On Rediscovering Lost Loves

As I’ve written about here and there, I both love trying new things and believe that doing so is paramount to a life well lived.

One of the ways we end up trying new things is that they present themselves to us as opposed to seeking them out. The only ingredient we need to bring to the table is to say "yes."

In my case, the lastest opportunity to say "yes" was a Hallowe’en costume party that was part of a recent conference I attended in late October 2017.

Of course, Hallowe’en isn’t anything new, but going to a party around that date is something I hadn’t done in years. And, because I hadn’t been going to any parties, I’d also stopped seeking out costumes and getting myself “made up” for the occasion. The only one in the F2P household that had been goofing off with face paint was my husband when he went off on the occasional Zombie night. (Yes, I know. And he had a blast.)

It’s too bad really, because as a teenager and young adult, I got quite a thrill out of what Hallowe'en look I could create with face paints and the right accessories. Whether it was Dracula, one of the various big cats or the Phantom of the Opera, I could spend hours planning out and executing the costumes.

I never did try my hand at creating a zombie though, but I’ll be fixing that next year…well, either that or turning myself into Neytiri from the movie Avatar. I guess I’ll wait and see, but I seem to be leaning more toward the latter.

This year was my chance to try my hand at it again, especially having discovered I was no longer allergic to makeup. I say “again” but, since it had been about twenty years, it felt very new and that feeling was accompanied by all the usual trepidations.)

I was going with the leopard look because it was the animal that most fascinated me during an African Safari in 2014. The my conference companion was the same person I had traveled with on that safari and she agreed to go along with the plan, even wearing the t-shirt I had designed for the occasion. We were definitely a match...all the way down to wearing leopard print shoes.

To boot, it was a particularly suiting costume for this conference because I’d done an Ignite! talk about How to Survive an African Safari at that same conference back in 2014.

It all just fit together purrrfectly! (Hey, embrace the corniness. I bet I at least got an eye roll out of that one.)

I researched and purchased the necessary supplies for our "look," taking much of my inspiration from pictures I found online and settling on one picture of a magnificent leopard that we would use to replicate the look.


On October 22, one week before the event, I gave it a shot. I was nervous but thought I had to try it out because I needed to know:

  1. That I had acquired all the supplies needed for us to pull it off and
  2. Whether I needed to change anything about the face paint/make up in order for us to achieve the best results possible

My first attempt was just OK. I learned a lot, but I knew I could do better.

Based on what I learned, I:

  • Changed the eyes to make them more square
  • Darkened the spots
  • Increased the white area around the eyes
  • Darkened my jaw to make it less square
  • Changed the fur look on the nose
  • Added spots—lots of spots—on my neck and arms
  • Removed the spots on the chin
  • Cleaned up the whisker spots and made the muzzle more prominent

I had such a good time with the whole process, I did it again on Hallowe’en night, much to the neighborhood children’s delight, not to mention my personal training clients that afternoon! (We're all just big kids, aren't we?)

This experience has been a great reminder and a great gift:

  • I’ve rediscovered an activity that had brought me much joy and I look forward to all the fun I’ll have with it for years to come.
  • I've been reminded of how much fun it is to try my hand at new—and rediscovered—activities. 

I’m thankful for the experience and downright giddy at the thought of what I might create next.

Have you tried something recently that has inspired you to continue it or take it to the next level?