40 over 40 project - Valeska 57 year old mother, dental professional, artist and student

August 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I want to reflect on my own image and see it as someone who is confident AND beautiful!

Valeska is a 57 year old mother, dental professional, artist and student...and her life is changing.  Although she is unsure if it is for the better, she believes that most of the time it feels right.  Self confidence is something she feels she often lacks but like many women, we become very good at hiding it and come across as very confident.  That in itself is a skill.

In Valeska's case, the reality is quite the opposite so in order to improve her lack of self confidence she is embarking on a project to follow her dreams. She is making changes in her career path to follow those dreams and as with any change, she is finding she is making some mistakes along the way.  Its your ability to pick yourself up and dust yourself off that will define how your journey progresses; and so far, after giving herself a "stern talking to" she is figuring out what the next step is in the pursuit of feeling happier within herself and her life. She says "I want to reflect on my own image and see it as someone who is confident AND beautiful...I'm sure it would help me summon the courage and energy I need to continue on the path to my dreams".

Valeska's passion is art.  Making it, viewing it, discussing it and hopefully selling it.  She has returned to uni where she is enrolled in a painting degree at ANU part-time, something she has wanted to do for more than 20 years.  As well as being an artist, Valeska is a dental therapist/hygienist, Arbonne consultant and also volunteers giving hand massages to residents in aged care facilities. She explains "they love it and I get to hear some amazing stories".

When I asked Valeska to share with me how she was feeling leading up to her session and when she was done, she sent me an email.  This is what she wrote;

"Last Friday morning whilst driving to the Wilomark Studio I was reflecting upon the reason why I was up so early. It was my day off and I was feeling partially naked because I wasn’t wearing any makeup and my hair had not been done that morning. For me to be in this state was very unusual indeed. As I am aging I am finding it more and more necessary to ` make the most’ of what I have, so to speak, so I am diligent in presenting the best version of me whenever I can.

Never the less, the instructions I had been given by Kylee were clear and I tried to imagine what was about to unfold on this cold but bright Friday morning in Canberra. Kylee, the Professional Photographer I was about meet is actually an old friend, from a lifetime ago. I was feeling excited to see her again and nervous about what might lie ahead, but most of all I noticed I was becoming quite emotional. Tears started to well in my eyes and I told myself stop being silly. This was going to be FUN. Why was I crying?

I was about to embark on a new experience. I had never had a professional makeup artist do my makeup or my hair especially for a professional photographic session. I couldn’t imagine how I would look after the process not to mention what images would eventuate. This was going to be a special event and I felt so privileged and honoured that Kylee had chosen me as one of the 40 women over 40 to partake in her very special project.

I arrived at the Fyshwick Studio a little early, excitement mounting. I had my 5 outfits ready to go and Kylee met me at the door with open arms and a big warm smile. I was soon introduced to Mel the Make up artist and the three of us proceeded to talk through the activity for the session. Kylee directed every step with the professionalism and courtesy you would expect from a dedicated talented Photographer. The only rule...no negative self talk!

The morning was amazing. I felt so special, being fussed over and observed. I didn’t have a mirror to watch my transformation unfold as Kylee had purposefully planned and orchestrated the `reveal’. I was overwhelmed when I was encouraged to look at my image in the mirror. I was speechless and Kylee needed to ask me what I was thinking and how I was feeling, most unusual for me as I am never stuck for words! I could never have imagined how I looked. I instantly felt different. It sounds shallow to say that when you look great you feel great, but its true. Being the best you possible and feeling as though you look your best changes the way you think about yourself. My confidence grew, a smile came over my face and I felt wonderful! My emotional response had changed from being a little scared and tentative to one of elation and delight.

I feel, women in general, do not appreciate how wonderful, beautiful and special we are. We are intelligent beings and yet we often don’t let ourselves feel good about whom we are or the way we look. We know our self worth is not linked to how we look and how we feel but often this disassociation serves no purpose in boosting our confidence. It is actually OK to be beautiful for the sake of it because we ARE all beautiful. Kylee and Mel are brilliant in bringing out the `beautiful’ in people.

The morning on Wilomark Studio was exhilarating and amazing. I am still reflecting on the events and the conversation and the outcome. It was such a positive event for me I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it all.

Thanks so much to Kylee (the owner of Wilomark Studio) and Mel the wonderful makeup and Hair artist who were both instrumental in transforming the way I looked and providing a magical morning of fun, laughter and positive experience.

We all need more of that in our lives."

I hope you continue to follow your dreams Valeska.  You are amazing!  

Anyone wanting to see Valeska's art work can view it on her website


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