AnneMarie is beautiful, funny and caring. I mean, who doesn’t love a woman who shows up in socks like these?
She has a great smile, a kind heart, and a strong determination. It took her 15 years to finish her university degree, chipping away at it part time while she raised her family. She graduated 10 years ago and still uses the Sears head shot she had done at that time.
Without regret, she has spent her life focusing on others. Her marriage, family and volunteer work were a priority, but left no room for her own self-care.
“I have always put my marriage, the kids and my volunteer work before myself. I do not regret this. I just wish I had made a little time for me in there along the way.”
“I know that beauty comes from inside. I truly believe that of other people. I have a hard time applying that measure to myself. I’ve always felt like the frumpy or less attractive one in any group. Even when I try to dress up.”
Starting with leaving her husband of 27 years, she is finally on a journey of discovering her best self. I’m not sure you would be reading about AnneMarie if this was 5 years ago. Even now, she pushed herself WAY out of her comfort zone when she applied for a spot in 30 Days of Gorgeous.
“Honestly, I almost scrolled past this post. Then something inside me said. Push out of your comfort zone. Stop standing on the sidelines.''
"Step out into the light. I’m hoping you can help me see the beauty that everyone else says they see. To help me walk a little taller with a little more confidence through the world as a single woman. To feel like I have something to offer another human being after being told for so many years that I am not good enough. To love myself enough to recognize my own worth, in career, friendship and somewhere WAAAAY down the road perhaps in romance.”
And, I’m glad she did. So many of the things she said to me resonated with me, and I know they will strike a chord with all of the women who read this blog post.
One of the most common themes that I hear when I ask:
“What does being a woman mean to you?”
AnneMarie is strong. A month after she left, her husband started dating someone.
At 44 years old, she is single for the first time in her adult life!
Along with being newly single, 2 weeks later she found herself without a job when her company downsized.
She is determined though. Just as she chipped away at her university degree, she is now chipping away at her own self-improvement. She is actively looking for ways to improve herself physically – hitting the gym, learning makeup techniques on YouTube. And, she is looking for ways to feel good about herself too. She wants to set the example for her kids that it is important to love yourself.
AnneMarie is done with feeling like the “frumpy or less attractive one”. Before we met, she said she doesn’t like how she looks in photos.
''I am NOT photogenic.''
“How I feel when I get dressed up to go out is the polar opposite of how I feel looking at pictures taken of me that evening. I know we as women are erasing ourselves from history by not wanting our pictures to be taken – so I allow them to be taken and posted, but I always feel “less than” when I look at them.”
I’m happy that I was able to show her that is simply not true!
You are gorgeous, AnneMarie! Keep making time for you – you deserve it!
P.S. – Time to retire that old head shot eh?
''I don't feel like I'm photogenic''
Despite her fears of being photographed, AnneMarie loved her glamour shoot experience and says it's worth every dime and every minute of your time!