Painting by Numbers


I enjoy art.  I used to paint a lot more often than I do these days, but I still know the thrill and potential of a blank canvas.  If I started a painting but didn’t have an idea in mind, anything could happen.  Often the second brush stroke was a complete reaction to the first.  That brush stroke would inspire the third, and soon every brush stroke was a response to what came before it.

Of course, I think makeup is very similar.  I might start my makeup with the intention of doing an everyday look, but soon my foundation is applied and I might glam up my eyeliner and shadow a little more than I planned if my foundation is looking better than I expected.

I started to paint when I was younger with paint-by-number kits.  Simple line images that had numbers printed on the image that corresponded with a specific color.  Kind of like connect-the-dots, I suppose.  You were guided to creating something with no sense of creativity.

But as I got older I soon realized the limitlessness of a blank canvas.  It could become anything.  It could be a disaster or a masterpiece.  Just like doing makeup.

Even though I don’t paint as much as I would like, I still see the possibilities that a blank canvas offers.  The canvas could be anything I wanted it to be.

I thought about all this the other day as I was getting dressed for work.  Like a blank canvas, I am able to wear what I want.  To clarify, being able to wear what I want is not saying that I always wear what I want to.  Trust me, I would love to run more errands en in leggings and it would be amazing to go into the office in a cute dress and heels, but I am required to spend most days in male mode.  However, there are those days when I can choose to present as whichever gender I feel like, or even something more in-between.

What I mean is that I have accepted and embraced who I am where I feel I can wear whatever I want. There are no stigmas, there is no shame, no guilt, no embarrassment with how I choose to dress.  I am not limited to certain clothes because of the gender most of the word thinks I am.  I can paint what I want.  We can wear what we want.

Of course, I know it’s not as simple as that.  The world isn’t ready (nor will it ever be) to see a guy in a skirt and not all of us are in relationships where our partners are comfortable seeing us en femme.  My point is we shouldn’t feel that we can’t wear what we want because of our anatomy, or because we are men.  You don’t have to wear boxers (eww) if you want to wear panties.

I am no longer painting by numbers.  And you aren’t either.

Love, Hannah




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