Interrupting my attempts to deal with the blog backlog...backblog...to give a quick shout out to a fantastic pal of mine Ms Lauren Downie.
The obvious things are that she's the most fun to be around, everybody loves her, she's not afraid to be silly and just enjoy herself, she is always there for a chat, a drink, an ice cream party or whatever you need to cheer up and many more besides.
But her stand out friend qualities are
1) She pushes me to ask for more. Where I will be retiring, apologetic and non-confrontational, she will be forthright and say exactly what she wants, and she encourages me to do the same, free from fear or guilt. I'm still no good at it but she won't give up on telling me to be brave and ask for what I want instead of just pretending I'm ok with what I have. A gazillion friend points for Lauren.
2) And this one we are mutually good at - she looks out for my emotional well being. We are both very careful about protecting each other from some of the roughest sides to the industry we're involved in and the city we live in. For example, today when I talked about needing to get in shape because of a dance project in which I will dance alongside the star of the recent national US tour of Flashdance The Musical, Lauren was quick to jump in and say 'do it for you, not because you are comparing yourself to someone else'. And she was absolutely right. We don't let each other get sucked into the dangerous world of body image obsession, and we're always ready to point out what's more important in our lives than looking like a fitness model. Aka everything.
So a gazillion more friend points for Lauren! Not to mention the other things she's done for me like hook me up with jobs, buy me nice presents, share in her opportunities and.....ANOTHER gazillion points!
On a different but equally important note.
Yesterday and today I did something I haven't done in a long, long, LONG time...like, since I was about 18.
I went out without any makeup on. Ok I put the bare minimum of concealer to cover up my dark under eye circles (because it's nice to not look tired, ok!) BUT no foundation, no tinted moisturiser, no nothing.
A little disclaimer - I have gone out without makeup on before this, of course I'm only human. But when I have, it's been in the context of, say, running to the supermarket in my trackies. Or going to the gym. Or popping round to a friend's house to eat pizza. In the friend's house case I'd be ok not wearing makeup because I feel secure with my friends and I know they don't give a crap what I look like. In the case of gym or supermarket, it's a situation where I deliberately want to be anonymous and invisible, I'll be hidden in exercise clothes and headbands and hoodies or whatever.
Yesterday and today, I went out without make up on and felt as much of a person as anyone else. Like, I wasn't going out thinking 'I have no foundation on, ugh I look terrible but who cares I'm only going to the ................'.
I was going out thinking 'I'm going to work, then to tap rehearsal, then out for a drink with Lauren and I have no makeup on and I feel great about how my face looks'.
That's a first for me in abut 7 years so, share my joy! Weeeeeeee! Anyone who's ever dealth with some form of acne will know where I'm coming from, it's a good time. Awwwww yeah.