I used to have this thing when I first started teaching called “red lipstick days.” When I would get home from school, or over the weekend, when I realized that life was pushing down on me, and in on me from all sides, and I needed an escape from just being me, I put on bright, fire engine red lipstick.
It’s something that is very not me-or never used to be. It let me escape and just be someone else, someone perhaps more fabulous, more fun, more interesting, just for a little bit. And that was great for a day, before I realized I had to come back to who I was and get my work done and be responsible.
I want to know why it’s not ok to have red lipstick days more often? Why can’t red lipstick be a permanent fixture in my life? To be honest, I can pull it off pretty well. It doesn’t look bad on me. It makes me feel confident, it makes me feel fun, it makes me feel sexy, and above all, it helps me to mask the insecurities that are me.
I never wear it at school. It seems so inappropriate. But whenever I come home, or sometimes as soon as I get to my car at the end of the day, I pull that red lipstick tube out of my purse and put it on. My giant, bug-eyed sunglasses go on my face, and I pull out the parking lot not worrying about anything that happened that day, or anything that is going to happen the rest of the day. It’s like I’m free to drive off and rule the world!
That girl that wears that red lipstick, she’s everything I want to be. She’s my alter ego I can’t become. She’s my “do-what-you-love-and-fuck-the-rest” better half.
How do I become her? How do I let go of all the fears I have, take the plunge, and become who I was meant to be? How do I use it to kiss this life goodbye?