Thandizo Kawerama

I’ve recently gotten back into learning how to do makeup. Having not done a full face since 2015 means my skills are a little rusty, and all the looks I manage to muster up are off trend and honestly a little bit ashy. No matter the amount of YouTube tutorials, TikTok hacks and Twitter threads I go through, I’ve realised that my skills are just mediocre. I however still enjoy playing around with makeup palettes despite my mediocracy, and I think there should be a space for underachieving at activities if their sole purpose is to bring you joy.

Sometimes we run away from doing things we’re not particularly good at because, we’re scared to be the butt of the joke. Years of being graded in school taught us that if we’re not at the top of the class, we haven’t done enough and many of us carry that into adulthood, I know I’m guilty as charged. This means that we end up being our biggest critics even when we’re doing something purely for the fun of it. By setting unreasonable standards for even the most relaxed activities, we end up taking the fun out of enjoying different experiences in life. We end up limit ourselves to only doing things that are on the safe side because, we don’t want to feel embarrassed for being bad, or even average, at activities.

Being exceptional is a great thing, but doing things you’re mediocre at purely for the enjoyment of life, in my opinion, has a unique charm to it. You get to decide what you want to do, and nobody else dictates how you should feel about it based off of your skill level. Whatever activity or hobby you choose to indulge in becomes a safe space for creative exploration and entertainment. It becomes a place for you to let loose on your own terms, free from the fear of external judgment.

I played it safe with the basic lip gloss and eyebrow combination for years because, I was scared I would walk out looking like a clown. However, I have realised that life is too short to care and I can turn my face into a canvas if I want to. Now when I play around with makeup I feel like a kid in a candy store. I find myself enjoying bright colours, glitter and other items I would have shied away from at the makeup counter and I am enjoying myself.

You don’t have to be the best at everything you do. Sometimes you can just let go and enjoy an activity simply because it puts a smile on your face. I like wearing makeup so I’ve decided to keep on doing it whenever I feel like it, even though I risk looking like a moving piece of abstract art. I’ve made peace with mediocracy; life doesn’t have to revolve around being a top achiever. Some people are geniuses with the makeup brush, I’m just not one of them, and I’m okay with that.