As it is, though, I only wear red lipstick about twice a year. And, even then, when it’s either Christmas or fancy dress, it feels like…a bit much.
I don’t know at what point I started training myself out of making statements. Started looking for all the reasons it wasn’t worth the potential downside. Started talking myself out of effort. I’ve been around a lot of people who scorned effort over the years – scorned my effort, sure, but also just the idea of engaging fully with life. I’ve never liked them for it, truth be told, but I’ve let their disdain for effort colour my behaviour nonetheless. Or, more accurately, uncolour.
I am not going to start wearing red lipstick regularly any time soon. I would like to say that I am, as an exercise. But I’m not. I won’t. I’d be lying. As I type this, I’m still trying to convince myself that I could. I’m imagining being the person who would do that. Reminding myself that, Once Upon A Time, I was exactly that person. Wondering if I can reconnect with that self. Wondering if I want to, when it really comes down to it.
Maybe it won’t be red, but perhaps a question to ask myself is what statement am I willing to make today? What statement am I ready to make? What statement must I make, regardless of readiness or willingness?
A symbol of modern Western comfort.
We all live in a magical world. But there are different kinds of magic. Those of us lucky enough to sit in our armchairs every day if we like are inherently more subject to a certain, and altogether intoxicating, kind of magic. A magic of instant gratification, world at our fingertips, all our tiny wants fulfilled, delivered to our door. It’s positively glamourous. And so we are naturally mesmerised by it. Naturally inclined to…recline.
I have been sitting in my metaphorical armchair rather too often these past few months. I’ve barely gotten out of it recently, if truth be told. I have known it, and I have been too apathetic to remedy it. Frankly, I have been enjoying it too much to quit. The magic show has been too compelling; too impressive. And I have been unwilling to tear my eyes away.
But the magic show is empty. It’s gloss and glitter in the cracks. It doesn’t touch any real part of me. It doesn’t nourish me.
It makes me feel safe, that’s for sure. But it doesn’t truly make my life any less precarious. It doesn’t change anything, in fact. It just lets me forget. It lets me relax. It lets me succumb. I don’t have to be strong when I’m watching the show. I don’t have to face the darkness. I don’t have to make any difficult decisions. I don’t have to live up to my potential. It’s all so very comfortable.
But I don’t want the life I’d have if I keep sitting in that comfy, cushioned, atrophy-inducing chair. I want a life of exercised power. I want to create my own sort of magic.
So go on then, Yve. Up with you.